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In system preferences -> notifications I can turn off the notification sound effect on an app-by-app basis. However, I would like to turn off the notification sounds for all apps. How can I achieve this?

To be specific:

  • I don't want to disable notifications

  • I don't want to change anything about the notification settings other than the sound

  • Ideally this would apply to any future apps I might install as well - I don't want any notification to ever generate a sound under any circumstances

  • I don't want to click on each app individually and turn the sound off one by one

Is this possible?

In general I don't want my computer to ever make a sound under any circumstances unless I specifically asked it to, e.g. by clicking play on a video. So if there's a way to turn off all system sounds and not just notifications, I'm happy with that.

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  • The answer written also addresses macOS. There's no significant difference between macOS and iOS in this regard; turning off sounds for notifications especially with Ventura moving the iOS settings panels to Ventura. Does it not address your question?
    – Allan
    Aug 17, 2023 at 14:36
  • @Allan no significant difference between MacOS and an iphone?? I don't own an iphone but I do know they are a completely different OS running on completely different hardware so that doesn't sound plausible to me. I appreciate the answer over on the other question but it's a weird hack and I would expect it's not necessary.
    – N. Virgo
    Aug 17, 2023 at 14:39
  • You left out the second part and arguably most important part of my sentence: in this regard. I never said macOS and an iPhone are the same. Apple is moving macOS to mirror the settings panels to mirror those in iOS so these here would be the same. However, you still didn't answer the question whether it addressed your question or not.
    – Allan
    Aug 17, 2023 at 14:57
  • @Allan in MacOS, can I set the notification sound effect globally, as opposed to on an app-by-app basis? If not then no, the answer there doesn't address my question. If so, then the answer there does address my question, but as I said it's a hack and I suspect it's not necessary, so I would hope for a better answer.
    – N. Virgo
    Aug 17, 2023 at 15:00

2 Answers 2

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You can adjust the Alert volume independently of the rest.
This also includes Notifications.

enter image description here

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  • 1
    This is very strange - I must have set that slider to zero ages ago, but recently alerts started playing sounds anyway. (From Chrome in particular but I assume from other apps as well.)
    – N. Virgo
    Aug 17, 2023 at 8:41
  • Maybe they're not being routed as notification or system sounds, so they go out the regular output. If they're doing that, there's little you can do to stop them, unless there's a setting within the app itself.
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 17, 2023 at 8:42
  • As you can see from this sound routing utility, each app has only a single output that it presents to the system - i.stack.imgur.com/9EqCG.png Only 'Sound Effects' are separate.
    – Tetsujin
    Aug 17, 2023 at 8:46
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Unfortunately, this functionality is not currently available in MacOS.

This really is an option Apple should add, or at least an option that the default for apps installed is sound off for notifications.

As mentioned in other answers, you can turn the alert sound volume to zero, but this will apply to all alert sounds, not just notifications. I wouldn't recommend this because if you click on something that is disabled, your Mac will make the signature "Boop" sound to let you know it is disabled. If that is turned off, it will appear like your Mac is unresponsive when nothing happens.

When it comes to silencing other unexpected sounds as you requested there's a few settings you might want to look into. You can turn off "Play sound on startup" to turn off the very loud boot-up noise(personally I love this noise, but if you have to restart your Mac in a public place it can be quite embarassing), "Play user interface sound effects", and "Play feedback when volume is changed", all in the Sound settings of System Preferences.

I think the easiest solution is to turn off sound notifications for all apps manually, and then whenever you allow a new app to receive notifications. Obviously this isn't ideal, but maybe this will change in the future.

Apple values user experience, so I would suggest sending a feature request for this functionality.

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