The New macOS Big Sur System Alert Sounds and How To Keep the Old Sounds

There is a complete new set of alert sounds to choose from in System Preferences once you update to macOS Big Sur. These new sounds were created using the old ones. Also, learn how to save the old sounds now, so you can use them again in Big Sur.

Comments: 7 Responses to “The New macOS Big Sur System Alert Sounds and How To Keep the Old Sounds”

    Randy Gerdes
    7 months ago

    I am trying to turn off the new mail sound (Mezzo) in Big Sur 11.2.3. So far, I have turned it off in Notifications in the System preferences (and restarted my Mac mini M1) and turned it off in Mail Preferences (and restarted the Mac mini M1). No luck with either method. When I choose to turn it on and select a tone, it still chimes the Mezzo tone anyway. Any ideas? My next move is to delete the Mezzo sound and see what happens. Thanks.

    7 months ago

    Randy: You can’t really delete the Mezzo sound (at least not without turning off System Integrity Protection). Try redoing what you did before. The change in Mail Preferences should be the one that does it. If not, you’ll need to call Apple about it. Or just keep using it — is it really that important to spend a lot of effort on it?

    Randy Gerdes
    7 months ago

    I have some new info Gary. I have a MacBook Pro with same version of Big Sur and it does not have this problem. Only the M1 Mini. And, I found the place to turn off all sounds in the Preferences Sound panel and that seems to stop it. I appreciate your quick reply, and your videos are well done and very valuable to me. Thanks, Gary.

    Chris
    7 months ago

    Randy- I’m in the same boat. Sound is off for new mail and mezzo plays every time. I’m a teacher and the laptop dings every time I get a message during class and I have to use sound for google meet. My only option is to close the mail app. Have you figured this out yet? If so, please share!

    Terry Smelker
    4 months ago

    Gary, thank you for posting this info about changing the MacOS Alert sounds! What about the system sounds- Move to/Empty Trash, Move file/mount volume, etc? I know that I can’t physically change the new Big Sur system sounds by copy/paste because of the new security protocols, but is there a way to add them in my User folder and then change settings thru Terminal? Or perhaps an applet that lets the user override the default system sounds without altering the actual Big Sur sounds themselves?

    4 months ago

    Terry: No, there’s no way to change those sounds without altering macOS.

    Terry Smelker
    4 months ago

    I think someone needs to design an applet that allows substitutions for system sounds without actually altering MacOS. I miss my old system sounds!

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