I'm certain that this is user-error on my behalf and not an issue with the software or hardware. I've got the latest iMac (2013) and updated my OSX to the most current version of Mountain Lion (10.8.4)

The problem i'm having occurrs in all applications and affects the volume setting. Applications i use and have experienced this issue with:

  • Spotify
  • iTunes
  • Chrome (Youtube, HTML5 Video & Audio, Flash Players)

Sometimes i stream podcasts that have a low default volume so i like to turn up my OSX Volume to full in order to hear them. However; when i use either the volume slider in my top bar, or the volume keys on my keyboard and adjust the volume beyond around 60% after about 5 seconds playback the volume automatically goes back down to around 60%.

See image:

MAC OSX Volume

I've recorded a 15 second Screencast with sound, here is the Screenr.

I've been into System Preferences > Sound and taken a look around the output settings but i can't see anything that would restrict the volume to this.

Any and all insight to this problem is greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance

  • Do you use something called soundflower ? or any non standard in you sound preferances ?
    – Ruskes
    Commented Jul 5, 2013 at 21:03
  • Did you try resetting your PRAM and your SMC ?
    – Ruskes
    Commented Jul 5, 2013 at 21:42
  • Just a Joke: Does your neighbor has a remote control ?
    – Ruskes
    Commented Jul 5, 2013 at 21:50
  • lol nope, it's actually my office mac. but no1 here is using a remote. I don't use any third party sound preferences/software. I've not reset the pram, ill give that a go shortly and let you know the outcome :)
    – Matt
    Commented Jul 8, 2013 at 13:21
  • Turn off the IR port, see if that helps: (Yosemite) System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy > Accessibility > Advanced
    – cmason
    Commented Feb 26, 2015 at 21:30

2 Answers 2


Check any third party software relating to sound output management. I'm not talking about apps such as iTunes or Spotify, but rather things such as Soundflower or other apps that modify how sound is output from your system and record system sounds.


Well, that happened to me too. I eventually found out that, actually, someone in the neighborhood did have a remote control, and as I was sitting by a window, entered my computer. Then when I went away, as it was accessing my computer, kept doing it. I actually just went to an area outside of the neighborhood and it stopped.

  • Just FYI this problem was 2 years ago and ive had two new iMacs since then... lol
    – Matt
    Commented May 11, 2015 at 15:49

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