I would like to add an APC brand of a UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) device to a Mac only environment. By default APC has a very loud heart attack invoking, babies crying in the night alarm to indicate power interruption. This audible alarm function can be disabled through a setting in their "Powerchute" power management software. However the APC software seems to be Windows only.

I understand that the Mac will see the UPS in System Preference in the Energy Saving pane for settings concerning saving and shutting down but not for disabling audible alarms.

I've re-listened to a very good episode of The Typical Mac User Podcast about UPSs (ref.) http://typicalmacuser.com/wordpress/2010/07/20/tmup-212-a-ups-can-save-your-butt-with-george-starcher/ however I still cannot quite grasp the setup. It seems one has to initiate the APC device on a Windows computer, disable the audible alarm, then the Mac will recognize this configuration.

I don't want to make the investment if the audible alarm shut-off is not guaranteed. The closest current solution seems to to be an APC download "PowerChute® Personal Edition for the Mac OS X operating system" (ref.) http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/10324/apc-powerchute. However the only current reviews were not favorable.

Has anyone gone through this process?

4 Answers 4


There is APC UPS Daemon can do exactly what you want:

Apcupsd can be used for power mangement and controlling most of APC's UPS models on Unix and Windows machines. Apcupsd works with most of APC's Smart-UPS models as well as most simple signalling models such a Back-UPS, and BackUPS-Office. During a power failure, apcupsd will inform the users about the power failure and that a shutdown may occur. If power is not restored, a system shutdown will follow when the battery is exhausted, a timeout (seconds) expires, or runtime expires based on internal APC calculations determined by power consumption rates. Apcupsd is licensed under the GPL version 2.


I have a Back-UPS XS 1500 and the mute button on the front of the unit can be used to mute the unit. No PowerChute required. You simply hold the mute button down for two seconds and it will disable or re-enable all audible alarms emitted by the device. The unit beeps once to indicate audible alarms are no disabled.

Un-muted, I get a short, fairly quiet, chirp out of the unit when battery kicks in and that's it. It doesn't beep continuously like my old Energizer UPS did.

  • Thanks but I'm trying to do an APC brand UPS
    – john1975
    Dec 25, 2011 at 20:43
  • @john1975 the Back-UPS is an APC brand UPS.
    – Ian C.
    Dec 26, 2011 at 18:09

On a Mac, download APC UPS Daemon. It’s not easy to use, but in the documentation, you will see that there is a software called apctest. Open a terminal, type sudo apctest, you will have access to a configuration menu that allow you to change the alarm behavior.

Before running apctest, you may have to kill the apcupsd deamon. To do so: in a terminal, ps -A | grep apcupsd then find the process with the apcupsd-start (let say it is 51) then enter: sudo kill 51 (or whatever process id you end up with for apcupsd)


I have tried UPSs with a mute button, but they have to be muted every time the power goes out. When my power goes out, it often goes on and off several times before it finally stays on. That means that it can wake me up several times at night and I have to get up to mute it every time before I can go back to sleep. I finally switched from desktop to laptop computers at home because of their built-in battery.

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