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Get Your Mac Startup Chime Back!

PC users simply don’t know the reassuring feelings that an Apple user gets when they hit their Mac power button and hear that melodic Startup Chime. 

Mac Start Up Chime

2017 Robbed Us Of The Mac Startup Chime

For some reason, the big wigs at Apple decided to put a nail in the that Startup Chime. I have no idea why, and as an Apple tech of 25 years, it immediately gets my heckles up when I don’t hear that Chime! No chime, somethings wrong! 


It ruins my day when I don’t hear that chime.

BUT, don’t despair, that reassuring sound can in fact be brought back! All you need to do is use the Mac command line utility Terminal, to turn it back on! Under your Applications folder is another folder titled Utilities. Open that and look for “terminal”, launch it!

Now, you’ll see the command line, just type in, 

sudo nvram StartupMute=%00

Press return. 

startup chime window


Rich History Of The Start Up Chime

It was discovered after the late 2016 Macs were released, you could do a similar command to get the chime back, but that quickly disappeared. Since the release of Mojave, this option appears to be back! We’re hoping Apple will keep this option, and even better, make it default once again.. and we could use an update to that sound as well. 

The sound has a rich history in fact, before 1998 that changed it up depending on the model or processor. The systems also featured unique crash sounds if there was a problem detected, these became know as the ominous Chimes Of Death. The sound is also embedded in our entertainment culture, watch Wall-E again when he finishes charging up:-) 

Chimes were used congruently with the start up icon, which would be a Happy Mac, or a Sad Mac if there were issues. The first few iPods also featured a Sad iPod face if there were problems! 

startup chime happy mac

My favourite personal start up tone was from the Performa 6400 Series, it had a built in subwoofer that Apple took advantage of, it produced a super deep base BOOM at Startup! And the Chimes Of Death for the PowerMac 7100, 8100 are hilarious! Have a listen to the various tones in the video below, and if you need assistance enabling your startup chime, contact us!


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Ryszard (Rick) Gold, From Calgary, Alberta, Canada has over 20 years of experience working with Apple products in a technical capacity. Passionate about technology in general, his natural troubleshooting abilities, curiosity and appreciation of good design lead him into working exclusively with Apple Computer products.
Ryszard Gold
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