I know there is the sound effects list in Preferences->sound, but this will change only the alert sound - that I like. What is annoying to me is the notifications sound. I like to work with headphones and music, and I wish to be notified when a new message came in by freechat, for example. But the sound is loud and annoying, maybe another sound or just lower volume...

I have looked and it seams there is no way by the easy way, the Preferences->notifications panel only allow me to decide if I wish the sound or not, there is no other option. But this sound must be in a file somewhere, maybe there is some definitions in other file...

Any ideas?

  • 1
    Not sure it's a dupe of this - apple.stackexchange.com/questions/210072/… - but the answer is possibly the same. Modify a sound & use that instead.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Oct 13, 2017 at 19:19
  • 2
    You can, but not as easily as Windows or Linux. Don't know why they don't just have that option in the system settings...
    – Delorean
    Commented Oct 13, 2017 at 21:55
  • Yes, @Tetsujin, we are looking for the same thing, as in apple.stackexchange.com/questions/167008/…. But it seams Apple won't make it easy for us, got to overwrite the file to change it. Maybe is registered somewhere witch sound should be played and where is it, I didn't find yet. Those answers didn't came up when I was writing mine, so maybe my question should remain here to people find a clue, and maybe Apple's developers can do something about, who knows...
    – Gustavo
    Commented Oct 14, 2017 at 19:00
  • By the way, the sound that plays when a notification appears is not inside that library (/System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/ToneLibrary.framework).
    – Gustavo
    Commented Oct 14, 2017 at 19:33
  • 1
    Is there any development on this side? Even with the posts links, I wasn't able to gat far in selecting a new 'notification' sound. Commented Aug 14, 2021 at 19:35

1 Answer 1


That would be a workaround, but it'll prevent from hearing notifications through your headphones. You'll hear them e.g. on your Mac speakers instead

  1. Connect your headphones to your Mac
  2. Open Audio MIDI Setup app (you'll find it under Utilities folder)
  3. Select any output audio device, apart from your headphones
  4. Right click and select Play Alerts and Sound Effects Through This Device like in the image below:

setting up alerts on different speaker

I hope this helps :)

  • 1
    of course one has to have an entire app running to do the most trivial thig
    – vach
    Commented Feb 11, 2023 at 12:43

You must log in to answer this question.

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