How to Fix Crackling Sounds on Macbook Pro

Want to fix the crackling sounds on Macbook Pro?

For the price that Apple products come in, you would expect to have little to no issues with their software and hardware. However, that’s not the case. Even after paying great amounts, users still encounter various problems, with audio issues being the most common, which include crackling sounds, distorted audio, etc.

Although the issue has been there since OS X Mavericks, Apple hasn’t yet found a way to fix it once and for all. This leaves Macbook users to deal with the issue on their own. In this whole process, the most difficult part is to analyze the root cause behind the crackling sounds on Macbook Pro.

The issue arises for two main reasons, a problem in hardware or software. The best way to fix audio sounds due to hardware-related faults is to replace the speakers entirely. But when it comes to software-related causes, you’re going to have to try out a few different methods mentioned below to fix the issue.

So without any delay, let’s get started!

1. Restart Your Mac.

One of the easiest methods to solve any Mac issue is to restart your device. It gets rid of temporary glitches and often proves to be a good starting point when you’re not sure where to begin solving the problem.

To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Select the Apple icon located at the top-left corner of your screen.
  2. From the drop-down options, click on Restart
restart option on macbook pro

When your Macbook Pro starts again, check if the crackling sound has disappeared. Otherwise, continue reading!

2. Update Mac OS to the Latest Version. 

Most of the software-related issues occur due to outdated operating systems. So if you’re constantly hearing crackling sounds on Macbook Pro and you notice that it’s running on an older macOS, immediately install the latest macOS version available that’s compatible with your system.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Firstly, click on the Apple menu from the top bar of your screen. 
  2. Then, select System Preferences.
system preferences option on macbook pro
  1. Next, click on Software Update
software update in system preferences
  1. If there’s a pending update, you will be able to see it. Simply click on Update Now to download and install the latest update to your Macbook Pro. 
software update on macbook pro
  1. Also, to ensure your Macbook always stays up to date, click on the checkbox next to Automatically keep my Mac up to date.
Crackling Sounds on Macbook Pro

3. Downgrade to the Previous Version of Mac OS.

Similar to how running an older version of an operating system causes several issues, sometimes your Macbook Pro may start acting up when you upgrade it as well. This happens especially if you’re installing the latest version on an old Macbook.

Therefore, if you’ve recently installed a new macOS version and started encountering audio issues right after, it’s recommended to go back to the version your computer was previously running on. Hopefully, this will solve the problem for you.

To do so, follow these steps:

  1. From the menu bar at the top, click on the Apple menu.
  2. Now, select the Restart option.
  3. As your Macbook Pro is restarting, boot it into recovery mode by pressing the Command + R keys from your keyboard. 
  4. After that, choose Disk Utility from the macOS Utilities screen.
macOS utilities
  1. Now, click on your Startup Disk. 
  2. Afterward, select Erase and then close the Disk Utility.
Crackling Sounds on Macbook Pro
  1. From the macOS Utilities screen, select Reinstall macOS.
reinstall macOS in macOS utilities
  1. Lastly, follow the on-screen instructions to downgrade your Macbook Pro to a previous version. 

If you’ve created a Time Machine backup in the past that you would like to downgrade to now, follow these steps:

  1. Select the Apple menu from the top bar.
  2. Then, click on the Restart option.
  3. As your Mac restarts, press the Command + R keys from your keyboard to boot into recovery mode. 
  4. Now, select Disk Utility from the macOS Utilities options.
  5. Choose your Startup disk and select Erase.
  6. Afterward, go back to the macOS Utilities screen and choose Restore from Time Machine Backup
Crackling Sounds on Macbook Pro
  1. Pick the backup from which you wish to restore, then follow the on-screen instructions. 

4. Check Sound Preferences.

At times, users may mistake Macbook Pro alert sounds as crackling or clicking noise. In that case, you should check your sound preference settings. If alerts such as “funk,” “bottle,” or “pop” are selected, it could be why you’re hearing weird sounds and misinterpreting them.

