The sound on my Macbook Pro wasn’t working. Specifically the built-in speakers. I couldn’t figure out why. Headphones worked, as did a USB speaker. Eventually I figured out how to fix my sound problem, so I thought I’d share it with you. Here’s a Tech Tip from me, but really from the Internet.
Initial attempts to Google the problem didn’t help. I was instructed to shut down and restart the laptop, which, being that I was born at night but not last night, I had already tried. I also found several suggestions to “reset the PRAM”, which I’ve done before for a different problem. For some reason I didn’t think that was my issue here.
Through the mystical, magical, at times mega-creepy powers of Google Autocomplete, I eventually got to the following search phrase: macbook pro sound greyed out. I skipped the first match from Apple.com; that’s where I had managed to have no luck already. I instead went to the second choice, the “Not Quite a Blog” of Joseph Lorenzo Hall.
Mr. Hall appeared to be experiencing the exact same issue that I was — no sound without a device such as headphones or an external speaker, and the Macbook seeming to not believe that it had internal speakers anymore, only “digital optical out.” I hadn’t looked at the headphone jack, but when I did, I saw what Hall described. It was glowing red. (At least I think it was red. I’m color blind so I can’t be sure.)
Hall’s method is fairly simple. Plug in headphones, play some sound, open System Preferences, then unplug the headphones. (It’s a bit more specific than that; read the original post for the steps.)
Anyway, because life sometimes doesn’t work the way I want it to, this tip didn’t make my sound come back. Then I read through the comments and found a different method:
The above didn’t work for me, nor restarting. This worked for me: In “System Preferences” > “Sound” I moved the “Output volume” slider from midway to max, then checked and unchecked the “Mute” box next to max. The red light went out and “Internal Speakers” appeared in the list where it should be. Try it with or without the headphones plugged in, whichever works.
I plugged my headphones in, since I couldn’t even get the volume slider to slide without them, and after three attempts, I unplugged them and voila! Unassisted sound had returned.
Who say the Internet is just creepy adult content? Not I.
source: Fixing a MacBook Stuck on Mute, JosephHall.org.