Turn Off That Annoying Volume Popping Sound In Mavericks [OS X Tips]

system prefs

We’ve all been there, in a meeting or a quiet house and we just want to turn the volume down. The whole point is that we want to make things quieter.

We hit the F11 media “Volume Down” key on the keyboard to just keep quiet and all we hear is the Pop Pop Pop sound as the volume decreases.

Annoying.

Luckily, it’s super easy to fix in OS X Mavericks.

Launch System Preferences from the Dock, the Apple menu, or with an app launcher like Alfred. Click on the Sound icon to go to that preference pane.

quiet volume key

Once there, click on the Sound Effects tab at the top. Right underneath the Alert volume slider is a checkbox called “Play feedback when volume is changed.” Click that off.

Now, when you turn the volume up or down, that awful silence-shattering sound will no longer play. Ahhhh.

If you want to turn it back on (you masochist), just check the box again. Boom.

Update: As an intrepid commenter points out below, you can also hold a key down for a temporary fix. If you hold the Command key down while raising or lowering the volume, you’ll get a brief reprieve from the popping sound.

  • compro16

    Or, you know, just hold down the shift key while adjusting the volume.

  • Rob LeFebvre

    Or, you know, just hold down the shift key while adjusting the volume.

    That doesn’t work on my Mavericks machine. But the Command key does. Thanks for the tip!

  • compro16

    Or, you know, just hold down the shift key while adjusting the volume.

    That doesn’t work on my Mavericks machine. But the Command key does. Thanks for the tip!

    Shift works for me on the three Mavericks machines I use on a daily basis. Command does not.

  • mister_rabbit

    That doesn’t work on my Mavericks machine. But the Command key does. Thanks for the tip!

    compro16 is correct, Shift SHOULD work. I would check key mappings and third party extensions as I’ve never come across a Mac where Shift doesn’t work to silence this.

    I guess you could check to see if the system isn’t mapping Shift correctly for system events by holding it and opening a stack or folder in your Dock. The expected behavior is for the opening animation to slow down, one of those old “Gee whiz” tricks that’s been around since 10.2/10.3. If it doesn’t work then try it again with Command, which would be expected to open the folder in a new window.

  • lwdesign1

    Nope: Holding down the Command key does not silence the sound. However, if you hold the shift key while you press the volume buttons, you get blessed silence. This also works in Snow Leopard, and therefore I’d expect it to also work in Lion and Mountain Lion.

  • Shane R.

    For some reason this is not working for me. I have unchecked “Play feedback when volume is changed” and it is still making the sound. I guess I’m going to have to use shift every time I change the volume.

  • Kim Kragh Nielsen

    it still plays the annoying sound when i click it off. what do I do?

  • chiappa

    I can’t believe it took me so many years to turn that annoying sound off. I feel the Aaaaaah now. Thanks Rob.

  • http://xtmarie.com Christina Hicks

    I just got around to upgrading to Mavericks, and I now can’t disable the sound in System Preferences anymore. Even when unchecked, I still get the pop.

    I also can’t understand why Apple would make such an annoying sound the default, and then to toggle it on for every computer.

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, Creative Screenwriting, Shelf-Awareness, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef, and send him a cookie once in a while; he'll really appreciate it.

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