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This problem happened after I used a set of powered speakers with the computer for the first time. I tried fixing the problem as above plugging the power speaker jack back in. Then I tried again plugging in my iPhone's headphone jack instead. Then it worked! I guess some jacks are more compatible with the MacBook than others.
It's strange whatever is going on on the inside. Didn't work for me. It switched to digital output. But still has red jack and muted sound. The above didn't work for me, nor restarting.
What to do if the sound is not working on your Mac
This worked for me: The red light went out and "Internal Speakers" appeared in the list where it should be. Try it with or without the headphones plugged in, whichever works.
Another thank you to go on the list. So grateful; like others I had to try it twice, but very relieved. Good to read alternative options in comments too. Best wishes from Lisbon, Portugal. Joe here, blog owner.
SOLVED: No Sound from Mac Mini! - Mac mini Model A - iFixit
For what it's worth, the procedure I've outlined above doesn't always work for some reason. If you've read this far, I'd suggest trying IT2's solution from a few lines up. I was going bonkers but it worked. Sending a happy hug. Can you handle another expression of gratitude? Have had the problem in the past, didn't remember what I'd done to remedy, tried this and it didn't work and second time it did.
Thanks much for sharing! Woo Hoo! Took a few times. Like others, I missed the part about turning off the sound.
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Finally worked with IT2's solution. With headphones in, hit mute on and off, pulled out the headphones and I have speakers again! Just had this exact thing happen. Did a quick google search and came across your site. The fix worked exactly as you described Joe. This didn't work for me. I unplugged the headphones and it set itself back to optical. IT2's solution did not work either. I just fixed the problem, after none of the above worked, by just plugging in and unplugging the headphones like 15 times.
If I pull out headphones, yes, it changes to digital out, but then the icon greys out again and I am once again unable to alter the sound levels. However, I am please that I can at least use headphones or speakers cuz I am currently deep in a rustic cabin deep in the rainforest and my laptop is my sole amusement once the sun goes down. I will try someone else's suggestion of plugging and unplugging the external speakers fifteen times next as that was what was last plugged in. Thanks so much for putting this up.
I would have never been able to work that out! Thanks again. None of these worked for me, but eventually I jammed a plastic tube the inside of a pen into the socket and rotated counterclockwise. After a few tries it worked! Definitely a stuck switch. Got the idea from here: Saddly, It didn't work! Help me! This has been annoying me for a few days now and with your advice, YOU fixed it for me in less than a minute!
However the Toothpick trick DID work!! I thank you so much for this link! Thank you so much.
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Your help was unbelievably perfect. Now I can play my music. Thank you for your excellent help!!!! I am so happy! Fiddled with it for ages! And the only way I could find this was by print screening the mute sign and using google image search! A fix: Had an old set of bad headphones, cut off the jack, and used that jack plugged in, with the INPUT setting, and get speakers to work. Or buy a jack at Radio Shack for a few bucks if you have no defective phones laying around? Good luck!
I had to try a couple of different times, paused the music, then unplugged the headphones, but it did finally work! Thanks so much! I followed the rules and it didn't work. I did a slight variation in that whilst the song was playing in i-tunes i pulled the headphones out and it then started to play through my internal speakers again! I am happy camper once again! Thank you SO much. So helpful.
Fixing a MacBook Stuck on Mute
I spent 10 minutes sticking toothpicks in my headphone jack. This worked for me, eventually, but had two do it twice. Failing for you? Try it thrice. Thanks you very much, i had been trying to fix this problem two months ago, now it is fixed You're awesome.
I was just about to give up and schedule an appointment at an Apple Store. You just saved me a like 4hrs. Had no idea where to start trying to fix this problem!