How to Fix Mac Sound Issue (Step by Step Guide)
Fix mac sound not working issue


Reason for audio or sound not working on your Mac can be an outcome of multiple system issues. We highly recommend keeping your Mac updated and secure against any risksโ€”check it against any virus and/or malware attacks, and clean it periodically.

Now letโ€™s get started.

The problem of sound or audio malfunction on your Mac doesnโ€™t necessarily mean that itโ€™s broken down. There are a few steps we can take right away before starting to panic and call for Apple support.

In this article we will outline the steps you can to take to fix sound issues on a Mac device.

The common audio issues reported include:

  • The Mac sound is distorted or unclear.
  • The volume/sound settings or keys are not working.
  • The volume/sound settings are displayed inactive or grayed out.
  • The Mac is completely mute and Internal or External speakers are not working.

The troubleshooting steps mentioned below are not listed in any order and you may start with the first step, and then move to the next one if the first step doesnโ€™t help.

Before doing any of the troubleshooting exercises, simply try restarting your Mac. Restarting fixes the problem in majority of the cases. Restart your Mac by choosing Restart from the Apple menu.

Step 1: Check your hardware and other audio connections

Letโ€™s start with simple connectivity and device plug-in issues and make sure that all the essential components are connected and working.

  • Make sure that, speakers or headphones are connected properly.
  • You can unplug all the peripheral devices from your Mac and connect them once again.
  • If you are facing problems with wireless devices like Bluetooth speakers or headphones, simple disconnect the devices and connect them back again.
  • A faulty cable can also be a source of sound issues for you. You can use a different cable to connect wired audio devices to rule out any cable issues.

Step 2: Check the sound settings

You might have changed the system sound settings accidently or a software installation can also tamper with sound settings. Fix your Mac Book sound setting with the following recommended steps.

  1. Go to Apple Menu โ†’ System Preferences โ†’ Sound โ†’ Output
  2. โ€œInternal Speakersโ€ is the default option for sound output. If youโ€™re currently using any other audio device, make sure you switch to Internal Speakers. Adjust the output volume to ensure that speakers are audible.
  3. Additionally you might want to check if the Mute box for output speakers is not ticked. Uncheck Mute box if itโ€™s selected.
  4. If Internal Speakers option is not visible, try restarting and resetting NVRAM. If restarting doesnโ€™t resolve the issue you should contact an Apple Support for further assistance.

Step 3: Reset PRAM/NVRAM

NVRAM is also called โ€œnon-volatile random-access memoryโ€ or โ€œparameter random-access memoryโ€ (PRAM). A lot of important baseline settings like time zones, language, and System Sound setting information is stored in NVRAM. Resetting PRAM or NVRAM can help you to resolve sound problems. Follow the below mentioned steps

  1. Shut down your Mac and disconnect any USB devices.
  2. Turn it back on. When the grey screen appears, press and hold Command + Option + P + R for 20 seconds.
  3. Mac reboots back up and now you can reset any local settings but most importantly reset the sound settings and it should work fine now.

Step 4: Sound Controller

You may try to reset the SMC (System Management Controller) if resetting NVRAM/PRAM does not resolve the audio problem.

SMC on Mac is the core component for audio functions. If the sound controller is not working properly, you might have no volume on the Mac Book. To fix it, you need to restart SMC:

  1. Open Mac Finder and navigate to Applications -> Utilities ->Start Activity Monitor.
  2. Once the Activity Monitor is launched -> Locate for โ€œCoreAudioโ€ in the process list.
  3. Select it and click โ€œXโ€ next to it to close or kill the process.
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