How Can You Make Your Mac Sound Work?

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If your Mac doesn’t reproduce sound, don’t hurry to take it to the service. In this article, you’ll find useful advice on how to fix your Mac sound yourself at home.

If your Mac doesn’t reproduce sound, try to fix the problem yourself before calling your IT specialist or taking the device to a service center. Multiple reasons might be responsible for the loss of volume, and in some cases, you don’t need profound technical knowledge or outstanding skills to repair it. Below, you’ll find a list of widespread troubles with Mac sound and accessible solutions to them.

Turn Up the Volume

No matter how primitive, this is quite a common cause of the trouble. You might have muted the sound unintentionally, or maybe someone else did it when borrowing your computer. To turn it up once again, push F12. To fine-tune it with greater precision, push F11 or F12 while holding down Shift+Option: like this, the volume changes in fractions of the steps it normally makes.

Inspect the Settings of Each Application

Is it just one app that has trouble with sound? Please launch audio files in different multimedia players and browsers. If some apps play the tune with sound while others fail to, the difference lies in their settings. Proceed to the settings of each app separately and switch on the volume.

Select if you would like to enable or disable the Autoplay function in your browser. When it’s enabled, the browser automatically starts to play all the videos with sound, which might be annoying. To disable this irritating option, modify the settings of your browser accordingly.

Certain applications might impose their own audio output drivers on your system and they will conflict with the ones that were installed by default. This happens most often with screen recording programs. To inspect the drivers, proceed to System Preferences, and open the Output tab in the Sound section. If you notice an output option that resembles a software application and is enabled, this might be the cause of the trouble. To repair it, erase the application.

Mind it that it’s not enough to simply pull the icon of the application to the trash bin. Erase the application fully, with all its files. To do this properly, you’d better use a specialized uninstaller program.

Check the Ports

Maybe you plugged the headphones or another device to the port and forgot about it. If yes, please unplug the device. Another possible fault with the ports is that they might be blocked with dust or foreign substances. On such occasions, look for cleaning video instructions online. If you push a needle or a pencil inside a port to clean it this might aggravate the problem.

If you bought the computer earlier than 2015, it might fail to detect that the headphones are already disconnected. Older models switched off the volume when you plugged in a device through their headphones port. Once you unplugged the device, the in-built sensor inside the port detected it and turned on the volume. Unfortunately, sometimes the sensor failed, and the volume remained turned off even when the port remained empty. In these instances, try to plug in the headphones through the port, keep it inside for 60 seconds, and then unplug it once again.

Check Bluetooth Settings

Before connecting a device to the computer via Bluetooth to play music, verify in the settings whether the connection is established. Proceed to the Bluetooth section in the System Preferences, enable Bluetooth, and ensure that the device you are trying to connect is displayed there.

The second feasible variant is that the device might be not connected to the computer. In such cases, please pair it once again and press the Connect button.

Update The Operating System

The older the operating system, the more bugs it generates. If you are not sure which version is currently running on your computer, visit the About This Mac section in the Apple menu. Afterwards, perform this procedure:

  1. At the top of the opened window, find the name and the number of the operating system.
  2. Google which version is currently considered the freshest.
  3. If it’s different from the one that you have, proceed to the AppStore and download the newest one.

In case you prefer to keep the old operating system, at least upgrade it to the latest available version. In the About This Mac section, push Software Update, check if any updates are available, and install them.

Attention! When upgrading the macOS without a backup, you might lose important files and programs. To avoid this, create a backup of the system with TimeMachine or another similar tool before you start upgrading.

Enhance Your Mac’s Productivity

A shortage of free disk space might cause trouble with sound as well. To free some memory, erase junk files and optimize your device’s performance with specialized software. If you do it manually, it will take too much time and you might accidentally delete some files that are crucial to the system. To get to know why automated cleaning is safer and more efficient than manual, read review here.

Restart Your Device

In the process of work, the computer might slightly change its settings, especially if you installed new apps. Restart it as usual and see what happens. Only if this method plus the above-mentioned means fail, proceed to the subsequent variant.

Restart the Sound Controller

This is quite a radical solution, but don’t worry, you’ll cope with it. Launch Activity Monitor in the Utilities tab of the Applications section. Type “coreaudiod” in the search bar and click on the result of the search. Press the “X” icon in the toolbar, and the restart will launch automatically. This method also comes in handy when the device reproduces sound but it’s crackling or distorted in some other way.


Users can often fix problems with Mac sound without professional help. If the computer fails to reproduce sound, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is broken and you’ll have to invest money in repairing it. Feel free to resort to the above-mentioned advice to keep the computer in working condition, play music, and enjoy voice chats as often as you want.

About the Author:

Naomi Stone (@Naomi99Stone) is a cybersecurity enthusiast and Mac aficionado. She’s passionate about covering topics like Mac cybersecurity, Mac tips & hacks, Mac’s how-to guides. She is a contributor to Cyber Experts and Cybers Guards.

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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