The new MacBook, first released in 2015, makes a chime sound every time you plug the MacBook in, just like the iPhone and iPad. But the MacBook Pro and Air don’t–unless you enable this hidden feature.
While this feature is only enabled by default on the MacBook, PowerChime.app–which causes the sound–is present in macOS on any Mac. All you need to do is run a single command to enable it. If you’ve got a fraying charger, or live in a house with some loose plugs, hearing that your charger is working can be a godsend. (Thanks to GitHub user herbischoff for discovering and sharing this trick.)
How to Enable PowerChime on Your MacBook Pro or Air
To enable PowerChime.app, you need to open the Terminal. Head to Applications > Utilities or search Spotlight for “Terminal”.
Then, paste this command and hit Enter:
defaults write com.apple.PowerChime ChimeOnAllHardware -bool true; open /System/Library/CoreServices/PowerChime.app &
Commands can seem like magic spells, but they’re not that complicated. Here’s how this particular one breaks down:
defaultsis a program on your Mac that changes settings.
- The word
writeis you telling
defaultsthat you want to change something.
com.apple.PowerChime ChimeOnAllHardware -bool truerefers to the specific settings you want to change.
;ends the first command and starts a second one
opentells your Mac to open a program
/System/Library/CoreServices/PowerChime.appis the PowerChime application itself.
After running the command, you will hear a sound every time you plug in your MacBook Pro or Air. Neat, right?
Disable Power Chime on Your MacBook Pro or Air
If you decide you don’t like this, here’s the command to reverse what you just did:
defaults write com.apple.PowerChime ChimeOnAllHardware -bool false;killall PowerChime
The first command is largely the same as before, just with the word
false instead of
true. The second command, which comes after
;, shuts down PowerChime.app instead of launching it.
Why Does This Even Exist?
So, why does is this hidden setting even offered? As stated before, it’s because of the 2015 MacBook.
That MacBook uses USB Type-C to charge, instead of the Magsafe charger used by the MacBook Pro and Air lines. The Magsafe charger is one of Apple’s best creations, and includes a visible light that lets you know when you’re plugged in. The USB Type-C charger that comes with the MacBook doesn’t offer that, so users needed some other way to quickly confirm the device was actually charging. This sound is it.
We’re not sure why the new MacBook doesn’t just use the Magsafe, but it’s cool that the sound also works on other devices.
Photo credit: MarLeah Cole/Flickr