How to Fix It When Your MacBook Sound Isn't Working

Troubleshooting MacBook speakers not working

The sound can stop working on your MacBook at any time for a variety of causes. Because it has so many possible causes, it's hard to pin down exactly when your MacBook can lose audio, but this article will step you through the possible reasons and fixes.

Why Does My MacBook Suddenly Have No Sound?

The reasons you can't hear sound coming out of your MacBook's speakers are many, but they may include the following:

  • An audio device is connected to one of your ports.
  • The sound is muted.
  • Your speakers aren't selected as the output device.
  • Your computer didn't start up properly.
  • You need to reset the PRAM or NVRAM.
  • The operating system needs an update.

How Do I Fix the Sound on My MacBook?

The following solutions can get your MacBook's sound working again, and they go from easiest to most complicated. Try them each in order to see if the audio comes back.

  1. Unplug any peripherals you've connected to your MacBook. Headphones, speakers, and other devices can stop audio from coming out of your MacBook's speakers. Disconnect them to see if the sound comes back.

  2. Turn off Bluetooth. Along with hard-wired devices, you may also have speakers or headphones connected wirelessly. Click the Bluetooth icon at the top of your screen, and then toggle the switch to off. This method is more straightforward than checking for connected devices and then disconnecting them, and it's just as effective if this is the issue.

  3. Make sure your sound isn't muted. Press the volume adjustment buttons on your keyboard, including Mute, or check the volume slider at the top of the screen.

  4. Check your sound preferences. Open System Preferences, and then go to Sound > Output. Under Select a device for sound output, click MacBook Speakers, MacBook Air Speakers, or MacBook Pro Speakers, depending on what kind of laptop you own.

    At the bottom of this window, make sure the Mute checkbox is not checked.

  5. See if macOS needs an update. The sound not working on your MacBook may be a bug in the current version of macOS. Open System Preferences, and then click Software Update. Your computer will check to see if an update is available and prompt you to update (which almost always involves a restart).

    Before you update macOS, make sure you back up your MacBook.

  6. Restart your MacBook. The problem may be your MacBook didn't initialize the sound drivers correctly when it booted up. A restart can give it another chance to start everything properly—select Restart from the Apple menu in the upper-left corner of your screen.

  7. Reset the NVRAM. Depending on what kind of MacBook you have, it may use non-volatile RAM (NVRAM) to store specific settings. Like any other memory, it benefits from an occasional reset. What you'll reset depends on your processor: If you have an Intel Mac, reset the NVRAM by shutting down the computer and restarting it while holding Command + Option + P + R.

    If you have a MacBook with an M1 chip or later, it still uses NVRAM, but you can't reset it using this method. A normal restart should take care of it automatically.

  8. Contact Apple. If your MacBook's sound still isn't working, it may need servicing. You can take it to an Apple Store or an authorized repair place, either of which should be able to diagnose and fix the problem.

  • How do I screen record on a MacBook with sound?

    The built-in screen recorders for macOS, including the one for QuickTime, won't also capture the sound coming from your computer; you'll need to use a third-party app, plug-in, or capture card. You can, however, record audio over the top of a screen recording through a mic; this feature makes it easier to record narration over your video without having to sync it up later.

  • How do I record audio on a MacBook Pro?

    You have many options to make audio recordings on a MacBook, including the Voice Memos, QuickTime, and GarageBand apps. You can also use a third-party option like Audacity.

Was this page helpful?