Apple axes iconic Mac startup chime from new MacBook Pros

“The new MacBook Pros lack the iconic Mac chime when booting up,” Benjamin Mayo reports for 9to5Mac. “This is the distinctive noise heard at startup when the Mac passes the initial POST checks; Apple has used the same F-sharp chord sound in its computers since 1998.”

“The new MacBooks end this tradition as the chime has been removed completely and the machines will make no noise at all on boot, unless there is a fault,” Mayo reports. “However, there seems to be a good reason for this change.”

“The late-2016 laptops actually turn themselves on when you open the lid. Current MacBooks wake when the lid is opened if they are sleeping but the new machines go one step further. If they are fully switched off, opening the laptop will automatically turn them on, removing the need to press the power button,” Mayo reports. “This new feature rationalizes the decision to remove the startup chime, as it means the MacBooks turn on automatically and silently. It would be annoying to open the lid in a meeting to have it make the noise of its own accord.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The end of an era, but also the beginning of a new one. It’ll be nice to not disturb people with the startup chime. Thanks to SSDs, Macs start up so quickly now, you’ll forget if you Shut Down your Mac or just put it to sleep last time.


    1. I can’t remember when was the last time I saw a Mac power up without hearing that startup chime. My own office Mac, as well as all office Macs around me, chime on startup. In all fairness, one rarely (if ever) hears this sound, as hardly anyone ever reboots their Macs. Still, whenever an update required you to reboot, the chime was there and I don’t think anyone ever bothered to figure out how to disable it (I certainly did not).

      So, what they accomplished is removal of the startup chime that virtually all Macs have made on power up.

        1. I’m not sure shutting down the Mac to save energy/power is really worth it. According to various sources, average draw of a sleeping Mac (MBP or iMac) is around 1W. However, if you power it down, but leave it plugged in, the draw is 0.2W (200mW). The difference is 0.8W. If your computer is asleep for 16 hours, that makes it around 1.3Wh of power consumption. This number is further reduced by the power usage spike caused by the cold boot . Some measurements put this spike at 30W for almost a minute (sound’s a bit much to me, but still). So, even if it is still 1.3Wh per day, that still makes it less than 1kWh per year of saved energy (per Mac). We can argue that even that amount of energy saved is worth saving, but that adds extra minute or so of additional wear on the hard drives every time they have to spin hard in order to load the OS for cold boot. In a year, that 1kWh translates to extra 6 hours of hard disk spinning.

  1. Picked up the base 13″ yesterday just to play around with it while I await the 15″ to arrive. It is very weird to have no startup chime, but even this base model boots so damned fast the chime is almost as long as the boot. After setup, from when you open the lid it’s less than 10 seconds, actually about 7. Crazy fast. Amazingly even with 8GB of ram in this it doesn’t seem to use nearly as much as my 2012 15″, memory clean says the system uses 1.96 and even with 6 apps open and a bunch of tabs in safari, it’s consuming 4.29. I don’t know if they’ve done some memory optimization similar to iOS or what but this system is much more efficient and I can see now why 16GB as a limit might not be a big deal. For comparison, my 2012 15″ with 16GB consumes 2.67 to run and when running the same exact applications and tabs 6.14. Kind of surprising, maybe since the storage is so fast in this new one they have increased the swap file and the speed makes it not noticeable. So far color me impressed, can’t wait for the 15″ to come in.

    1. As an addendum, if you’re testing with black magic disk test it will peg the needle at 2000MBps for read speed, black magic has an upper limit of ~2500 MBps, and this is way above that. Write speeds are 1500MBps on this model. Stupidly fast.

      1. SSDs are fantastic. I’m am writing this on a 4yr old rMBP (1st gen). This machine is still fast and still looks great. I put its longevity down to the SSD and superb build.
        I want to get a new 15″ MBP but it is really hard to justify given that this puppy is still going strong.

  2. And not to mention the glowing Apple logo going away. It was kind ‘a cool in the early days, but is no longer necessary. It was weird being in a lecture hall and look up to see hundreds of glowing apples in the audience. Cool, but a little too much in these days of Mac dominance…

    1. Kinda glad the glowing Mac is gone. At night it’s distracting. Although customizing it was kind of cool. Probably why Ive was happy to let it go. Didn’t like anyone putting colored stickers on his baby.

    2. The glowing Apple logo was cool for its time, but it has served its purpose. Plus, I no longer see it on my screen when there is a strong light source shining through it, such as through an airplane window.

    1. Dumb indeed!

      Just another example of CLUELESS COOK removing and dumbing down Apple features that harm no one.

      He needs to move on …

      Apple owner since my Lisa. 😡

  3. I hope this vestige of the 20th century is on its way out for all Macs. I can’t remember how many times I’ve turned on a Mac late at night and had a booming chime try to wake up someone. I have to remember to turn sound down every time I shut down.
    If someone knows how to disable the chime, please share.

  4. Very Bad Idea. The Mac startup sound is its calling card.

    Provide a method of turning the start chime OFF by all means! But don’t make it the default! It’s like changing the computer’s name to ‘Crab’! I want a Macintosh!

  5. New MacBook Pro can bring back the Mac startup chime with a simple Terminal command. To re-enable the boot tone, open Terminal from your /Applications/Utilities folder and execute the following command in macOS by pasting the line below into the Terminal window, then press Enter:

    sudo nvram BootAudio=%01

    You may be asked to enter your administrative password.

    If you prefer silent boot mode, execute the following command to kill the startup chime:

    sudo nvram BootAudio=%00

    The Mac startup chime as we know it made its debut on the 1993 iMac G3, but different versions of it have been present on Macs since the Macintosh II. If you want to disable the startup chime permanently on older Macs, check out this tutorial from Anthony.

    1. “The Mac startup chime as we know it made its debut on the , but different versions of it have been present on Macs since the Macintosh II.”

      1993 iMac G3? I could be wrong, but I thought iMacs debuted in 1997 or later when Steve returned from the wilderness.

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