I have a monitor with speakers attached to my rMBP via DisplayPort (via a Thunderbolt dock), and I cannot control the volume with the volume keys.

Is there any way to "fix" this?

Pressing the volume keys shows the "no control" icon:

enter image description here

Note: I know about the workaround of using something like SoundFlower to create a virtual device, but that has caused issues and I'm looking for a "native" solution.

  • Do the speakers have their own volume control?
    – Arc676
    Nov 3, 2015 at 9:53
  • The monitor has a cumbersome OSD for volume, via a button on the back, so highly impractical
    – d0g
    Nov 3, 2015 at 9:54
  • Just wondering what's the issue with SoundFlower
    – lulalala
    May 24, 2018 at 1:12

2 Answers 2


Generally speaking, audio output devices with their own volume control can't have their volume regulated by OS X.

In some schools, teachers connect their Macs to projectors. On some models, the projector has its own volume control and you can't modify the volume using the volume keys on your Mac. If you try to do so, an icon similar to what you have posted appears. You have to use the volume control on the projector's remote.

The same is happening here. Your speakers have their own volume control. Therefore, OS X can't control it.

In some other cases, OS X will allow you to "change" the volume, but this change is only apparent on your Mac. For example, in some TVs with HDMI ports, you can change the volume using the volume keys when using it as an external display, but the sound output will be of the same loudness. You have to use the TV remote to change the volume.

You can confirm this by going to  > System Preferences > Sound. The output tab will say "this device has no output controls" and you can't modify the volume.


Pipe it through https://github.com/mLupine/SoundflowerBed and you can control display port output from the mac into it.



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