When you try to do something that isn’t allowed on your Mac, it responds with a loud, annoying alert sound. Don’t worry, you can change the alert sound and its volume using System Preferences on your Mac.

To get started, click the Apple icon from the menu bar and choose the “System Preferences” option.

Select System Preferences from Apple Menu in Big Sur

Navigate to the “Sounds” section.

Here, from the “Sound Effects” tab, take a look at the “Select an Alert Sound” section.

You can select between 14 different sound effects. Select a sound effect to switch to it. We found the “Submerge” effect to be a good balance between playful and soothing.

Choose Submerge Sound Effect for Alert Sound on Mac

Next, you can also decrease the alert volume so that the alert sound will not be as jarring.

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From the “Alert Volume” section, drag the slider to the left to decrease the alert volume.

Change Alert Sound on Mac

And that’s it. You’re done. Next time you try to click a grayed out button, you won’t be shocked by the loud noise coming from your Mac’s speakers (or worse, directly into your AirPods).


Don’t like the startup sound on your MacBook? Here’s how to disable the startup chime on your Mac.

RELATED: How to Enable or Disable the Startup Sound on Mac

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Khamosh Pathak is a freelance technology writer who specializes in tutorials. His work has also been published on Lifehacker, iPhoneHacks, Zapier's blog, MakeUseOf, and Guiding Tech. Khamosh has nearly a decade of experience writing how-tos, features and technology guides on the internet.
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