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Why do I only have volume via external output?

Gary, I suddenly have no sound coming from the speakers on my MacBook. The speaker icon appears in the menu bar, but it is grayed out. I can click on it, and a grayed out volume slider appears at maximum volume, but I cannot adjust it. Here’s the weirdest part. If I plug in headphones or an external speaker, everything works. Nothing is grayed out, and I can hear the audio via whatever output method I’ve plugged in. But the second I unplug from the audio output jack on the side of my MacBook, it’s all gone again, back to the grayed-out icon and no volume. Any ideas?

Comments: 3 Responses to “Why do I only have volume via external output?”

    10 years ago

    You could need to take it in to a shop. But first, check a few things:
    Try cleaning out the earphone jack. Might be some dust in there making it think something is plugged in.
    Second, go to System Preferences, Sound. Then check and experiment with the Output settings. Maybe you have some other valid output besides your speakers that is there.

      10 years ago

      Checked Sound System Preferences. Only one listed. Name: Digital Out, Type: Headphone Port. I also just noticed in the darkness of the early morning that there is a bright red light inside the headphone port. It was solid when I first unplugged from it. Now it is flashing. Perhaps some sort of malfunction indicator?

        10 years ago

        Ah. That red light is optical audio (the red light is actually it “working”). So it thinks you have something plugged in to that port and are using optical audio out (the port is both a standard headphone jack and optical audio).

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