How To Silence Your Mac’s Startup Chime

Posted in Apple, How To, Mac on 20/08/2013 by Chris Hauk


Usually, you don’t pay a moment’s notice to the harmonic chime that plays when you boot up your Mac. It’s there for a reason, to let you know all is right with your beloved computer. But there are times when you would really like to be able to silence it. Well, believe it or not, there’s more than one way to silence a chime.


Solution #1: Mute Your Mac

This is the easiest way to silence the startup chime. All you need to do is mute your Mac. Just press the F10 key on your keyboard and the next time your Mac boots up, or reboots, it will remember that it was muted, and won’t play the chime.

The only drawback about this solution is that you have to remember to mute you Mac before rebooting.

Solution #2: Via the Command Line in Terminal

You can completely disable the chime, there is a command line you can enter while in Terminal that will silence the chime until you turn it back on again.

Just open up the Terminal application, you can find it in “Applications” -> “Terminal,” and enter the following on the command line:

sudo nvram SystemAudioVolume=%80

You’ll need to enter the Administrator password when you enter this command.

If you decide you’d like to reenable the system chime, simply enter the following on the command line:

sudo nvram -d SystemAudioVolume

Again, you’ll need to enter the Administrator password to execute this command.

Solution #3: Use an App

If you don’t want to have to remember to mute your Mac via the keyboard approach, and you don’t feel comfortable entering command into the Terminal app, there’s another way. Luckily, some very nice programmers have created free apps that mute your Mac.

One such free app is called, StartNinja. This app works on OS X Lion and higher, and lets you toggle the startup chime ON and OFF as needed.

StartNinja can be downloaded from the StartNinja download page. [DIRECT LINK]

If you need to mute your Mac’s startup chime, any of the three methods above should do the job for you.

Thanks to OS X Daily for the original tip.

  • John Frum

    But what if you don’t want even one bootup chime (in order to turn off the bootup chime)?

    One can stick in an audio RCA mini-jack plug into the Audio Out port, even if its not connected to anything (eg. speakers, headphone). Press the Start button and no startup sound. Very helpful for starting your Mac amidst people sleeping.

    • stooovie

      Doesn’t work here. Audio always goes from internal speakers on my 2011 iMac.

    • LJ

      Keeping the audio out plugged into my stereo with the stereo off does not work to keep the startup chime off – only anything else afterward.

  • Kirin

    #1 an #2 methods don’t work…I’m on 2011 10.6.8.

  • some

    it does not work

  • Scott

    Is there a way to set the volume of the chime to the lowest level without muting it?

  • timken

    it works, thanks a million

  • JamJam

    Solution 2 worked for me… OSX v10.9.4

  • Mark Angus

    Guys there is an APP called SilentStartup and works a treat.

  • rick

    This disabled the sound on my Mac completely.

  • traxxion

    Is there ANYTHING about Apple that is not completely stupid. Seriously, there is no BIOS option to disable a useless unnecessary annoying and LOUD startup sound on this stupid computer. Wow…

  • Grads

    it worked for a week and stopped any idea why?

  • Larry Wishon

    The terminal method work for me on late 2009 iMac running 10.9.5

  • disqus_ABsKHKPNhQ

    Why sudo nvram SystemAudioVolume=”%80″ and not 00?


Chris Hauk

MacTrast Senior Editor, and self-described "magnificent bastard," Chris Hauk owns Phoenix Rising Services and writes for everyone's favorite "bad movie" website, Big Bad Drive-In.

His first Apple product was an iPod Classic 9 years ago, and he has since added a MacBook Pro, a number of iPads, iPhones, and multiple Apple TVs to his collection.

He lives somewhere in the deep Southern part of America. Yes, he has to pump in both sunshine and the Internet.