This is what you should do:

  1. Start by going to the Apple menu and selecting System Preferences.
  2. Now, click on Sound.
sound in system preferences
  1. In the Sound Effects tab, uncheck the box next to Play user interference sound effects.
sound settings on macbook pro

If you still hear crackling sounds on Macbook Pro afterward, move to the following methods.

5. Reboot Mac in Safe Mode.

Like all other computers, Mac also offers the Safe mode utility to its users. When you boot it into Safe mode, it will only load with the necessary files and apps. All the other extensions and programs you installed won’t run. This will help you determine if the crackling sounds on Macbook Pro are a result of an installed software.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Turn off your Mac by going to the Apple menu and selecting Shut Down
shut down option in macbook pro
  1. Now, turn on your device and long-press the Power button until the startup options appear. 
  2. Then, choose your Startup disk. 
  3. After that, press and hold the Shift key as you click on the Continue in Safe Mode option. Now, release the Shift key.
Crackling Sounds on Macbook Pro
  1. You will be asked to log in. To do so, simply type in your login credentials.

Once you’re in Safe Mode, check whether your speakers are still making crackling sounds or not. 

6. Kill Core Audio. 

Core Audio in all Apple OS is responsible for the audio infrastructure. Whenever you’re facing audio-related problems in your Mac, you’re advised to force close the service in an attempt to resolve the issue. This can be done without restarting your Macbook Pro.

Here’s how:

  1. To start, click on Go from the top bar and select Applications.
go options in macbook pro
  1. Now, choose the Utilities folder.
  2. Then, select Terminal to launch it.
applications in macbook
  1. Enter the following command: 
Sudo killall coreaudiod
Crackling Sounds on Macbook Pro
  1. Now, provide your password to authorize this command. 

After you’re done, the Core Audio service will restart automatically, and the crackling sound should be fixed. If not, move to the next method from this guide. 

7. Reset Mac’s NVRAM.

NVRAM is a memory type that stores the settings and data of your computer. It contains data such as sound volume, startup disk selection, etc. For that reason, resetting will help clear the memory and may eliminate the error causing crackling sounds on Macbook Pro.

To do it, below are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Begin by turning off your Mac. To do it, go to the Apple menu and click on Shut Down
  2. Next, boot up your device and simultaneously press and hold Command + Option + P + R keys for at least 20 seconds. Release them once the Apple logo disappears. 
Crackling Sounds on Macbook Pro

Your Macbook Pro will restart with a reset NVRAM. Now, check if the crackling sound issue is fixed or not. 

8. Run Apple Diagnostics.

As mentioned at the beginning of the guide, the crackling sounds on the MacBook Pro can be caused by hardware issues. Therefore, this method becomes essential to follow, especially if none of the other methods mentioned above have worked for you.

Apple Diagnostics will run a scan on your computer and its components and display the issue if there is any. Just follow the steps below:

  1. Restart your device by clicking on the Apple menu and then selecting Restart
restart option in macbook
  1. Release the Power button as the startup options appear.
  2. Now, press and hold the Command + D to launch Diagnostics.
  3. The diagnostic process will take some time to complete. Once it finishes, a list of problems encountered by your Mac will appear on the screen. 

From there, follow the on-screen instructions to get help from Apple Support

Here is where we end our guide on how to fix crackling sounds on Macbook Pro. We hope that you’ve been successful in resolving the issue by now. If you have more questions, do not hesitate to deliver them to us through the comment section. We’ll be more than happy to provide further assistance.

If this guide helped you, please share it. 🙂


  • Aimen Choudhry

    Aimen Choudhry is an architecture student who has always been fascinated by science. She now finds her therapy researching and writing about the latest technology and the issues that come alongside. Otherwise, you’ll find her playing video games, listening to music, or watching fantasy/sci-fi movies.

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