OS X users can name a hundred features off the bat that they love about the operating system, but the startup chime isn’t likely to be on that list. It’s hard to say just how many versions of OS X have gone by with consistent hate for its startup sound, but it remains a problem that many users try to solve. This isn’t to say that the startup sound in Windows is very pleasant to hear but it can at least be quieted by muting your speakers or just plugging in a pair of head phones. OS X on the other hand is determined to audibly announce its successful startup, and methods for disabling it often fail or stop working when the OS receives an update. StartupSound.prefPane is a preference pane for Mac that silences your startup chime, and its two noteworthy features are that it gets the job done, and is absolutely free.
Install StartupSound.prefPane and restart your system. The pref pane requires OS X 10.2 or higher and any indication of it not working will come when you restart your Mac after installation. Assuming that your Mac restarted without a hitch, head over to System Preferences and you will find a new ‘Startup Sound’ pane added there. Open it and you will be given the option to manage the startup chime’s volume, or mute it altogether.
The options provided here are easy enough to figure out but once you’ve made the changes, make sure you lock it to prevent further changes. This is necessary because the next time you start your Mac, it will start noiselessly but the options in the Startup Sound pref pane will reset unless locked, and when you restart your system again, the chime will be audible once again.
This is all in the event that StartupSound.prefPane works without a hitch. In the event that it doesn’t work for whatever reason, the developer advises that you start OS X in safe mode and uninstall StartupSound.prefPane. This means that should StartupSound.prefPane fail to run on your system, you’ll be pretty much out of luck. We wish we could give you an alternative way to turn the chime off but as it is, we’ve tried quite a few tricks and hacks in the past that all proved to be duds, except this one solution that we can stand behind. There are apps available in the Mac App Store that claim to disable the startup sound, but they don’t always guarantee success either, and not all of them are free.