I'm running OS X El Capitan 10.11.3 for years on my MacBook Pro Retina 2015, never updated the OS since then as I'm running a bunch of softwares that won't work if I update.

Anyways, since about one week, my sound won't work, although I didn't update my OS, neither installed any new apps recently. When I push the sound buttons on the keyboard the icon pops up on the screen showing it's mute. I try to open the Sound preferences as usual when I have such problem (it could be that my Mac opens a different audio output, it happens sometimes), but now the Sound preferences won't open at all.

All the other panes in System preferences open except the Sound one. When I try to open the Sound pane, the System preferences app freezes, and I have to force quit it. Sometimes the pop up message will apear "impossible to open the Sound pane".

I've tried many of the tips found online: opening in Safe mode, running First aid on the Disk Utility app, running sudo killall coreaudiod in the terminal... nothing seems to fix it.

But I know the speaker is not broken since when I restart my computer, the booting sound is heard.

Any tips on how to get my computer back on tracks?

1 Answer 1


Reload the OS from Recovery - Cmd ⌘ R at the chimes.
It should keep all your data intact, but make sure you have a good backup for just in case.

  • Thanks. Will it keep the same OS or update to a more recent one?
    – mattvent
    Jun 30, 2023 at 10:46
  • It will keep the same OS [or strictly, it will install whatever is on the Recovery partition, which should be the exact same OS.]
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 30, 2023 at 10:52
  • 1
    It worked! Reloading the OS was the solution. Data intact, same OS. Thanks!
    – mattvent
    Jul 16, 2023 at 9:33

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