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My 2021 MacBook Pro (18,3) recently started making a strange beeping sound. I would like to know its source since the sound makes me somewhat concerned and is also quite irritating. I’m running macOS 12.6.3. I’ve characterised the beeping below:

  • I made a short recording of the beeping.
  • Attaching headphones or adjusting volume have no effect, i.e. the beeping can still be heard. (I’m not even completely sure if the speakers are the source.)
  • The beeping stops sometimes even for a long time but so far has resumed later.
  • The beeping starts again after reboot.
  • SoundSource doesn’t list any applications that produce audio output.
  • The beeping happens even in the login window but (so far) not in Safari launched by a guest user.
  • I tried uninstalling the Teams audio driver and stopping Adobe’s processes but these didn’t seem to have any effect.

Any advice is appreciated.

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  • are you sharing your Mac with other users
    – Ruskes
    Commented Nov 12, 2023 at 19:58
  • No, I’m not. I proceeded to uninstall Zoom as well; we'll see if that has any effect.
    – tsnorri
    Commented Nov 12, 2023 at 21:20
  • did you say you still hear it if you mute the speakers
    – Ruskes
    Commented Nov 12, 2023 at 21:29
  • It is a Alert sound, but we do not know who it is, to check go to System Preferences > Sound and change the alert sound, to confirm it is a Alert
    – Ruskes
    Commented Nov 12, 2023 at 21:36
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    OK, start in Safe mode by turning the power off/on and holding the Shift, that will turn off all non Apple software
    – Ruskes
    Commented Nov 12, 2023 at 22:42

1 Answer 1

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After trying various other options, I noticed that the sound can be heard even when starting up in recovery mode. A colleague suggested that the MacBook might be trying to start its fan. I installed Macs Fan Control and, lo and behold, the RPM of the left side fan indeed alternates between zero and some 26k. I guess I’ll have to try my luck with Apple’s repair service.

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