How to Fix No Sound on Your MacBook


The following guide will help you identify possible reasons why your Macbook speakers aren't working, and troubleshoot them. While there can be multiple reasons, each with multiple solutions, for this problem, we will cover all the major causes.

Hardware vs. Software

Your Macbook not making any sounds might be either a software problem, or a hardware problem.

If it’s a software problem, then Siri will most likely respond to a question that you ask it using the system speaking. Otherwise, the problem may be related to the hardware, but there might be exceptions to this rule as well.

The best way to determine if you have a hardware problem is by recalling if your MacBook has ever suffered some type of hardware problem previously. This includes being dropped or being submerged in water.

If your problem is software related, then you might be able to solve it by fixing something in the settings. On the contrary, if the problem is hardware-related, you might have to visit a proper servicing center.

The Fixes

As we previously mentioned, there are multiple possible reasons why your MacBook speakers might not be working. Here are listed the potential problems with solutions - from the most to least likely.

Software Problems

Method 1

Use this method if you have no idea whether your issue is software or hardware related. It involves checking the audio settings to see if anything is set incorrectly.

  1. Click on the Apple logo on the top left-hand corner of the screen.
  2. Go to "System Preferences."
  3. Click on the sound logo represented by the little speaker.
  4. Go to the output section.
  5. Make sure the speaker is chosen as your output device and make sure it’s not muted.
  6. Check if the audio is working by playing a YouTube video. If it doesn’t, then move onto the next method.

Method 2

A common software problem is your MacBook not recognizing your speaker as an output device. In this case, you will need to reset the NVRAM (Non-Volatile Random-Access Memory) manually. No need to be intimidated though, because this process is relatively easy. Here’s how to do it.

  • Go to the output section the same as you did in the previous section.
  • If there is no output device recognized here, then move onto the next step. Otherwise, go to the Hardware Problems section, further below.
  • Shut down your Mac.
  • Hold down the Command, Option, P, and R keys together with one hand and use the other hand to click on the power button.
  • Release these keys when you hear either two sounds, or the Apple logo appears twice. This will depend on which model of the Macbook you have.
  • Wait for your Mac to reboot.
  • Your sound should come back up. You can check this in the System Preferences --> Sound section.
  • Method 3

    If the previous method doesn’t work, then it’s likely that the following fix will solve your problem. In this method, we will go to your Mac's safe mode and create a separate user profile. We do this because there might be a glitch on your default profile. The steps for this process are as follows:

    1. Shut down your MacBook.
    2. Once it’s completely shut down, hold the shift key and the power button.
    3. You can let go of the shift key once the Apple logo appears.
    4. Your Mac should boot into safe made.
    5. Go to "System Preferences."
    6. Click on the users and group icon.
    7. Click on the padlock icon on the bottom left corner of the window.
    8. Click on the plus icon, which will be located above the padlock.
    9. A new window will be open and there will be a category called "New account." Change that from standard to admin.
    10. Enter the name and create the account.
    11. Restart your computer and let it boot up normally.
    12. Login to the admin account.
    13. No need to sign in to Apple ID.
    14. Once logged into the account, check if the volume is working by playing a Youtube video.
    15. Log out of the admin account and log in to your regular account.
    16. Go to the user and group again.
    17. Click on the padlock.
    18. Click on the admin account and then the minus sign to delete the account.

    Hardware Problems

    If the methods mentioned above didn’t fix your Mac sound issues, then the problem is most likely related to hardware and you will very likely need to get your computer repaired by a qualified technician.

    If you’re experienced with handling hardware, you could try to open up the back of your MacBook and replace the speakers yourself. However, we don’t recommend doing this unless you are very experienced and qualified. Additionally, it’s best to follow a dedicated guide to doing so. We can recommend the ones published by iFixit.

    It should also be noted that unless your Macbook is repaired directly through Apple, your warranty will be voided.

    Muaz Ashrafi

    Hi! I am Muaz, a Mass Communication major. I like to think I am a free urban spirit. I write blogs with a focus on tech and gadgets. When I'm not writing, you can find me with my headphones on, relaxing to some good house EDM music. I'm also a hobbyist photographer, you can find me on Instagram @mzwithacamera.

    One Comment

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    1. Thank goodness! I thought I was never going to be able to fix my speakers. They were not working for the last few weeks so I just used external speakers instead. Method 2 worked for me but I’m still confused as to how this happened in the first place. I didn’t do anything unusual before it happened. Still, at least the speakers work now.