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When my small children play games on the Mac, they use the keyboard shortcut (what ought to be the "F12" key) to turn the volume up to the max, which is way too loud.

I'm working on configuration changes for the children, but in the meantime, is there way to disable this keyboard shortcut on the Mac, or otherwise limit the volume on their account?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

If this is a MacBook or MacBook Pro, you could change the configuration so that the F12 keys acts as an F12 key and not a volume key.

In Keyboard preferences, check the "Use all F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys".

The volume control is still available by holding down the Fn key and hitting F12.

This doesn't disable it altogether, but could get you closer to what you want.

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Works great, thank you! – erickson Oct 23 '09 at 3:51

In System Preferences->Keyboard, in the Keyboard tab, select "Use all F1, F2, etc. keys as standard function keys."

This will disable all the special features bound to the function keys, but you can still use them by pressing the Fn key along with the function key.

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So then just use Fn-F12, which is what I'd do on my macbook if that setting was enabled... – Rob Cowell Oct 22 '09 at 15:52
Thanks, I see from Doug's answer this is available on MacBooks; I'll look to see if this setting is on my iMac too. – erickson Oct 22 '09 at 16:45

Alternatively, there is an application you can install into System Preferences called "Function Flip." You can use it toggle the volume keys to act like F10, F11, and F12, and leave the other keys as is. This is great if you use spaces, dashboard, and the other keys a lot.

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You could also go with a hardware hack by plugging in speakers to the Mac and either hide or otherwise disable (a bit of tape, perhaps) the volume controls on the speaker.

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I am not sure external speakers would help. The system volume (as changed through the volume keys) controls both the volume of the internal speakers and the “volume” (signal level) on the speaker output. Often the “speakers” are headphones with no volume control of their own, so the only non-application volume control you have is the system volume. – Chris Johnsen Oct 23 '09 at 20:53
" Often the “speakers” are headphones with no volume control of their own" That's not necessarily true. All of my speakers have their own volume controls (that's why I bought them), and even the cheap Dell speakers my company buys have their own volume control. If he turns the speakers down very low, or simply off, then it doesn't matter how much the kids raise the volume on the computer. – Philip Regan Oct 24 '09 at 11:32

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protected by studiohack May 3 '11 at 9:47

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