macOS 11 Big Sur resurrects the Mac startup chime

With macOS 11 Big Sur, Apple is resurrecting the Mac startup chime as well as bringing back the Mac’s battery time remaining estimates.

macOS Big Sur delivers a spacious new design that makes navigation easier, while putting more controls at users’ fingertips.
macOS Big Sur delivers a spacious new design that makes navigation easier, while putting more controls at users’ fingertips.

Chance Miller for 9to5Mac:

With the introduction of the 2016 MacBook Pro, Apple dropped the iconic Mac startup chime when booting up. This meant that your Mac would boot up silently, which was a small change at the time but one that marked the end of a long-running tradition.

MacDailyNews Take: Of course, we and many other Mac users restored our chimes. If you want, you can, too, simply by launching Terminal and pasting in:

sudo nvram StartupMute=%00

Hit return (and enter your password, if required) and your Mac will properly chime on startup as it should.

Again dating back to the introduction of the 2016 MacBook Pro introduction, Apple removed the “time remaining” battery life estimates. This decision came after a growing number of complaints about the battery life performance of the newest MacBook Pro models… With macOS 11 Big Sur, however, Apple seems to have figured out how to accurately display “time remaining” battery life estimates. From the menu bar, you can now click on the battery icon and see an estimate on how long your MacBook has left on its current charge.

MacDailyNews Take: Two very welcome restorations!


  1. I have never cared for the tri chime. It is startling and has always reminded me of death. (Don’t know why.). Thank you MDN for helping me understand what was a subtle “bother” regarding the presentation. Didn’t register until I saw your article.

    The return of the chime is great news for people who like the chime. Hopefully using Terminal will allow a person to turn off the chime – or some third party utility app – Onyx?

    I have been using a Mac for 16 years now. (Not exclusively I have a nice windows gaming computer.) Like the Lord, I will never understand why Apple giveth and Apple taketh away. Then giveth and taketh again.

    1. Once upon a time the chime actually meant something. It actually gave you an indication of what happened during the Power On Self Test (POST). If everything went well the separate tones played at the same time giving the chime old timers have recognized for decades. If things went awry in POST the tones played in a specific order, e.g., if there was a RAM issue it had a specific order to signify that.

      I don’t know if restoring the startup chime still has any connection to POS.T (I’ll have to do some digging to see.) However, if you know the background and purpose of that startup chime it will never remind you of death. It was (and should be) a true indication of a healthy Mac.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.