I have Yosemite 10.10.3 installed on my MacBookPro circa 2011. At some point, my Speaker icon went gray. If I go into Settings/Sound/Output, all I see is Digital Out entry and it says The selected device has no output controls as per screenshot below.

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If I hold down the Option key (as in this answer) and click on the Speaker icon, I get the following list of devices. As you can see, there are no Internal Speakers, as one would expect.

enter image description here

So, what am I missing? I've tried sudo killall coreaudiod as per this question. It just restarts everything, but changes nothing.

What else can I try?


Thank you for displaying the audio output settings in System Preferences.

This is very likely physical issue with your MacBook Pro (MBP). Your MBP supports three outputs:

  1. speakers
  2. headphone jack
  3. optical/digital output (using your headphone jack)

When the optical output is activate there is no way to change it to speakers using a macOS setting. As this output doesn't support volume changes your speaker icon is grayed out.

Please check with a flashlight if there is something stuck in your MBP's headphone jack (debris, dust or similar). The optical output setting is triggered using a physical

Carefully try to remove it with a toothpick.

Please report back if you

  • can see a red light coming out of the headphone jack when playing a song
  • could solve the issue with a toothpick
  • used wired headphone with your MBP in the last few weeks.


I've taken a picture to show how the port can determine whether it's a headphone plug or an optical cable. The optical cable is just a tad longer and triggers the optical output in macOS.: The optical cable is just a tad bit longer and triggers the optical output in macOS.

  • So, per your questions. 1. The red light is on whenever any application is on that might play audio (like a a youtube tab in safari). 2. I tried messing with a toothpick and a cut-off q-tip, but nothing worked. 3. I did use iPhone ear pods several weeks ago, but that is all. Additionally, there is no debris that I can see inside the jack. Dec 2 '16 at 4:26
  • Thank you for your answers. As there is no debris in the jack please plug in some headphones. When you play any sound on your MacBook will it change the output in the system preferences?
    – oa-
    Dec 2 '16 at 9:15
  • Yes. It will change the Digital Output to Headphones, and those work fine. But when I remove the headphones, the entry goes back to Digital Output and nothing can be heard and the speaker icon goes back to being grayed out. Dec 2 '16 at 18:10

Had the same issue. I reset the pram which did solve the issue for me.


Environment: macOS Catalina 10.15.3 (19D76)

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