When I perform an action that is not valid in a given context, like attempting to type when a text area does not have the focus I hear a beep, which is very distracting when wearing headphones. How can I disable this?

I am not sure how to reproduce this as it only happens under certain circumstances which I have not yet nailed down.

  • Hammer? (sorry, couldn't resist) – squillman Jan 21 '10 at 18:34
  • Related. – Daniel Beck May 22 '11 at 17:03
  • DONG DONG DONG DONG DONG DONG – Rolf Sep 13 '18 at 22:45

Unchecking the "User interface sounds" doesn't disable all sound. But sliding the "Alert Volume" option all the way to the left (minimum), together with unchecking the other options does the trick.

enter image description here

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  • 2
    FYI, this checkbox and slider are located is in System Preferences > Sound > Sound Effects in your Mac Settings – Brian Duncan Aug 30 '18 at 20:59
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    Thank you. Now my Mac is still retarded but not annoying anymore. – Rolf Sep 13 '18 at 22:48
  • Did I recently turn this on or something? Back to being off. – Michael Ozeryansky Nov 23 '19 at 0:21
  • Works on macOS Catalina, thanks! I've tried playing with Terminal prefs, but nothing helped (in iTerm it does help). This is definitely the best solution – Meir Gabay Apr 17 at 8:57
  • Choosing another ping and turning the sound down to 25% was enough for me. – Martin Oct 11 at 15:41

Apple, System Preferences, Sounds.

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    Pedro's answer below is more useful, as the obvious setting when you do the above doesn't work. – mahemoff Feb 19 '13 at 12:53
  • this is where the setting is, but doesn't say how to disable the beep – Jake Berger Aug 19 '16 at 8:37
  • It does, in OSX Leopard, just not in the 6.5 year-newer version you have. – Chopper3 Aug 19 '16 at 8:44

The OP mentions using headphones while using his/her computer, implying that he/she would like to disable the terminal bell but allow outher sound output to continue. Adjusting the sound settings in the system preference panel won't solve this problem.

Readline rings the bell at the command prompt in the terminal whenever the tab autocompletion can't find any matches, or finds too many matches. To disable just this behavior, check your home directory for the presence of a .inputrc. If doesn't exist, add it, then in either case add this line:

set bell-style off

Source this file

$ . .inputrc

or quit the terminal program and restart.

To completely disable sounds in the terminal, edit the apps preferences: Terminal menu, Preferences, Settings tab, then Advanced tab on that screen. There are two check boxes: audible bell and visual bell. Adjust to your tastes accordingly.

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    Setting the alert volume to zero in System Preferences should actually disable the error sounds in Terminal as well. – Lri May 18 '12 at 18:56
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    For whatever reason, sourcing the file did not help. Restarting the terminal did however. Thanks! – user50849 May 13 '13 at 8:48
  • Confirming that a restart of terminal made this work. – slm Mar 18 '15 at 0:36
  1. Open Terminal
  2. Select Terminal->Preferences...
  3. Uncheck Audible Bell enter image description here
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First, create a sound in the Library/Sounds directory in your home directory. This can be anything, but NOT one of the built-in sounds. Just grab something short from the internet. Use something you don't like. Honest.

Open System Preferences and click Sound to display its preferences. In "Choose an alert sound" pick the sound you just created.

  1. While you are in System Preferences | Sound, do the following:
  2. Uncheck "Play user interface sound effects"
  3. Uncheck "Play feedback when volume is changed"
  4. Uncheck "Play Front Row Sound effects"

After closing this window, go back to your home directory and DELETE the sound you just created. If you put it in the trash, empty the trash.

Now OS X will flash the screen slightly whenever an alert sound would have occurred. It is a subtle, but a sufficient alert. Now, sound in applications (like Cubase) will be completely unaffected.

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    Cannot reproduce on OS X 10.6.7. @frabcus, did you test this? – Daniel Beck May 6 '11 at 16:39

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