How to Play a Power Charging Sound Effect in OS X When a MacBook is Plugged in (Like iOS)

Apr 15, 2015 - 39 Comments

Play a chime sound effect when MacBook Pro is charging

When you connect a power source to an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or MacBook, a familiar charging chime sound will trigger from the device, indicating that a cable is attached and the device is getting power. If you like hearing that auditory confirmation that a device is getting power, you can add the exact same audio playback feature to any MacBook Pro or MacBook Air by turning to the command line of OS X. You’ll even get an onscreen visual cue on the Mac indicating where the battery charge is, which looks straight out of iOS as well.

Enabling the power chime sound effect on a Mac is pretty easy. Because the power indicator is dependent on a battery, this almost certainly requires a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air to function as intended. You won’t need to do this on the MacBook line because it makes the sound by default (though you can turn it off on that machine if you want to, more on that in a minute). This also requires OS X Yosemite (10.10.3 or later) as the does not appear to exist in prior releases of Mac system software.

Enable Playing a Power Chime Sound Effect on a MacBook Pro & MacBook Air

  1. Disconnect the Mac from the MagSafe power source
  2. Open the Terminal app, found in /Applications/Utilities/
  3. Enter the following command syntax, be sure there are no breaks as you’ll want to fit the entire sequence onto a single line (no it doesn’t matter if it wraps):
  4. defaults write ChimeOnAllHardware -bool true; open /System/Library/CoreServices/ &

  5. Hit Return
  6. Re-connect the MacBook power supply to hear the chime

This will enable the feature through the defaults command string and simultaneously launch the PowerChime application, the latter tiny app must be running in order for the power chime sound effect to trigger.

Now you just have to disconnect your MagSafe (or USB-C) power connector from the Mac, wait a second or two, then reconnect it. You’ll hear the familiar power connected / charging sound effect from your iPhone and iPad devices. If you keep an eye on the battery and energy use menu of OS X and you’ll see the sound triggers at the exact same time as the charging bolt appears on the battery menu item.

The charging indicator in Mac menu bar of OS X

The brief video below walks through entering the syntax into the Terminal app and then disconnecting and re-connecting a MagSafe adapter to trigger the power sound effect. This may be helpful if you’re confused, or you just want to see what it does rather than try it yourself:

Note the battery charging indicator will only display onscreen if there is less than 100% power available with the Mac battery and the Mac is either in sleep mode or the screen is locked. The sound effect will even trigger if the MacBook is sleeping too, though that aspect appears limited to newer hardware with the ability to use PowerNap.

You can also trigger the sound effect manually, maybe you like the way it sounds or you’re just curious what we’re talking about here. Use the following command to play the power chime sound effect:

afplay /System/Library/CoreServices/

Disable the Chime Sound Effect on Power Cable Connect in Mac OS X

You can also turn off the power chime sound effect when you connect a power cable to a Mac by issuing a different defaults command string within the OS X Terminal:

defaults write ChimeOnAllHardware -bool false;killall PowerChime

This will disable the sound effect when connecting a power cable on the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and yes, it will also disable the power chime sound effect on the MacBook line as well.

Many new MacBook owners have noticed this little feature, but the source of the audio was uncovered by @zwaldowski, who reports that some Macs will even have a vibrating trackpad with this feature enabled (a new Retina MacBook Pro does not offer that aspect). Be sure to follow @osxdaily too, and let us know if you decide to keep the power sound effect around on your Mac.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks


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  1. David says:

    This is a really cool find, I enabled it on my MacBook Air and it works great. And yes it works on the locked screens of OS X too.

    • Paul says:

      Put the MacBook to sleep and then try again to see the visual indicator as well as hear the auditory chime play.

      • ilias says:

        should the battery stay on the screen for as long as it is charging?
        it shows up for a second and then screen turns off again.
        if i click i get the login menu

  2. Jay says:

    I’m getting ‘file does not exist. I have never heard the chime.😢

    I’m running Yosemite on a year old Macbook Pro. Is it just me?

  3. Awesome, just did it on my MacBook Pro. All we need now is a way to hack the AIFF file so it can be something like a lightsabre powering up.

  4. Cindy says:

    Does this persist across a restart, i.e., does open on startup by default? It looks like you’ve simply started it here, rather than restarting it.

    • Expi Miya says:

      Persistence across reboot is possible by placing into the Login Items of the active user account on OS X.

      I am not sure that is necessary though, maybe I am lucky but my MacBook rebooted and the power connection sound has always been there.

  5. Wharf Xanadu says:

    This is the greatest thing I’ve seen all week. All macs should do this by default

    • coconut says:

      They will from now, because the new Macbook with USB. Like on iOS devices, charging does not have that light indicator that magsafe does so its kinda necessary.

  6. mike says:

    does not work for me did exactly what you said where is this little app you refer to?
    I get no sound or on screen battery, MB Air 2014 10.10.2

    • Wynn says:

      Works fine on MacBook Air, using it.

      But, you did not do what the directions said because it specifically says this requires OS X 10.10.3 or later. The sound is not there without it.

  7. Thomas Symon says:

    Cool! I love these clever little tricks!

  8. This didn’t work. I got this message “The file /System/Library/CoreServices/ does not exist.”
    I Googled PowerChime.spp without success.

    Any clues as to where I can get the PowerChime app?

    • Wynn says:

      Update to OS X 10.10.3, and you have to have a MacBook laptop, Pro, Air, whatever. If you don’t have OS X 10.10.3 you will not have

  9. inhba says:

    Can it play a song while charging?

  10. Patrick McMahon says:

    FWIW, the app is basically determining when the battery is charging as opposed to draining. When it’s the former, the application calls the “/System/Library/CoreServices/” file.

  11. Jeff Brown says:

    Hey Apple, you know what’d be far more useful?

    If it’d play this sound played but inverted, whenever when it gets unplugged instead. I’ve received many-a “low battery” alert when I thought my MBP was actually plugged in but I had somehow inadvertently unplugged it.

    I know when I plug in my Mac—that almost never happens by accident. But sometimes I don’t know when I unplug it. #UX #FTFY

  12. Icebox says:

    It didn’t work for me. I followed the instructions exactly. I’m on OS X 10.10.3 and on a MacBook Pro 2012. What gives?

  13. Icebox says:

    I got it to work, but the power chime sound is barely audible even with my volume up all the way.

  14. Jeremy says:

    Is there a way to make this happen on power disconnection also? With my MBP’s MagSafe connector, it gets knocked out easily and I often do not notice until the power is significantly drained.

  15. James says:

    As Jeremy has asked (^^^), can this be modified to play when the charger is disconnected?

  16. Dirk says:

    use a MBP 2011 with OSX 10.8.5 (Mountain Lion).
    I do NOT want to go further (neither 10.9 nor 10.10) for the moment after all the problems with the following OSX…

    Because there are problems with charging (often magsafe plugged in but no charging) this simple and important chime of charging would be very good for me – how to get my chime under OSX 10.8.5??

    Please help me…

  17. IntrusDave says:

    Looking at the strings in the PowerChime app, it looks like it can make the newer Trackpad vibrate too. I haven’t been able to figure out how yet.

  18. abdullah says:

    is there a way to play a sound when you unplug your mac. i know this isn’t possible on iphones or ipads either but the magsafe comes of easily and i dont even know until my battery is almost dead. help me.

  19. Sultan says:


    Because this is close to what I am looking for. I’d like to play a Sound when fully charged, so I can disconnect the cable the minute Battery is full. Any ideas or tricks?

    Looking forward to hear some news

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