Technology KnowledgeBase

I can’t hear sound / audio from my computer.

A quick way to toggle the sound output in Mac OS X is to hold down the option key while clicking on the sound icon in the menubar. A drop down of available sound output choices will display. Click on the desired sound output device.

iMacs and MacBooks

Check the headphone jack on the back of an iMac or on the side of a MacBook. If you have something plugged into the headphone jack, unplug it. You should be able to hear sound from the computer's internal speakers. If you see debris in the jack, create a ticket if it is not easy to remove. Please do not attempt to clean debris out of the jack with paper clips or other tools.


If you are having trouble with sound on a MacMini, remember that the computer will remember the last settings for sound. If the headphone/line-in volume was muted while playing audio from the internal speaker, when an audio cable is plugged back in to the headphone jack the sound will still be muted for that port. Open the Sound System Preference Pane and make sure that the settings are correct and not muted, or option-click on the sound icon in the menubar and select the desired sound output. If the sound icon does not appear in the menubar, you may want to check the box to "Show volume in menubar" to adjust audio settings more conveniently.

If you are still unable to hear sound, please fill out a Web Help Desk work order ticket or call x6688.

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