Change the AirDrop “Pop” Sound Effect

Aug 23, 2011 - 3 Comments

AirDrop in OS X Lion AirDrop is a great local peer-to-peer file sharing feature in Mac OS X Lion that is surprisingly useful. That said, the ‘pop’ or drop sound effect that you hear when someone AirDrops you a file has always annoyed me because it’s the same sound effect you hear when you get a new iChat message. Like many other things in OS X Lion, it’s easy to customize with some minor tweaking.

Before changing the sound effect you’ll need to get a new sound to replace it, so find a sound you want to use, but:

  • The new sound effect must be in AIFF format. You can convert audio files to AIFF with iTunes or use a third party tool if you want
  • Export the sound effect and name it “Invitation.aiff” and place it somewhere like the OS X Desktop for easy access.
  • The shorter the sound effect, the better

A short sound is recommended because you don’t want an entire song playing when someone AirDrops you a file, but it will if you don’t shorten a long audio file.

Once you have saved your new audio file:

  • Hit Command+Shift+G to bring up the “Go To Folder” window and enter the following path:
  • /System/Library/CoreServices/

  • Locate the file named “Invitation.aiff” and rename it to “Invitation-backup.aiff” – you will need to authenticate the name change, this allows you to revert the change back to the default AirDrop sound

Change AirDrop drop sound effect

  • Drag and drop your own version of “Invitation.aiff” into the open /Resources/ folder, you will need to authenticate again
  • Now open the Terminal from /Applications/Utilities/ and type:
  • killall Finder

  • Have someone AirDrop you a new file and enjoy your new AirDrop sound effect

Anytime you want the default sound back, just delete your own Invitation.aiff and rename Invitation-backup.aiff back to Invitation.aiff, kill the Finder, and you’ll hear that familiar iChat pop sound again.

Check out some more OS X Lion tips while you’re at it.

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Posted by: William Pearson in Customize, Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


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  1. […] forget that you can also change the AirDrop sound effect too. stLight.options({ publisher:'fe5e0a84-1fac-40de-8014-9f89fc1cbe6a' […]

  2. Eduardo says:


  3. Cool says:

    Cool trick. I recorded a new Lion voice to say “INCOMING” and am using that.

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