This one is very odd. My 2010 Macbook Air running latest Mavericks was working very well just yesterday and today it started to play a "siren sound" (sounds a bit like warning/alarm/police siren), the sound is very long (2-4 secs.) and it starts every 1-5 minutes. Of course when it happens it unmutes all system sounds :S It's worth noting I don't have any other software that I had yesterday, it just happened like that, overnight.

What I've done to prevent it and find what's causing it:

My system sounds are off (Preferences/Sound > "Play user interface sound effects" unchecked).

All the sound notifications are off. I also turned on "Do not disturb mode".

I ran Apple Hardware Test (for now the basic one, I will run the long one this evening as I'm at work right now) and it returned no problems.

Also I've installed SoundBunny to see what's the source of the sound - it doesn't show anything when the siren starts, like it's not software-related (by the way do I really need a software for this task in OSX? it's been in Windows for ages :/)

I've been restarting my Macbook all morning and once the siren started BEFORE I even log in to my account (woot?).

I've checked all the Apple beep codes, but none of them seems to be what I'm hearing (by the way are they recorded somewhere? I'd love to hear them all out and see if I can recognise the one I'm hearing).

HELP ME PLEASE, I can't work :(

  • so there is nothing in the Console at the time stamp, anything in the Activity monitor ? there it should be something running that does it. Did you run a virus scan?
    – Ruskes
    Mar 7, 2014 at 10:21
  • I get something like this in the console: '07/03/14 11:21:57,836 Google Chrome Helper[1374]: CoreText CopyFontsForRequest received mig IPC error (FFFFFECC) from font server'. Nothing special in Activity Monitor though. Turned off Chrome, unfortunately siren still starts as I'm using different browsers. Ugh. Got this this time: '07/03/14 11:24:36,000 kernel[0]: process Creative Cloud[787] caught causing excessive wakeups. EXC_RESOURCE supressed due to audio playback'
    – user72336
    Mar 7, 2014 at 10:22
  • I would suggest going to an apple store or premium reseller. are you sure nobody set any alarms or something? and does it sound like a normal system sound? btw. I expect it gave you quite a jump scare :P Mar 7, 2014 at 10:34
  • Where can I check these alarms? :) It scares me every minute or two, ugh :)
    – user72336
    Mar 7, 2014 at 10:37
  • 1
    @zigg, I can't, as a new user I need to wait 8 hours before answering my own question. I will reply as soon as I can :)
    – user72336
    Mar 7, 2014 at 13:49

2 Answers 2


Does anyone else have access to your iCloud account? If they do, they can play a loud noise using Find My Mac. If you've recently received an email notifying you that someone has signed into your iCloud account using a web browser, that would be an excellent sign that the Find My Mac siren is what you're hearing.

Another possibility: Did you install Prey Project on your Mac? It's a piece of software similar to Find My Mac, and it can produce a very loud siren noise. Check your Prey account settings; if someone else has access to the account, they can play a siren noise.


I would check crontab to see if there are any commands that could be responsible.

macbook:~ user$ crontab -l


macbook:~ user$ sudo crontab -l

AltCongratulate you coworkers on their prank, and ask them to turn it off :)

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .