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I sometimes run into an issue where I connect an external monitor via HDMI, and my Macbook Pro's sound is now routed to the monitor instead of my headphones or the internal speakers. Worse, sometimes this means that the volume control buttons stop working (even mute!)

I never, ever, want sound going through an external monitor. The internal speakers are better than most monitor speakers, anyway.

Is there a way to prevent this happening?

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In the sound section of system preferences, make sure that "Internal Speakers" is selected.

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  • Yes, that's how I change the current output. But that doesn't prevent the same thing happening with future monitors. – Steve Bennett Jun 26 at 5:05
  • Sorry, I'm not aware of a way to permanently disable the HDMI audio output. This hints that it may be tied to what is set as the main monitor, not sure if it would be helpful. I swapped between my two monitors and no matter which one I plugged in (or both), my MacBook display remained as the main monitor and the audio output didn't change. – hot pineapple juice Jun 26 at 5:40

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