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How to get a power cable connected/disconnected alert on macOS

macOS normally doesn’t alert users to hardware changes. You get alerts when you move files, or delete them but those are software changes. Hardware changes such as connecting a disk, a phone, or the power cable aren’t normally accompanied by any sort of audio alert but there is a built-in mechanism that can be used to enable these alerts. Here’s how you can get power cable connected/disconnected alerts on macOS.

This trick may be limited by hardware but generally speaking if you have a Mac model that was released in 2015 or later, it should work. Click the Apple icon in the menu bar and select About This Mac to see what year your model is from.

Power cable connected/disconnected alerts

Open Terminal and run the following command.

defaults write com.apple.PowerChime ChimeOnAllHardware -bool true; open /System/Library/CoreServices/PowerChime.app &

Connect, or disconnect the power cable from your Mac and you will hear an audio alert. There will be no visual/desktop alert telling you what the sound means.

If you later decide you can do without the alerts, you can disable them with the following command.

defaults write com.apple.PowerChime ChimeOnAllHardware -bool false;killall PowerChime

If you have the sort of power cable that lights up when it connects to your MacBook, the alert won’t sound until the light on it comes On. It doesn’t matter if the MacBook is fully charged or charging. The light indicates that a power connection has been established with the device and that’s what triggers the chime.

This command will likely also enable alerts for other hardware connect/disconnect events e.g. when you connect a USB you will likely hear another audio alert.

If you compare macOS and Windows, you’ll find they’re practically polar opposites in this area. On Windows 10, each and every hardware related event is accompanied by an audio alert, and sometimes even a visual/desktop alert e.g. when you connect a phone or external drive. It does not, however, give users an alert when the power cable is connected or disconnected and it has no built-in mechanism to do so.

macOS simply doesn’t send alerts when there is a hardware change but it has the ability to do so. This allows users to enable the alerts natively and not have to rely on a third-party app to do the job for them. Once the alerts are enabled, they include alerts for the power cable connecting/disconnecting as well.

Need power cable connected/disconnected alerts on Windows 10? You will have to use an app.

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