Why is My MacBook Volume So Low? (How to Fix) (2023)

MacBooks are known for their ease of use and advanced features, like Touch ID, retina display, and other Apple-exclusive apps. It also has excellent sound quality compared to other laptop brands. However, some MacBook users have asked, “why is my Mac volume so low?”

Why is My MacBook Volume So Low? (How to Fix)

It can happen due to recent setting changes, outdated macOS, and app interferences. This guide will show you how to fix the Mac volume low problem on most MacBook models. Read on to know more.


Table of Contents

“Why is My Mac So Quiet?” — How to Fix

Hearing your MacBook speakers quiet is a common problem with some MacBook models. Below are some fixes that you can try to solve this sound issue on your Mac. Remember to review each fix and see which one is the most effective for your MacBook:


Fix #1: Check the Sound Output

Your MacBook can sound quiet with a different sound output source selected. This applies if you have various sound devices connected to your Mac besides its built-in speakers. To check the sound output settings on your MacBook, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Apple logo in the menu bar and choose System Settings…
  2. Select Sound and click the Output tab. Ensure that your built-in MacBook Speakers are selected.
  3. Next, ensure that the Output volume slider is set to a range where you can hear it. Make sure that the Mute checkbox isn’t checked.
  4. Also, adjust the Balance slider to the middle so that sound will be emitted evenly on both speakers.


Fix #2: Check Other Running Apps

If you’ve recently played sound from various apps on your MacBook, try playing audio on those apps again and check if there’s sound. For instance, it’s possible to have no sound on a specific tab in Safari when the audio is muted in the video player. Also, try playing audio on other apps, like the Music app and QuickTime.


Fix #3: Reboot your MacBook

When wondering “why my Mac volume is low”, it can sometimes be due to bugs, especially when you’ve recently changed your Mac’s system settings. Sometimes, a quick restart can help fix this issue effectively.

To restart your Mac device, proceed to these steps:

  1. Click the Apple logo on the menu bar and choose Restart.
  2. Wait for your Mac to reboot and check if the sound issue is fixed.


Fix #4: Update the macOS of Your MacBook

It’s possible to experience sound issues with your MacBook once its macOS version is outdated. Specific software updates contain security updates and fixes to certain bugs or glitches in the current OS. Hence, try updating your MacBook device to the latest macOS version whenever available.

To update the macOS of your MacBook, follow the steps below:

  1. Select the Apple logo on the menu bar and navigate to System Settings…> Software Update.
  2. Choose Upgrade Now to the latest macOS update.


Fix #5: Reboot the Sound Controller

If you’ve already selected the correct sound output device for your MacBook, yet there’s still no audio from its speakers, the next thing you can do is reboot the sound controller process on your Mac. 

To restart the sound controller process on your Mac via the Activity Monitor, do the following:

  1. Open the Spotlight Search function on your Mac by clicking the magnifying glass icon on the menu bar or pressing the Command + Space bar keys.
  2. Type in the keyword activity monitor and select the app on the search results to open.
  3. Input the process coreaudiod on the search bar in the top right corner of the window. This acts as the main sound controller on your Mac.
  4. Select it and click the Stop (X) button in the toolbar. The process will now proceed to quit and restart.
  5. Then, reboot your Mac and check if the audio problem is now solved.


Fix #6: Reset the NVRAM/PRAM on Your MacBook

Most modern Mac devices use the NVRAM or Non-volatile Random Access Memory to store pieces of information and system settings, including speaker or audio-related configurations. Older Macs still use the PRAM or Parameter Random Access Memory.

Restarting the NVRAM/PRAM on your MacBook can help solve minor issues with its system settings, especially when other fixes don’t work.

To reset the NVRAM/PRAM on an Intel-based MacBook, proceed to these steps:

  1. Turn off your MacBook by clicking the Apple logo > Shut Down…
  2. Next, press the Power button. While it’s booting up, press the following keys: Command + Option + P + R. Hold these keys for 20 seconds and release to boot up your Mac.
  3. Then, go to System Preferences > Sound. Check if the correct sound output is selected, the volume slider is set to your desired level, the Mute checkbox is not checked, etc.
  4. Reboot your Mac and check if the audio issue is fixed.

For M1-based MacBooks, you’ll need to do a simple restart to reset the NVRAM of your device.


Final Thoughts

Sound issues on your MacBook can happen at times. This can be caused by various reasons, including incorrect sound output settings, bugs, or the audio player you’re using is simply muted. Hopefully, this guide will help you on fixing your MacBook once its volume is too low.

If the fixes above weren’t working, try contacting Apple Support for further help.