I have an old-ish iMac where the sound has stopped working:

enter image description here

which I'm not really too fussed about - it doesn't get used for a whole lot of stuff.

The only really annoying part is that it seems like every time the OS wants to play a bell, it sees that there's no sound available so it flashes the entire screen white.

I've checked another SE post which recommended checking "Accessibility > Audio > Flash the screen when an alert sound occurs" and trying to enable then disable it - done that, and had no luck. I've also removed ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.universalaccess.plist and restarted, that hasn't helped either.

As another answer on the other post suggested, I've also tried running sudo killall coreaudiod with no joy.

Does anyone else have any idea how I can get rid of the white flash?

1 Answer 1


Since I don't have a broken audio card and VMs apparently don't work with a virtual sound device (pun not intended but it got one - maybe I made a mistake installing Soundflower) I can't really prove it, but the following should work:

  • Download Soundflower 2.0b2 (for 10.8, 10.9, 10.10)
  • or download Soundflower 1.6.3 (tested with 10.7)
  • or download and compile the Soundflower sources

  • Install Soundflower and reboot your Mac

  • Set the Soundflower device as default audio output for alerts/sound effects with the Audio-MIDI-Setup tool (found in /Applications/Utilities).

    enter image description here

  • 1
    Awesome, that's sorted it :) Still no sound, which is totally fine, but no more annoying screen flash either. I can't award the bounty for 19 hours, so when that time's up, it's all yours
    – Joe
    Jan 15, 2016 at 15:08
  • 1
    @Joe ;-) To get the sound working again you have to add a second question. If the the audio chip isn't blown it should be possible. Please add your iMac model and the version of your current OS X.
    – klanomath
    Jan 15, 2016 at 15:15
  • 1
    Don't worry - not worth the effort for the use it gets. It was just infuriating to have it flashing every time I clicked somewhere I shouldn't :P
    – Joe
    Jan 15, 2016 at 15:22

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