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How to Mute Your Mac's Startup Sound

If you have a Mac, you're probably tired of hearing the familiar startup chime every time you turn your Mac on. Maybe you have a baby in the house that you don't want to disturb. Or perhaps you just want your MacBook to be quiet when you turn it on in the coffee shop. Unfortunately, not every Mac allows you to turn that stupid startup sound off. It can be the bane of your existence! That is, until you discover the wonderful and free StartupSound.prefPane.

This little thing plugs right into your Mac's System Preferences and allows you control the volume of the startup sound. We'll show you how to use StartupSound.prefPane to mute your startup sound once and for all.

Here's how to do it:

  1. If you haven't already, download StartupSound.prefPane. The newest version requires Mac OS 10.4 or later, and it works with both Intel and PPC Macs.

  2. Double-click StartupSoundPrefPane.pkg to start installing.

  3. The Installer application will walk you through the installation process.

  4. After you've successfully installed StartupSoundPrefPane, select System Preferences from the Apple menu. Select Startup Sound.

  5. Move the slider to adjust your Mac's startup sound volume, or select the Mute checkbox to turn the sound off completely.

That's it! Your Mac's startup sound won't strike again. (Unless you turn it back on again. But who would want to do that?!)

Meet Your Macinstructor

Matthew Cone is a technical writer living and working in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In his free time, he does the desert rat thing and hikes and road bikes around the Southwest. The rest of the time, he studies straw-bale houses, reads Anarchist philosophy, and pretends to not be working. You can email him at:


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