When I plug my (HDMI) display into my laptop, the sound output switches to it. I can switch it back, but is there any way to stop this automatic switch?

(I've found many people complaining, but no answers. A script which reversibly disabled HMDI audio would be acceptable.)


I have multiple devices I connect to my mac and for some they had the same issue.

The work around (or actual fix) is to open 'audio midi setup' in your applications>utility folder and create a 'new aggregate device' or multi-output device' and turn off/on the inputs/outputs sound based on needs.

The plus sign on the bottom left corner. enter image description here

  • 2
    Awesome! Thanks a bunch. Only problem is the sound keys and system audio slider don't work: prntscr.com/feufup . What ways have you found of adjusting volume? I have quicksilver and Karabiner so perhaps I could map some key or keystroke sequence to a script which controls the volume? – tog22 Jun 1 '17 at 22:05
  • ALoha, sorry for the delay. Just click on the configure speakers and you can adjust sliders there, cheers :) – norcal johnny Jun 14 '17 at 20:16
  • Not on 10.11 - the MIDI app looks different from your screenshot on that too. I'll say if it works on 10.12. – tog22 Jun 14 '17 at 23:45
  • As @tog22 says, the midi app seems to have changed as of 10.13, and It's not obvious how you turn inputs on/off in an aggregate device. I think that by clicking configure speakers you can choose which device is used for which speaker channel. – ForeverWintr May 26 '18 at 3:01
  • 2
    Needing to open the MIDI app just to change volume is crazy. – Matthew Read Oct 8 '18 at 17:18

Open System Preferences -> Sound -> Output tab and select Macbook Speakers.
Select the same in Sound Effects Tab.
This will stop switching to speakers to HDMI when plugging in a monitor.Sound System Preferences

  • 3
    How does this prevent the automatic switching whenever the OP connects to the monitor again? – nohillside Jun 13 at 5:05

You must log in to answer this question.

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