This article teaches you how to disable entirely your Windows or Mac computer’s built-in speakers (also known as “onboard sound”). You can do this from within your device’s settings on a Windows computer, while disabling sound on a Mac will require you to download an audio-moderating application called Soundflower.

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On Windows

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    Open Start 

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    . Click the Windows logo in the bottom-left corner of the screen, or press  Win.

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    Click Settings 

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    . It’s the gear-shaped icon in the lower-left corner of the Start window.

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    Click Devices. It’s in the Settings window. Doing so opens the Devices window.
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    Click the Bluetooth & other devices tab. This option is near the top of the left-hand column of options.
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    Click Sound settings. It’s below the “Related settings” heading on the right side of the page.
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    Double-click your speakers’ icon. This icon should have a white checkmark on a green background next to it, as well as “Default Device” below the speaker name. Doing so opens the Speakers Properties window.

    • If your speaker is currently in use, you’ll also see a sound meter on the right side of the window.
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    Click the “Device usage” drop-down box. It’s near the bottom of the Speakers Properties window. You’ll likely see “Use this device (enable)” written in the drop-down box.
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    Click Don’t use this device (disable). This option will appear below the drop-down box.
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    Click Apply. Doing so will immediately disable your computer’s speakers, prompting the icon to disappear from the Speakers Properties window.
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    Click OK. Your computer’s speakers are now disabled; you won’t be able to turn on or adjust the volume at all until you re-enable them.

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On Mac

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    Download Soundflower. Go to https://www.fluxforge.com/blog/soundflower-os-x-10.11-10.12-macOS-sierra/ in your preferred browser and click the “soundflower_2.0b2.zip” link. This will automatically begin downloading the Soundflower setup folder onto your Mac.

    • You may need to select a save location or confirm the download before the setup folder will begin downloading.
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    Install Soundflower. Once it finishes downloading, install Soundflower by doing the following:

    • Open the “soundflower_2.0b2.zip” folder by double-clicking it.
    • Open the “soundflower” folder (leave the “_MACOSX” folder alone).
    • Double-click the “Soundflower.pkg” file.
    • Enter your administrator password if prompted.
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    Install Soundflower. Click Continue and follow the prompts to install Soundflower.
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    Restart your Mac. Once the Soundflower installation is complete, click the Apple menu

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    , click Restart, and click Restart when prompted. When your Mac finishes restarting, Soundflower will be entirely installed.

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    Unplug any headphones from your Mac. If you have anything plugged into the 3.5 millimeter headphone jack on your Mac, detach it now.
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    Open the Finder. It’s the blue, face-shaped icon in your Mac’s Dock.

    • If Soundflower doesn’t open automatically, open it before continuing.
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    Click the Go menu item. You’ll see this on the left side of the menu bar that’s at the top of the screen.
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    Click Utilities. It’s in the Go drop-down menu. Doing so opens the Utilities folder.
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    Double-click Audio MIDI Setup. It resembles a keyboard. You’ll likely find this at the top of the Utilities folder, but you may have to scroll down to find it.
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    Click +. It’s in the bottom-left side of the window.
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    Click Create Multi-Output Device. This option appears in a drop-down menu below the + icon.
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    Make sure only the “Soundflower (2ch)” box is checked. Click the box to the left of Soundflower (2ch) to check it, then uncheck the box next to Built-In Output.
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    Click the gear icon. It’s in the bottom-left side of the window.
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    Disable your Mac’s sound. Check both the “Use this device for sound output” and the “Play alerts and sound effects through this device” options to apply them to Soundflower. Your Mac should no longer make any noise while you use it.

    • This process doesn’t disable the Mac startup sound.