The startup chime makes a triumphant return in macOS Big Sur

Remember 2016? Seems like forever ago now. Well, back then Apple was making waves by eliminating the startup chime in the MacBook Pro, and, subsequently, future models in the lineup as well.

But it’s 2020 now and things change. Sometimes the things we miss make a triumphant return because a company has decided we can have it back (without tooling around in the Terminals app). That’s the case with macOS 11.0 Big Sur, which Apple just announced yesterday. As noted today by MacRumors, the iconic startup chime has made a comeback, and it’s available in Apple’s next big update for the desktop operating system.

History lesson: A brief history of the Mac startup chime

Apple made the decision to remove the startup chime with the 13- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models released in 2016. The reason behind that move was the fact the machines booted up automatically when the lid is opened or when it’s connected to a power source. While Apple’s argument to remove it seemed logical enough at the time, many folks weren’t happy about it.

After all, it’s an iconic sound.

For those who really missed the sound and didn’t mind dealing with the Terminals app to make some changes, there was a method discovered earlier this year to bring it back. But it wasn’t the easiest thing to do, so most owners, even those who missed the sound, might not have tried to resurrect it with code work.

Tutorial: How to disable or enable the Mac startup chime at will

But now, in macOS Big Sur, the startup chime is back:

Interestingly enough, Apple does not appear to have updated the startup chime. Meaning, it’s the same exact sound as it used to be. The only reason this stands out is because Apple updated the other system sounds in macOS Big Sur, tweaking them slightly in an effort to make them “more pleasing to the ear”. The sounds are based on the originals, but just improved upon a bit. It doesn’t look like Apple did the same thing with the startup chime.

The new (old!) startup chime is on by default, it turns out. So don’t be surprised when you hear it later this year when you boot up your Mac for the first time after installing macOS Big Sur. You can also find the setting to enable or disable the sound in System Preferences –> Sound and then finding the “Play sound on startup” option. This means you can disable it, too, if you’ve gotten accustomed to not hearing it.

It’s also worth noting that Apple is bringing back a notification sound when owners of a MagSafe-equipped Mac notebook plug in their computer to a power source again (via MacRumors forums). You can check that out in the video below as well.

So, a big day for sounds! Are you happy to have the startup chime make its return in macOS 11.0 Big Sur?