Turning On Or Off the MacBook Power Chime

On many recent MacBook models you will get an audible chime when you plug the machine into power. But if you have one of the models where this is not on by default, you can use a Terminal command to turn it on. If you'd rather not hear this sound when you plug in your MacBook, you can also disable it.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Turning On Or Off the MacBook Power Chime.

From time to time I poke around in the Mac OS system to see if I can find some useful things. On one occasion recently I did. So looking at the top level of my Macintosh hard drive I went into System and then into the Library folder. Then I know one of the places you can sometimes find useful little bits is in Core Services. You can find all sorts of little things that you can kind of launch, that you're supposed to launch in other ways, and you play around with it. Sometimes you do searches on things that you find and come up with useful techniques.

I found this file called PowerChime. It's an app. It didn't seem to do anything. So I searched around and I found out what it is. Let me show you a video. So you can see here, this is my MacBook Pro, and I plug in the power adapter, and, I get a little sound. Now some of you with MacBooks and the newer MacBook Pros say sure I get that sound when I plug in. Others with older MacBook Pros, MacBook Airs, it depends on which model you have exactly, aren't hearing that sound. Some of you are saying, yes I want to hear that sound. That's useful. I find it useful just to know that I have connected. Maybe the power adapter isn't plugged into the wall so I don't get the sound. It gives me an audio cue to what's going on. It's what I get when I plug in my iPhone and iPad so it's consistent.

But whether you want to actually get it enabled on your MacBook because it isn't or you want to turn it off because you don't like it there's is a way to do that. You have to use the Terminal to actually turn this service on or off. So first let's look at how to turn it on if it's not working on your MacBook Pro currently. Of course, obviously, this is for High Sierra. I don't know if it works on older versions. Here is the Command. So basically it's default right, apple, dot PowerChime and then chime on all hardware dash bool true and then this part here open will actually run the app and there has to be an ampersand there at the end. That will actually enable this for systems that aren't currently doing it. So after you do this, now it should actually chime.

Now what happens if you want to turn it off. Say this is how it works on your MacBook right now and you would rather not have it. Well the command there is simply the same starting part there except the bool part is set to false. Then a killall will actually kill the process. The process is running and looking for that connection. So you basically turn off the preference so it doesn't start up again the next time you reboot your Mac and you kill it all.

So these are the two commands here. One to turn it on and one to turn it off. Whether it works at all depends on your MacBook. I assume that older MacBooks, ones that are before the USBC adapters, won't actually do this at all. So there's no way to turn it on. If you're using an older operating system it's not going to have this PowerChime thing at all. But this command here to turn it off should turn it off on any machines that do it as well.

Comments: 10 Responses to “Turning On Or Off the MacBook Power Chime”

    Tom Watson
    11 months ago

    Hi Gary Thanks for this video lesson. BUt I have tried several different methods I have found and none have worked. I am trying to get the chime back onto an Imac ( new) with HIgh Sierra on it. Do you think think this may work. And is there a spot where I can copy paste the terminal code you had in the video? Thanks Tom Watson

    11 months ago

    Tom: This can’t work with an iMac because the iMac doesn’t have a battery. It has no way to be “on” before you plug it in to power.

    Jerry king
    11 months ago

    Are there similar methods to get Power On chime to play on the new iMac?

    11 months ago

    Jerry: No. The “startup chime” is something completely different. A “power chime” is a process running on a Mac (has to be running, so the Mac has to be ON already) that looks for a power connection and chimes when it happens. So you plug in a MacBook and it chimes. But a startup chime is something that happens as part of the boot up sequence. It isn’t “running” and “waiting” it is just something that is part of the startup sequence. Apple removed this from Macs a couple of years ago.
    There’s no way to get it back. I suppose you could create an app (in Automator, perhaps) that just plays a sound, and then put that in the apps that run on login. But that wouldn’t play until after the Mac has booted, instead of very early in the startup sequence.
    I suppose many (most?) people haven’t even noticed that the startup chime is gone because you shouldn’t really ever have to “startup” your Mac. Just put it to sleep and wake it up. No need to ever shut it down.

    Jim Moore
    11 months ago

    Excellent, thank you Gary. Works fine on my MBP 17″

    Was wondering if you know of a similar way to indicate that the MBP has become unplugged? That would actually be more important to be as my battery is getting old.


    11 months ago

    Jim: No, sorry, I don’t know of a way to indicate that.

    11 months ago

    People who complain about their new iMacs not playing the start-up chime amuse me. How long have we been complaining how much we hate the start-up chime? I hated it because I had to put speakers on my 2009 8-core Mac Pro to make it suitable for music and had to install Boom to get enough sound from some of my CDs, which meant I felt my Mac’s BONG! on start-up was enough to wake up my husband. At first I was disconcerted that my new iMac didn’t chime, but I’m used to it now.

    Douglas Brace
    11 months ago

    If you to go “/System/Library/CoreServices/PowerChime.app/Contents/Resources” you will see “connect_power.aif”. That is the audio file that you are hearing.

    11 months ago

    Douglas: Good find! I wonder then if you could change it… An “Ouch! Careful with that!” would be hilarious.

    e kacz
    9 months ago

    this doesn’t work on a 2017 12″ macbook running high sierra 10.13.6

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