Muting the Mac’s startup sound

Christopher Breen
2 October, 2008
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If you’re the early riser in my family, you may find the volume of your new iMac’s chime is very loud. For the sake of family harmony, here’s how you can reduce the volume.

One way is with a little forethought. On a newish Mac just press the Mute key on the keyboard before you shut down the Mac. When you next boot the Mac, you’ll hear nothing more than the Mac’s fans and hard drive.

If you’ve neglected to take this step and face a Mac that will bong with the best of ‘em on startup, you can mute it by slipping a miniplug (found on a set of iPod headphones, for example) into the sound output port.

Finally, if you’re forgetful both on the back and front end, you can use this AppleScript, courtesy of Mac Developer Tips, to shut down your Mac and, in the process, turn off its volume so you hear no startup sound when it boots.

tell application "Finder"	display dialog "What would you like to do?" buttons {"Shutdown", "Restart", "Cancel"} default button "Shutdown" with icon caution	if button returned of result is "Shutdown" then	set volume 0	shut down	else if button returned of result is "Restart" then	set volume 0	restart	end ifend tell

Save the script as an application, make it Run Only, and use it to shut down or restart your Mac rather than the standard Shut Down and Restart commands under the Apple menu.

If you’d like to also automate returning your Mac’s volume to audible levels, create yet another AppleScript, save it as a Run Only Application, and make it a Login Item in your user account. That script simply reads:

set volume 5

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