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What tools or techniques are available for silencing the start up chime on a Mac? I know this can be accomplished by muting the sound before shutdown, but I was hoping that a solution existed that didn't require me to, you know, remember to do anything.

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6  
Seriously, why is the default volume for the sound SO LOUD? I mean, you go into a library with a sexy Mac and then boot it up and I'm shocked no one has a heart attack. – Jared Updike Jul 15 '09 at 8:05
up vote 20 down vote accepted

Check out the StarupSound prefpane. It allows you to control the volume of and mute the chime.

Note: I have not used its on leopard yet, so I'm not sure if it works. But I can confirm it works in 10.4

Edit: I forgot to mention that you could just hold the mute button on you're keyboard when you hit the power button to disable the sound for that boot.

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3  
Works on Leopard. – Jared Updike Jul 15 '09 at 8:05
    
Thanks for testing. Cool – Mark Turner Jul 15 '09 at 8:06
    
This rocks. Thanks. – Stu Thompson Jul 15 '09 at 8:09
1  
works on snow leopard too! – JT.WK Mar 23 '10 at 10:19

This looks like what you want:

StartupSound.prefPane

It adds a pref pane that you can use to disable the startup sound.

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I use a System Preferences plugin called StartupSound.prefPane . Google around for it. You can set the volume.

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Just hold down the mute button during initial boot time. This mutes the startup chime as well.

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I just keep a headphone jack adapter plugged in when I'm in public places, so the volume is effectively muted and there's no disturbance.

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2  
On newer Macs, the startup chime will still come from the speakers even if headphones are plugged in. – hbw Jul 18 '09 at 11:45
    
Well...that sucks! – Andy Mikula Jul 18 '09 at 16:24

On some older machines plugging in headphones works to disable the startup sound. This doesn't seem to work on my MacPro or my unibody MacBookPro 15".

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