Losing Audio in OS X Mavericks? Here's what you can do about it!

OS X Mavericks is experiencing a bug where audio goes dead system-wide. For many it seems to occur when trying to play a Flash (like YouTube) video in Chrome. For others, it just seems to occur. So far, it seems limited to new, Haswell-based 2013 MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros. So what's happening and what can you do about it?

Core Audio has always been quirky - anyone who's ever plugged in headphones only to get assaulted by the delayed fire of every mail sound in the history of mail sounds knows this - but with Mavericks the bugginess is much more specific, and annoying. When it happens, all sound is just gone. It doesn't matter if you mute or un-mute, lower or increase volume, change sources, it's just gone. Rebooting fixes it... until it happens again. There are a couple of other, quicker fixes you can try instead.

  • Plug in and then take out headphones.
  • Kill the Core Audio process in the Activity monitor.
  • Reboot.

Activity Monitor highlighting Core Audio

Hopefully Apple pushes out an update to fix this, and soon. In the meantime, are you experiencing the problem, and if so, any fixes working for you?

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.