no sound or volume after upgrading

A problem that seems to be affecting quite a few users after the Mountain Lion upgrade is loss of sound in iTunes, QuickTime and other apps. Some people are reporting that the Volume control is greyed out or won’t move.

The resolution here is to quit and resart the coreaudio process. To do so:

1. Open Activity (Applications > Utilities > Activity

2. Select ‘All Processes’ from the drop down menu next to the search bar (called ‘Filter:’) and type in ‘coreaudio’.

3. Select the process name and click the ‘Quit Process’ button at the top. Chose ‘Quit’ or ‘Force Quit’ from the resulting dialogue box.

The coreaudio process will automatically restart itself (if you look closely at the PID number in Activity Monitor you’ll notice it changes after you hit ‘Quit’) and your sound problems should be solved. However, if you find that this procedure only partially solves the problem or doesn’t work for you, also try this:

4. Open (Applications/Utilities/ and copy/paste this command into the Terminal window

rm /Library/Preferences/

then press ‘return’ on your keyboard.

5. Restart your mac and test.

6. Still not working? Check your audio configuration here:

/Applications/Utilities/Audio MIDI

Make sure the window has the title Audio Devices, and click ‘Built in Output’ in the sidebar. Are any of the boxes under ‘Mute’ in the main panel checked? If so, uncheck them. Is the format set to 44100.0hz? If not, change it so that it is.

Hope this helps!


About philastokes

Freelance Writer, Developer and Technical Communicator. Explaining the unexplainable with images, video and text. Scripting anything imaginable in Applescript, Bash, C, Objective C, Cocoa, Python and Xcode.

Posted on July 31, 2012, in Mountain Lion and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. Thanks fixed it like a charm!

  2. Great stuff worked a treat!

  3. Quitting “coreaudio” brought back my mail notification sounds…thank you!

  4. Thanks for the suggestion to force quit coreaudio process. This problem has been bugging me for months. AppleCare call centre wasn’t able to help. Same thing with the Apple service centre.

  5. Hi Phil

    It seems that your first tip works great to solve the sound issue during a session but if I turn my iMac off and on again I have to repeat the process. I also seem to have an issue with the terminal command as it says ‘File not found’. Is there another work around for this?

  6. Hi Phil

    Thanks for that fix – this has been irritating me for a while now and your instructions were clear and simple to follow.

    Nice to see you using the Mystique theme – one of my favourite free themes🙂

    Signed up for your posts – they will provide me with lots of things to share with my mac using friends.

    Best wishes


  7. I stopped getting sounds again, so I tried the above suggestion… so far so good. Thanks!

  8. I tried the three options but I still have no email sounds at all. I never thought it could be so irritating.

    If anybody has any other suggestion, please let me know! Thank you

    • See if the problem occurs when your mac is in Safe mode. To do this, restart the mac as usual but hold down the ‘Shift’ key at the same time as pressing the power button. Keep it held down till you see the grey screen with Apple logo and a progress bar. You can release the ‘Shift’ key now.

      When the progress bar completes, log in to your normal account and test Mail for sounds. If Mail is behaving as normal, then remove all items from your Login Items list here:

       > System Preferences… > Users & Groups | Login Items

      After removing them, restart your mac normally and test to see if the problem has resolved.

    • Now it isn’t working again. I miss my whoosh!

  9. Thank you. That was really helpful.

  10. Thanks! I was really missing the sound of the mail whooshing out into cyberspace!

  11. I found this tip on a Google search about 10 days ago and it worked perfectly. All my email sound effects were restored after going silent following the Mountain Lion upgrade. Yesterday the email sounds again disappeared. I repeated these steps and they’re back. Thanks much.

  12. i followed the first solution step and it solved the problem. thanks my friend phil

  13. Nothing seems to be working… agh! Terminal came back with “no such file or directory”. So frustrating that none of my files, avi or mp3/4 will work, though they worked two days ago. Any idea if Apple will be fixing this? Or, if not, how I go back to my previous OS?

    • Hi Stephanie, first do this

      1. Go to

       > System Preferences… > Users & Groups | Login Items

      Select all the items in the ‘Login Items’ list and click the minus ‘-‘ button directly below it.

      2. Go to Terminal and copy/paste this command:

      rm ~/Library/Preferences/

      It looks like the previous command, but it is subtly different.

      You must restart your mac to see if there’s any effect.

      Let me know how you get on.

      • I tried this because terminal couldn’t find the directory like in Stephanie’s case. I removed all login items and still terminal couldn’t find the directory. I checked the preferences folder and the file is not in there. Is there something else I could try that you know of? Thanks!

  14. Thank you so much Phil !!!!!
    Works (so far)

  15. I opened my email from your mailing list this morning to see a very helpful peek at what I might encounter as I go to work today as an AppleCare advisor🙂 Thanks Phil!

%d bloggers like this: