The version of Mac OS X being used is 10.8.5.

When I click the back button on an empty terminal windows if give a alert sound which is the 'Funk' sound in the System Preferences -> Sound -> Sound Effects

I tried going to the Terminal Preferences -> Settings -> Advanced where there is a checkbox for turning the Audible/Visual Bell but not change the audible bell.

Can this sound be changed to anything else in the Sound Effects list like Submarine, Tink etc.

3 Answers 3


It looks like for macOS Sierra you simply need to change the Alert Sound under the Sound System Preferences (System Preferences > Sound > Sound Effects).


In Sierra:

defaults write .GlobalPreferences com.apple.sound.beep.sound /System/Library/Sounds/Submarine.aiff
  • 1
    This works for me on High Sierra. user495470's answer does not work for me. Not sure why this was down voted. While the OQ asked about 10.8.5, surely keeping this resource current is more helpful. Nov 15, 2017 at 22:15
  • I can confirm for High Sierra, though I needed to edit this while being su. You can probably also do it with plain sudo, but I wanted to create a directory /var/root/Library/Sounds, copy a sound file there, and use that for global preferences. Worked great.
    – JayB
    Oct 13, 2018 at 9:24
  • 1
    Works for macOS Big Sur 11.2.1 too. Feb 12, 2021 at 14:33
  • Note that this may be unset, in which case it will default to /System/Library/Sounds/Tink.aiff (Boop in System Settings) on macOS Sonoma. Nov 21, 2023 at 20:31

I don't know how to make Terminal use a different alert sound, but if others search for how to change the OS X-wide alert sound from a script, change the com.apple.sound.beep.sound key in the com.apple.systemsound domain:

defaults write com.apple.systemsound com.apple.sound.beep.sound /System/Library/Sounds/Frog.aiff
  • 1
    This no longer seems to work in macOS Sierra. Do you have a new approach here? Oct 26, 2016 at 16:50
  • @WadeWilliams: It works for me using El Capitan, but iTerm2 needs to be restarted for the change to take effect. Interestingly, the change registers immediately for the Terminal app.
    – jvriesem
    Aug 10, 2017 at 19:39

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