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Why Is The Volume On My Mac Locked? (How To Fix It)

Having a locked volume in your Mac can be irritating, especially if you have some videos to watch or work to do but what could be the cause of it? I will provide a solution to that and any relatable concern.

A MacBook volume is locked because of something wrong in the Macs sound settings, the internal speakers could be disabled or there might be is a build-up of dirt in the headphone port. To unlock it press F10, F11, or F12 on the keyboard for it to mute, decrease, or increase and clean the headphone port of dust.

Here, I will take you through tips to fix a volume that’s not working on Mac and explain why you can’t increase or decrease the volume. So, keep reading to find out.

If you would like to master the volume button menu bar on Mac, watch the below video, which I’m sure you will find helpful.

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How To Fix Volume Not Working On Mac

  • Restart Your Mac
  • Check If There’s volume in different apps
  • Press the volume-up button
  • Look for any external volume devices
  • Clear headphone jack or any dirt
  • Inspect your USB ports
  • Consider updating your software
  • Try resetting the PRAM
  • Reset the SMC (System Management Controller)

 In order to fix locked volume in your Mac, first, play something in music or iTunes, a video or music to confirm that there’s definitely no volume, and then try the following tips:

1.       Restart your Mac-Sometimes. Turning it off and on again helps resolve an issue like this, so go ahead and give it a shot. If you find you cannot log in after a Mac restart see my post here to solve all login issues.

2.       Check whether there is a volume in a different app-: The sound could be functional in music or iTunes, but not in Safari. Probably, you have accidentally turned down or muted the volume in Safari. If that’s the case, locate sound controls in the video window you’re watching from and adjust it yourself since some videos come muted by default.

3.       Press the volume-up button-: This is to ensure that the volume is not turned down. Therefore, locate the F12 key on the keyboard and tap it to display an overlay on your screen. If pressing F12 doesn’t work, you can alternatively click on the volume option at the menu bar.

4.       Look for any external volume devices-: By checking your headphone socket, assure you that there are no plugin gadgets like AirPods to the Mac. If they are, plug them out to test the volume through your Mac’s internal speakers and determine whether you’ll hear sound playing.

5.       Check if the headphone jack is clogged with debris (some Mac models indicate it with a red light)-: Your volume might stop working when there is something in the port, probably dust or a bit of fluff. So, if there is dust or any other debris, blow it out. Once it’s dislodged, connect some headphones and press while holding one of the volume buttons to test whether you’ve resolved the issue.

6.       Take a look at your ports-: Try disconnecting anything connected to your Mac, including HDMI cable, thunderbolts and USB devices, since they might have a potential effect on the audio. So, apart from the audio port, ensure that all other ports are clear.

7.       Consider updating your software-: Ensure that your Mac has the latest macOS version to improve performance and fix any issues, including locked volume.

8.       Try resetting the PRAM-: If you run this process, you might fix any sound-related issue. To get it done, restart your Mac, as you continuously hold down alt (or option), command, R and P. For this to succeed, don’t release the keys until your Mac computer starts and chimes. Let it chime again, and finally release the keys.

9.       Reset the SMC (System Management Controller)-: This might actually work SMC stores settings related to temperature and power management and other essential things. Depending on the type of your Mac, you check here to know how to reset SMC.

If none of the above tips works for you, probably your Mac has a hardware failure that needs to be serviced. Also, you can consider returning the Mac to the Apple store to get the hardware checked. However, you first need to book an appointment before heading there.

To see how much you’re expected to pay for Apple to repair your Mac and the different pricing sectors Apple charge check out my article.

Why You Can’t Increase Or Decrease Volume On Mac?

If you can’t adjust your Mac’s sound even after pressing the volume up and down buttons, probably your settings are incorrect or internal speakers are deactivated, or you have external output devices like speakers and monitors set up and connected to your Mac.

For that reason, I would recommend that you first open the sound menu of the system preferences to find out why your Mac is not functioning correctly. Once you have opened the system preferences menu, go-to sound, and then on the output, you’ll see the selected output device. If it’s a third-party device, change the settings to internal speakers.

In fact, the major cause of failure to increase or decrease on your Mac is having external output devices like speakers and monitors set up. Since these external devices come with their volume controls, it might be impossible to control your Mac volume.

Also, suspected malware could be a problem and a possible cause of you not increasing or decreasing the volume. Therefore, I would advise you to use an app like CleanMyMac X, which helps identify junk or malware that might block your Mac’s normal functionality, including sound issues.

In case you’re stuck because the volume of your Mac is locked at a low level, an application like Boom 3D might be your next best friend. It allows you to bypass any protocol that leaves your Mac’s volume locked and pushes your audio’s volume to higher levels.

Apart from that, with the help of Boom 3D, you can customize presets, change the default volume settings of various apps, and enjoy your favorite music at the loudest volume.

With that knowledge in mind, we can agree that Mac volume might stop working, but it’s fixable. Locked or limited volume are some of the issues you’ll encounter from time to time if you’re a fan of Apple brands. However, that shouldn’t worry you because there is always a way out.

Does your MacBook sometimes vibrate? Learn why this happens and how to prevent it in my blog post.