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Fix Missing Mail Alert Sounds Apps
If your Mail alert sounds have disappeared, a possible cause is the System Preferences > Sound option to mute alert sounds. Mac OS X apparently considers Mail alert sounds to be a subset of alert sounds, and so if you have muted them, you will not be aurally alerted that you have new mail, etc.

[kirkmc adds: This seems to be a pretty uninteresting hint, but this very thing happened to my son's iMac some time ago, and it took us a while to figure it out. Another possible cause is explained in this hint, which I submitted in early 2006. That was another one that took ages to resolve.]
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That was not my problem
Authored by: googoo on Oct 05, '07 10:16:55AM

I have a similar problem on my PowerBook G4. The Mail alert sounds are inconsistent. Sometimes they play, and sometimes they do not. I have not been able to find a real pattern, yet. I just checked, and my alert sounds are not muted, but my Mail alerts are playing today. Any suggestions?


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Fix Missing Mail Alert Sounds
Authored by: nukular on Oct 06, '07 03:59:43PM

I've put this in the forums multiple times...but just go into activity monitor and kill the coreaudiod will prompt you for your admin password...and then automatically restart...and voila...sound is back. Just make sure you have quit programs using system sounds like ichat and mail....

At least for me this digital sampling rate theory has never solved a damn thing. Sometimes my G4 powerbook just loses system sounds....though I've noticed it seems to happen more when I put my machine to sleep with ichat running.

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Fix Missing Mail Alert Sounds
Authored by: withdave on Sep 08, '08 02:50:15PM

For a while Apple's Mail was totally silent on my Mac Mini Intel Core Duo 2 and I couldn't figure out why. Quicktime, web pages and everything else were fine, it was only Mail. (I don't use iChat so don't know about it.) Turns out I had been using Audacity and Soundflower and I suspect one or a combination of these is what caused the problem.

Trouble is, none of the other web tips for restoring sound worked, such as playing something in Garage Band, setting Audio Output format to 44.100 KHz (it already was), etc.

What finally worked for me was to use the Audio MIDI Setup application to change the output setting format from 2-ch-24bit to 2-ch-16bit and then back to 2-ch-24bit. After doing that I Quit Mail and restarted it and it began playing sounds again.

It could have been that changing the other format option of 44.100 KHz to something else and back would have also done the trick. If you are having the no sound problems try fiddling with these parameters.

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Fix Missing Mail Alert Sounds
Authored by: johnsawyercjs on Jan 29, '10 02:23:54PM

This hint's solution has changed under OS 10.5 and later, which don't have an option in the Sound prefpane to turn off alert sounds (to turn off alert sounds, you use the Alert sound volume slider instead). Under OS 10.5 and later, to hear Mail's action sounds, you need to turn on the Sound prefpane's option to "Play user interface sound effects", since Apple now considers Mail action sounds not as alerts, but as part of OS X's overall "user interface sound effects", even though technically Mail's action sounds are not that at all, but rather are sounds associated with a specific app. User interface sound effects, until this change, were for the most part limited to operations you perform in the Finder (dropping things into the Trash, emptying Trash, duplicating items, etc.); it seems a small group of people at Apple misunderstand this.

I think this is a step backward, since now, in order to hear Mail's action sounds, you're also forced to hear all of OS X's dumb Finder sounds (emptying Trash, etc.). An individual app's sound prefs shouldn't be grouped with OS X's overall user interface sound effects, since an app is not part of the user interface, but is a separate app. The real solution, of course, would be for Apple to decouple Mail's action sounds from the Sound prefpane entirely, and rely only on Mail's existing option "Play sounds for other mail actions", so that it works as expected, instead of relying on the user's psychic powers to realize that this setting works in pointless pseudo-conjunction with the Sound prefpane.

Edited on Jan 29, '10 02:25:23PM by johnsawyercjs

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Fix Missing Mail Alert Sounds
Authored by: johnsawyercjs on Jan 29, '10 06:04:40PM

I just found a solution to the annoying Finder "user interface sound effects" (which I understand iTunes also has, though I haven't confirmed this) which play when you turn on the Sound prefpane's option for these effects, when all you wanted was to hear all of Mail's action sounds: use TinkerTool, whose "Finder" pane has an option, "Disable sound effects", which turns off these sounds, which won't turn off Mail's action sounds, even if you toggle the Sound prefpane's setting for alerts or user interface sound effects. After selecting TinkerTool's "Disable sound effects" setting, you'll have to quit from and relaunch the Finder for the change to take effect--TinkerTool normally does this automatically after you select its option to disable sound effects, but if it doesn't, you can do it yourself: Option-click on the Finder's icon in the Dock, and select the popup menu's option, "Relaunch".

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