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Travis, Mac-Trained Product Designer
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 759
Experience:  19+ Years of Mac Experience, BSA in Design and 6 Years of Mac Training from University of Cincinnati
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I had speakers plugged into my macBook and now I have no sound

Resolved Question:

I had speakers plugged into my macBook and now I have no sound because the computer light, indicating the speakers are still plugged in, is on. This happened when I first had my computer. The Mac help person ,once we figured out that the audio out light was staying on, was able to get my sound back but I have forgotten what we did. Can you tell me how to get rid of the audio output light so that I can regain control of my sound?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Travis replied 6 years ago.
If the following suggestions work, please let me know and you can Accept the answer (and if possible, leave positive feedback). If not, please DO NOT Accept the answer. Instead, let me know and we'll try some more things or I can refer you to another Expert who may be able to help you further.

First I would suggest it sounds like your computer is stuck on Digital Output (because of the red light), as if there is a dongle or heaphones connected to the computer. Which would make the computer think to disable the internal speakers.

I was doing a little more research for someone else having the same problem. I came across this thread at apple's support site. It suggests using a toothpick to disengage the audio jack. I DO NOT recommend this. Instead, try plugging your headphones in, then taking them out, repeat until the light goes off.

Good Luck.


If that doesn't help, let's confirm some settngs.

Go to Applications / Utilities / Audio Midi Setup

Confirm that Default Input, Output, System Output are all set to "Built-In Output"
Under "Properties for" set to "Built-In Output".
The "Audio Output" box in the bottom right, the following should be selected:
Source: Internal Speakers
Format: 44100.0 Hz / 2ch-24bit


Next go to System Preferences / Sound and confirm the following settings (if you can):
Under Output:
Internal Speakers should be selected as the Built-In Output, if not let me know what it does have in the dialogue box
Output Volume is not Muted in the check box at the bottom.


Next let's reset the PRAM on the computer.
1) Shut down the computer.
2) While the computer is shut down, locate these keys: command (has an apple on it), option (sometimes called alt), P, and R.
3) Turn the computer on, then press and hold Command-Option-P-R before the gray screen appears.
4) Hold these keys down until you hear the startup sound a total of 3 times.
5) Release the keys.

Next, let's try a Safe Boot. This will perform several clean up procedures that may be affecting the machine's performance and startup.
1) Shut down your computer completely.
2) Start up the computer and immediately after the startup chime, press and hold the Shift key
3) Once the gray Apple and progress indicator appear, release the Shift key
4) Note: Startup will likely take substantially longer than normal (20 - 30 minutes is not unheard of)
5) In Mac OS 10.4 or later, you will have to login to your account, even if it normally does so automatically.
6) Shut down the computer.
7) Restart and try now.

If above suggestions yield no results, let me know and we'll go from there.
Travis and other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
the audio Out on audio application says digital out not internal speakers. If I plug in speakers it says headphones staying on now but I still have no internal speaker control.
I will try the PRAM but that did not help in the past.
Expert:  Travis replied 6 years ago.
With the headphones plugged in, do you get sound out of them?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
yes the headphones have sound.
I thought the audio light had stopped working because it was not on when the headphones
were plugged in but now the headphones are out and the light is back on.
PRAM did nothing
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I have to go to work now. I will try more tomorrow.
Expert:  Travis replied 6 years ago.
This sounds like a port error. Normally putting the headphone jack in and out should correct the port. I'd suggest next to try a different set of headphones. Make sure it fully seats into the port, then pull it out. Repeat. If you can't get the port off, I'd try some compressed air. Not too much, just a shot to clear out any debris that may be in there.

If after all of this, you still can't get the port to reset, then I can only recommend taking the laptop in for service. I can not in good conscience suggest sticking anything into the port itself to reset the switch. But if you do, (at your own risk), the method that does appear to work best is to cut a Q-Tip in half and use the plastic end. But I can't suggest that. It would be better to take it in for service.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I am still working on the problem. I am taking it to a mac repair place in the city to see if it is still under warranty. I will get back to you soon.
Expert:  Travis replied 6 years ago.
Good luck, let me know how it works out for you and what the problem was.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I got to the repair shop 2 weeks before my warranty runs out. they put in a new logic board which includes the audio port.
Thanks for getting me to the shop in time.

Now I have to decide if I want to pay for and extended warranty
Expert:  Travis replied 6 years ago.
Glad I could at least assist! - Take care and let me know if you ever have any other issues with your MacBook.