Every time a system notification sound should be played, the screen simply flashes. The Flash screen option in Accessibility is turned off but the system seems to be smart enough to flash screen instead of playing a notification sound when it is unable to do so.

Every other sounds works, even Skype's notifications.

I've checked the permissions in /System/Library/Sounds and I do have read permissions there. I can even play the sounds manually.

Any ideas what could be the cause of the problem and how to fix it?

EDIT: I have made sure that the "Sound effects" output device is set to the correct one.

  • Flash screen used to be a default for if sound was turned down or off - have you checked that your default devices for sound input & output are correct & the volume is up?
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 19, 2014 at 15:09
  • @Tetsujin, as I said, all the other sounds work properly. I am actually using an USB headset that has no volume controls but the same situation happens with a normal one.
    – Seleren
    Oct 19, 2014 at 15:22
  • That was the first thing I checked.
    – Seleren
    Oct 19, 2014 at 15:24

1 Answer 1


I've had this problem happen a few times, and it can be fixed by killing the Core Audio daemon (it'll get restarted automatically):

sudo killall coreaudiod

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