How to Turn On the Startup Chime on Your New Mac

Apple Mac turns off the chime symbols

Since 1984, Apple computers were playing endearing sound when turned on. This tone has become a cultural calling card for the platform, but with the rise of autostart Macs in 2016, Apple decided to remove this feature. If you miss the chime, there is a way to reactivate it. Here’s how.

How does the changed setting work?

To activate the chime, we need to change a setting in NVRAM on your Mac (short for Non-Volatile Random Access Memory) using a terminal command. It’s not as scary as it sounds, but here is some information about what’s going on.

In a Mac, NVRAM is a small amount of memory that stores computer-wide settings. It remembers these parameters without power, so they are accessible at startup and available between system restarts.

With the commands below, we change a setting in NVRAM called “StartupMute” that tells the computer whether or not to emit the chime on startup. the “Sudo” command is necessary because ‘nvram’ is a powerful command that requires superuser permissions use.

If you want to know more about NVRAM – what it is and what it does –check out this practical Geek guide. In addition, Apple has more information on start tones and their meaning on its website.

How to activate Mac boot chime

First, launch Spotlight Search by pressing Command + Space on your keyboard. You will see a large search bar appear in the middle of your screen.

Apple Spotlight search bar

Type terminal, then press the Return key.

Launch of Terminal.app via Spotlight

This will launch the Application Terminal. With its default settings, Terminal appears as a window with a black background.

In the Terminal window, type sudo nvram StartupMute =% 00 then press the Back button.

Mac OS X terminal window - Activate boot chime

It will ask you for your password. Type your password and press Return again.

Now restart your Mac and see if it works. The chime should be there.

How to Disable Mac Boot Chime

If you’re tired of hearing your chime and want to turn it off again, here’s how.

Launch Spotlight Search by pressing Command + Space on the keyboard. You will see a large search bar appear in the middle of your screen.

Apple Spotlight search bar

Type terminal and press Return.

Launch of Terminal.app via Spotlight

This will launch the Terminal application. With its default settings, Terminal appears as a window with a black background.

In the Terminal window, type sudo nvram StartupMute =% 01 and press the Return key.

Mac OS X terminal window - Disable startup chime

If it asks for your password, enter it and press Return.

Now restart your Mac and see if it works. The chime should be turned off.

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