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Bring back your Mac's startup chime in two easy steps

There's so much nostalgia that comes when you hear your MacBook's startup chime.

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Your Mac's startup chime isn't really gone. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Ready to feel nostalgic? If you've bought a new MacBook ($794 at Amazon) in the last few years, you may have noticed how quietly it turns on. It's not because of some fancy new fans or hardware inside -- rather, Apple did away with the classic Mac startup chime in late 2016

But if you're missing the chime, there's an easy way to turn it back on. 

Last week, Twitter user @Chaysegr posted a short video showing his MacBook Pro ($823 at Back Market) playing the startup chime as it turned on. 

Inspired by the post, Mr. Macintosh discovered turning on the startup sound is just a quick change in the system settings. 


Spotlight is one of the Mac's most underrated tools. 

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

To bring the chime back to your Mac, open the Terminal app on your computer. Start up the Mac's Spotlight feature by pressing Command and the Space Bar at the same time. Type "Terminal," and then when the app is highlighted, press Return.


Enter the command into Terminal and type your password. 

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Once Terminal loads, type or paste in the following command: 

sudo nvram StartupMute=%00

Press Return when it's entered.

You'll then be asked to enter your user password (it's the same password you use to log into your Mac). You won't see anything while you type. That's by design. Press Return after entering your password. 

Now reboot your Mac and listen. Fun, right? 


The Mac startup chime will forever by nostalgic. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

If you decide later that you no longer want the chime, open Terminal and enter the following command to turn it off:

sudo nvram StartupMute=%01

The next time you power up your Mac, the sound will be gone.

If your Mac is running slower than it used you, we have some troubleshooting tips that can help speed it up. We also have some tips for doing things like turning your folders into emoji. If you're still trying to get used to MacOS Catalina, we have some tips to help you there, too