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Why Is the Sound Not Working on My Mac?

Why Is the Sound Not Working on My Mac

Table of Contents

What would you do if the sound on your Mac suddenly stops working? First of all, don’t panic. There are several reasons why this happens and the solutions are fairly easy. Before you dive into all the possible issues and fixes, you have to check a few things first:

  1. Volume Check

Believe it or not, sometimes the issue just lies in the volume of your speakers. It’s possible that you may have muted it some time ago and forgot to unmute it. Hence, no matter how simple this seems, check the volume on your Mac first. Turn up the volume by tapping on the F12 or Volume Up key on your keyboard. While you tap this, the volume of the sound should go up. If the sound is still not working on your Mac, then you know that the sound problem lies elsewhere.

  1. App Issues

It’s also possible that the sound is only not working for a specific app and not on your Mac as a whole. To check this, open different sources of sound or play some music on your iTunes. You can also try watching a movie and check if there’s a sound coming out of your speakers. If you’re playing from a video in Safari, check to see if the audio is muted. Should an app be the issue, try closing the app and opening it again.

  1. Hardware Problems

Another cause for the sound not working on your Mac is hardware. There’s a chance that your speakers might not be working properly. Check to see if there’s anything plugged into the headphone jack on your Mac. Unplug the cord if there is and blow into the hole to clear some dust. If you see a red light on the headphone port, this indicates that there might be a problem with the port.

  1. macOS Update

After checking the first three possible causes and the sound still doesn’t work, it might be time to check your macOS. Outdated macOS can cause some features on your Mac to malfunction or stop working. The best thing to do is to update your Mac to the latest macOS.

The first step is to check the version of macOS that your Mac is currently running on. Go to the Apple menu, which is represented by the Apple logo located on the upper left corner of your screen. Select “About this Mac” and it will show you the version of macOS installed on your Mac. The latest version is macOS 10.15 Catalina.

You can also opt not to install the latest macOS version. However, if you want to go down this path, you should at least get the latest update of the current version you’re using. In the window showing your current macOS version select “Software Update.” If there’s an update available for this version, this window will show you your options. Just make sure that all your data are backed up before doing any updates on your Mac.

Checking Your Sound Settings

Okay, so your Mac is already running on the latest version of macOS, but the sound is still not working! What to do? Check your Sound settings. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to the Apple menu and select “System Preferences.”
  2. From all the options provided, select “Sound.”
  3. Click on the “Output” tab and select “Internal Speakers.” If you can’t see this option, there might be something wrong with your Mac. Go ahead and contact Apple Support to raise this issue.
  4. Once you choose “Internal Speakers,” go to the volume slider and check the volume. If it’s set on low, slide the slider to the right to turn up the volume. Play a sound and listen if it works.
  5. You should also check the Mute box and ensure that it’s unchecked.

It’s also possible that you’ll see a USB device selected instead of Internal Sound. If that’s the case, unplug all USB connections from your Mac and try doing the steps above again.

Rebooting Your Sound Controller

After checking your Sound settings and unplugging all USB devices, your sound should already work. If it still doesn’t, you might have to restart the sound controller. You’ll have to launch Activity Monitor and these are the steps on how to do it:

  1. Go to Applications and select the Utilities folder. Open the Activity Monitor by double-clicking it.
  2. Once the Activity Monitor window opens, go to the search bar located on the upper right corner. Type in “coreaudiod” to search for the Core Audio controller.
  3. Simply click on “coreaudiod” then close the window. This would prompt the “coreaudiod” to reboot.

 As you can see, there are several causes that would make the sound on your Mac stop working. The issues and fixes mentioned above should work and solve your problem. However, if the sound on your Mac still doesn’t work after all of this, you might have to consider calling in the big guns and contact Apple Support.

Picture of Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a stalwart in the tech journalism community, has been chronicling the ever-evolving world of Apple products and innovations for over a decade. As a Senior Author at Apple Gazette, Kokou combines a deep passion for technology with an innate ability to translate complex tech jargon into relatable insights for everyday users.

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