Here’s how to turn on the startup signal on your new Mac

Since 1984, Apple computers have been making an endearing sound when they are switched on. That tone became a cultural calling card for the platform, but with the advent of auto-booting Macs in 2016, Apple decided to remove this feature. If you miss the gong, there is a way to turn it on again. Here is how.

How does the changed setting work?

To turn the gong on, we need to change a setting in your Mac’s NVRAM (short for Non-Volatile Random Access Memory) with a terminal command. It’s not as scary as it sounds, but here’s some background on what’s going on.

On a Mac, NVRAM is a small amount of memory that stores computer-wide settings. It remembers these settings with no power so they are accessible at startup and available between system restarts.

With the following commands we change a setting in NVRAM called “StartupMute”, which tells the computer whether or not it should emit the gong when it starts. The ‘sudo’Command is necessary because’ nvram ‘is a powerful command that requires superuser permissions to use.

If you’re interested in more information about NVRAM – what it is and what it does – check out this handy guide for geek. Also, Apple has More information about start tones and what they mean on his website.

How to enable the Mac startup chime

First, start the Spotlight search by pressing Command + Space on your keyboard. A large search bar will appear in the middle of your screen.

Type terminal and then press the return key.

Start Terminal.app via Spotlight


This will start the terminal app. In the standard settings, Terminal appears as a window with a black background.

In the terminal window, enter sudo nvram StartupMute=%00and then press the return key.

Mac OS X Terminal Window - Activate the startup signal

It will ask for your password. Enter your password and hit Enter again.

Now restart your Mac and see if it works. The bell should be there.

How to turn off the Mac startup chime

If you’re tired of hearing your startup tone and want to turn it off again, here’s how.


Start the Spotlight search by pressing Command + Space on your keyboard. You will see a large search bar in the middle of your screen.

Apple Spotlight search bar

Type terminal and press Back.

Start Terminal.app via Spotlight

This will start the terminal app. In the standard settings, Terminal appears as a window with a black background.

In the terminal window, enter sudo nvram StartupMute=%01and press the return key.

Mac OS X Terminal Window - Disable the startup signal

When asked for your password, type it in and hit enter.

Now restart your Mac and see if it works. The bell should be switched off.

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