Why Is The Volume On My Mac Locked? Understanding Your Mac

Volume issues and bugs are pretty common in the MacBook. It mostly happens after carrying out an update on the operating system. At times it is brought about by the external audio device connection. 

However, do not worry. The issue of volume locking is quite common on MacBook. The incorrect settings or misconfigured applications can result in this issue. 

The issue makes the computer not produce any sound from the headphones or speakers. Being a common issue has made many deeply look into some of the causes and the possible solution. 

In this article, we have highlighted some of the causes of volume locking in Mac. Understanding them will help you do a quick fix on your Mac. So, let’s get back to the question. 

Why Is the Volume on My Mac Locked?

The issue of volume locking can be because of a physical problem with the headphone jack. To confirm this, you should look for a red light on the inside—the modern MacBook’s display red light in case of any issue like blocked sockets.  

It shows that the output has been set to digital audio. The jack has been designed to recognize digital audio, headphone, and output laptop speakers. At times the jack can be faulty and fails to switch back to laptop speakers or headphones. 

This issue is easy to solve. Look at the sound preferences to identify the type of audio settings. If possible, change them. 

Additional Information

Bugs and in the soundboard driver can also be a cause of the problem. To determine this, you’ll have to look into the system logs. 

The great thing is if this is the cause, then you can fix it so quickly by restarting your MacBook. If it happens because of a consistent reason, like when you use a particular app, then it’s not that bad. 

Since you already know what you are dealing with. If it’s random, then I would advise that you visit the Apple repair centre so they can do a check on the issue and fix it under warranty. 

MacBook Sound Issues

Several issues can cause sound issues in a Mac. In this section, we have highlighted the list of issues and fixes for the problems. 

No sound: Check the Volume

It should be the first thing to check before you start looking for other issues. The solution might be as simple as unmuting the volume. 

In most Macs, the volume is adjusted using the F12 button. Press and hold it. Again you should check if it’s an issue with individual apps. 

For example, most browsers do have volume indicators that are next to the tab. You should check on it to be sure that the volume is not on mute. Apps like YouTube also have their volume.  

Select the Right Audio Device

If still, you cannot hear any sound after plugging in your headphones and adjusting the mac volume, there’s a possibility that the Mac has one of the common audio bugs. 

It would be best if you started with the audio device output and input settings. At the time, the Mac tends to select the wrong audio device because of app conflicts, incompatibility of drivers and incorrect configurations. 

You can access this setting from the Apple menu, then system preferences. Switching from one output to another helps fix the issue at times. 

The most commonly made mistake is leaving your MacBook blue tooth on. It then connects to another media device. 

So the audio plays in the other media device instead of through the MacBook output speakers. 

Unplugging and then reconnecting the audio devices helps solve the issue at times, plus always check the mute option. 

You can use the Audi MIDI Setup to look for the output devices connected to your MacBook. 

You can then configure the audio channel sample rate, format, and bit depth. In case of funny audio sounds, you should reconfigure your audio settings and restart the app again to determine if it’s okay. 

The Major Updates Or Third Party Applications

The third-party plugins can be so disturbing. At times they do integrate with your Mac settings, and this makes the sound not work effectively. 

Sound engineers and musicians do know this better. The new macOS always have incompatibility issues with specific software and hardware. The significant upgrades are another thing that should not be taken lightly. 

In case you do not have any updates, it can mess you. Today the developers are too quick at releasing app updates without putting certain things into considerations. 

The USB-related audio issue is another common issue among mac users. Here is one of the audio issues that are brought about by updates. 

  • Big Sur: It brought about major Bluetooth functionality issues. The issues often happen when you try to pair other audio devices to your MacBook. What happens is that the audio output disappears from the list and resurfaces when you restart your MacBook.  

Problem with External Audio Devices

You can sometimes connect any external device such as an HDMI TV to your Mac, but the sound still comes from the Mac speakers. 

The funny thing is that the pictures will still show perfectly, but the HDMI device cannot be seen in the output list. 

When it comes to the audio external audio device, you need to inspect the connection thoroughly. Check the HDMI cable for any breaks or other physical defects. 

Never assume, any minor defect can be the cause of the audio problem. Another thing to consider is compatibility. The external audio device should be surely compatible with the Mac. 

Reset the MacBook Core Audio

In case you are still having issues with audio playback. Consider resetting the low-level playback. It is also known as the core audio. 

So let’s find out what the core audio is. According to apple, the core audio consists of several software frameworks. The frameworks do handle the various audio needs of the Mac applications. 

These include decompression, compression, recording, signal processing, and playback. In MacBook, the launch daemon is the core audio. 

You should note that the daemons run in the background whether your computer is powered on or off. 

The core audio should be able to fix any sound issues like sound not working or crackling noises. There are several ways through which you can reset the core audio. You can do it through the activity monitor and many more. 

Check the Hardware and Ports

You might do a check-in all the software aspects but still, experience the audio problem. Other remaining options will be to examine the Mac ports. 

These include USB, Thunderbolt HDMI, and headphone/microphone sockets. Remove any wired accessories that are connected to the Mac. Check the wires to be sure they do not have any issues like split or fray. 

Shut down the MacBook and plug in the peripherals one at a time. Restart the Mac and try playing audio each time you plug in a new peripheral. In case you use headphones, you might hear the crackling noises. 

In such a scenario, the issue can be with the sockets, examining them, and checking for the red light—the modern MacBook displays red light in case of any issue like blocked sockets. You should clean the socket and connect the headphones plus adjust the level of volume. 


I’m sure you are aware of what the NVRAM is. It’s the small memory in your Mac that stores various settings like display resolution, sound volume, time zone, and many more. 

In the newest chip, “the M1,” you can’t reset the NVRAM using the boot key command. It’s the Mac that tests the NVRAM and resets it in case of any issues. 

Other MacBook Issues

People can be pretty patient while waiting in a long line for a one-minute service. But when it comes to using your device, it may not be the same feel. Freezing is another common issue in MacBook. 

The Mac can freeze and hang up at unexpected times without any solid reason. During this time, the applications become unresponsive; when the entire system freezes, it can worsen and the wait unbearable. 

In case of such a case, you Mac might have an issue that needs a quick fix. There are several times in which the Mac freezes. It can only be a particular app or the whole Mac system.


The volume getting locked can be troubling. Fixing this issue is also not that easy. The Mac does not have a comprehensive tool that can recognize and automatically fix the issue. 

You are therefore required to locate the source of the issue and fix it. It’ll be trial and error, though. In this article, we have comprehensively listed some of the common causes. 

It’ll therefore be easy for you to fix the issue. Note that the volume issue is not the only problem that affects the Mac. You should be aware of the signs of other issues to be able to solve them faster.

You May Like These Articles As Well:

Can You Watch Normal TV On Amazon Firestick? How To Watch Local Channels On Amazon Firestic

Laptop Keeps Charging On And Off; Laptop Power Supply Fixes

The Laptop Only Charges When Turned Off— Understanding The Laptop

David Huner
David Huner
David Huner is a tech lover. After completing his graduation from the University Of Phoenix, he started gather his knowledge mostly on latest technologies that keeps his life smart and cool. Now he wants to spread his knowledge with people who loves technologies.

Similar Articles



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular