KEY POINTS

  • Apple removed the iconic Mac startup chime in 2016
  • A new update to macOS Catalina seems to have restored the chime audio to the operating system
  • The chime can now be used via a sudo code entered in the Terminal

Apple fans will again be able to hear the iconic chime that plays every time the Mac is turned on, a report says.

Longtime Apple fans will no doubt know about the iconic sound that the Mac or MacBook makes whenever it is turned on. This chime became so associated with Cupertino's device that when Apple decided to remove it a few years back, fans thought of it as a loss.

The feature, removed in 2016, has now returned thanks to an update to macOS Catalina, Apple Insider reported. The update has restored the sound to the operating system, but users who want to hear it play will have to “unmute” it so that it will play when the device is turned on.

Here's how to unmute the Mac startup chime:

  • First, users must open the Applications folder.
  • Second, users should open the Utilities folder.
  • Third, after opening that, users should launch the Terminal app.
  • Fourth, once the app is running, users must enter “sudo nvram StartupMute=%00” (minus the quotation marks) and press Return.

Users should be able to hear the startup chime whenever their Macs are activated after this.

The muted chime and the sudo code were first discovered and shared online by a Twitter user who described himself as a “student developer and owner/CEO of @SunApps_.”

It's worth noting that as of writing time, this process wasn't able to work on all Mac models. Apple Insider said it tested the sudo command on a variety of Macs and MacBooks, but it didn't work on all of them. Here's a list of the devices that it worked on and didn't work on as per Apple Insider and some netizens who tried it:

Worked

Didn't work

  • 2018 Mac mini with 10-gig Ethernet (per Apple Insider)
  • 2016 i7 15-inch MacBook Pro (per Apple Insider)
  • 2016 MacBook Pro (unspecified specs)
  • 2019 MacBook Pro (unspecified specs)

Those who activated the chime but don't want it can turn it off by launching Terminal then entering “sudo nvram StartupMute=%01” (minus the quotation marks), and hitting Return.

MacBook Pro The MacOS Catalina 10.15.3 update is compatible with all MacBook Pro models released from mid-2012 onwards. Photo: Wikimedia Commons