Sound Not Working on MacBook Air: How to Troubleshoot

Is no noise coming out of those speakers? Don’t worry, you won’t need to purchase a new laptop, there are a few simple troubleshooting steps that could solve this issue! It could be a few things, start by checking that your volume isn’t completely lowered.

I’m Ty, an IT Field Technician whose entire day-to-day environment, is fixing issues just like this one! I know you’re a very busy person, and need your audio to get back to, whatever it is you were doing!

Throughout this piece, I’ll lay out each fix I employ, I hope one of them does the trick for you. I plan to have you back in working order by the end of this short article!

Key Takeaways

  • Verify that your Volume is not all the way lowered.
  • Make sure the app that you are using is not the one that is muted.
  • Try other apps to see if it might just be that one application having issues.

Sound Not Working on MacBook Air: How to Fix It

There could be a multitude of reasons why it seems that your audio is not functioning as it should. I’ll lay out all of the fixes and troubleshooting I go through so that I can get you back to listening, right away!

Fix #1: Check Your Volume

The very first thing you should do is check to make sure that your volume isn’t muted. I know, it sounds like common sense, but just like someone searching for glasses that are right above his brow line, it won’t hurt to just check. 

Step 1: On the MacBook Air, the volume up key should be F12.

Step 2: If that does not seem to be working, you can also check the menu bar to see if your volume is muted or completely lowered. 

Step 3: Check the volume of the app you are using! Make sure that whatever you are watching or listening to is not muted, or too quiet!

Fix #2: Restart the App and Computer

This is also as simple as it sounds. Try a different app to see if the problem lies with your actual mac or what you are viewing. The app itself may have run into a glitch, or something within your computer operating system isn’t working how it should.

Step 1: To restart the app you can simply click the red circle in the top right corner and it will close out. 

Step 2: If for some reason that does not seem to work, don’t worry. There are a few more ways you can force an app to quit if it gets stuck! While the app is open, press cmd+Q to force the app to quit. 

Step 3: Re-open the app afterward, and test the audio once more.

Step 4: If it still does not work, restart the computer as a whole. Click the apple logo in the top left and select the “restart” option.

Step 5: After restarting, test that volume one more time!

Fix #3: Check Ports for Cables or Debris

This one is a bit unlikely, but it never hurts to check. If you throw your laptop in a bag, lint could likely be in the headphone port, causing your device to think that headphones are plugged in. If there is any debris within the port, clear it out and try once more. 

Make sure no cables are plugged into any of the ports. Sometimes, cables can be recognized as audio devices, even if they aren’t. So making sure that your MacBook Air is cable-free while troubleshooting, is essential.

Another way to check if your MacBook Air is picking up any headphones is to check your internal/external speakers in system preferences.

Step 1: Open up your System Preferences and go to Sound.

Step 2: Once within the sound settings, check the external output, and make sure the MacBook speakers are selected, and not muted.

Fix #4: Update your OS

When in doubt, check your system for software updates. An out-of-date operating system can cause a plethora of random and annoying issues. Making sure your system is up to date and running at its best is a great practice to have in general.

Head back up to that small apple logo on the top right of your screen and select About This Mac. From there you can select Software Update, and check to see if your OS is out-of-date.

Final Thoughts

Encountering a sound issue can be very annoying, and tech issues seem to happen at the most inopportune times. Thankfully, it is an easy issue to begin troubleshooting and fixing. I hope that one of the fixes listed in this article was able to rectify your sound issues!

If you are still running into issues after following all of the above steps, try taking your MacBook Air to the Apple store for them to diagnose further, it could be a hardware issue.

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