RIP Mac startup chime

“In case you missed it: The venerable Mac startup chime died of unknown causes at age 32 in Cupertino,” Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus writes for Apple World Today.

“I was reminded of this while testing Darth iMac, the space-gray-and-black iMac Pro I borrowed from Apple for an upcoming review,” LeVitus writes. “Darth iMac was the first chimeless Mac I’ve used. And, I immediately noticed that I missed the chime.”

“Anyway, when I heard about the chime’s untimely demise,” LeVitus writes, “I put together this little memorial video of famous (and infamous) startup chimes through the years, along with some chimes of death and doom.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Those who, like us, miss the startup chime, can bring back the Mac startup chime via the Terminal command.

To re-enable the startup chime, launch Terminal and execute the following command (paste 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 a chimeless Mac, execute the following command:

sudo nvram BootAudio=%00

Apple axes iconic Mac startup chime from new MacBook Pros – October 31, 2016


    1. It has/had many more uses than that. Once upon a time the startup sound had many different sounds. The notes in the full cord could be played in specific order to denote specific errors noted during the power on self test (POST) of the Mac. Have a bad RAM DIMM? It used to tell you on power on with a specific series of notes.

      It’s all about the current theme of making Mac interfaces so simple that they are effectively toasters (and not even toaster ovens at that). Too bad that in the process of making the Mac so simple — in the extreme — they are eliminating so many useful interface elements.

  1. I entered the sudo line and hit enter. The next line appears to ask for my ad password. When I type it following the little “key” icon, nothing appears on the screen. Has it accepted my password? Do I hit enter again? Any help will be appreciated.

  2. I worked on a TV show edited using Avid software. Close to delivery to the network, come in, power up and car crash sfx! Machine dead. I had to laugh before I cried.

  3. Q: Would it have been hard for Apple to create a simple checkbox ON or OFF for the Startup Chime in System Preferences: General?

    A: No. Highly silly of them, in keeping with their recent bad attitude toward Macs.

    As for Startup Chime nostalgia, all of them are available in the essential Mactracker application by Ian Page.

    1. Mactracker – the app I’m virtually guaranteed to use at least twice during every workday. It’s an essential.

      I do wish Apple would bring back model numbers. Like Power Macintosh 8600 – you knew exactly what you were talking about. No early/mid/late year necessary. And with the Performas, the numbers got even more specific, you almost knew the exact configuration just from the model number printed on the front of the machine.

      1. Total agreement. Is my MacBook Pro an 11,2 or an 11,3? Only my System Report knows for sure. It’s a matter of Geekiness surplanting User Friendliness, a very old story that I never enjoy. I wish we could get past it.

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