How to change the alert sounds on a Mac (fast!)
Over one billion Apple devices are currently in use, and you’re reading this article because you’re using one of them.
Mac computers come with pre-recorded alert sounds that you may find irritating, or just not “you.” As such, you may have the itch to change them.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll tell you how to change your alert sounds, as well as how to create custom alert sounds for your computer. You can truly make your Mac experience as unique as you are.
Read on for more information.
How to Change Alert Sounds: Turning Them Off and Adjusting Volume
Turning off alert sounds itself is really easy, and you can do it with barely any knowledge about computers.
When you’ve opened up your Mac, click the apple icon on the top left side. Select System Preferences. From there, click Sound followed by Sound Effects.
If you don’t want any of the sound effects at all, you can deselect the box that states, Play user interface sound effects.
Sound effects also occur when you change your computer’s volume. If this bothers you, you can deselect that box as well.
You can also slide the buttons next to Alert Volume and Output Volume. Although sound effects are always relative to the volume your computer is at the time, you can change them to be quieter or louder depending on your preferences.
Changing Alert Sounds for Different Programs
You may want to change the alert sounds on specific programs to something other than Apple has assigned. You can do that pretty easily as well, and only need a little bit of know-how. You can’t, however, do it via the Sound Effects box, and instead, will need to go into each application individually in order to assign them.
For instance, if you want to change the sounds around for Messages, you can do that fairly simply. Open Messages and then click on Messages in the top left corner next to the Apple icon. Select Preferences.
From there, you have several things you can do to customize your experience. You can deselect Play sound effects in order to turn the sound effects off completely. Or, you can select different sounds for when you receive messages.
There will be a Messages Received section with a drop-down box next to it. You can then select which noise or sound effect you want to play when you receive a message.
You can do this to a wide variety of applications on your Mac, making it as unique as you are.
Inserting Your Own Sounds
If you truly want your Mac experience to be one-of-a-kind, you can record or insert your own sounds.
We’ll go over how to record your own sounds first, and then we’ll go over how to insert sounds. The process for inserting custom sounds is the same, no matter if you’re putting in sounds that you’ve created or sounds that have been recorded by someone else.
Recording Your Own Sounds
You can record any type of sound you want for an alert sound. It could be anything from your dog barking to your child laughing to a pot banging on a pan. It doesn’t matter, it’s up to you what you want on your Mac.
When you record sounds intended specifically for alerts, you’ll want to think about how they’ll be used first. Don’t record a sound that is too long, otherwise, you’ll get annoyed any time it comes up. Get annoyed enough, and you’ll turn it off, which will defeat the entire purpose of recording the sounds.
Make sure it is no longer than about a second, two at most. You don’t realize how long a second is until you listen to a sound back ad nauseum.
You can use almost anything to record, from your iPhone’s voice notes to Garage Band to using https://setapp.com/how-to/record-screen-with-audio to record the screen with audio.
Once you ’ve recorded your sound or decided on it, it’s time to move to the next step: implementing it.
Creating the Right File
Macs will only accept files for alert noises if they’re saved as an AIFF. So, even if you use a prerecorded noise, you’ll need to convert it to an AIFF, otherwise, it won’t work as an alert noise.
You can change files to AIFFs by inserting them into GarageBand and then selecting Share followed by Export Song to Disk. Make sure to save it as an AIFF.
Making the Files Useable
In order to use custom files, you must be logged on to a user profile. You cannot use custom alerts with a shared computer.
After you’ve saved your custom alerts as AIFFs, you’ll need to make them accessible.
Save the AIFFs somewhere where you can access them easily, like your desktop. Then, open your Finder. Click Go, followed by Home. Click on the Library folder and then the Sounds folder. Drag your sounds inside of it, and you’re ready to use your custom sounds.
Customizing Your Mac
Making custom alert sounds is but one way you can assert your individuality while using your Mac computer. And, they’re simple and quick to change and don’t require any computer expertise to do so.
Once you’ve learned how to change your Mac sounds, you may not want to stop until you’ve got absolutely everything customized.
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