Change Default MacOS Sound

There’s a built-in MacOS sound called Funk that’s triggered when I delete something in the TV app. This sound terrifies one of my dogs. When he hears it, he either wants to hide under my desk or jump in my lap. Back in the day, it used to be easy to assign your own sounds to different functions. Does anyone know how I can either delete the Funk sound, change it to another system sound, or change it to one of my own sounds?

I know where the System keeps the sounds, but it won’t let me duplicate or rename them.

You used to be able to add custom sounds by saving them in


Not sure if that’s still allowed. Anyway, you can choose from the built-in sounds pretty easily:

Correct me if I’m wrong, but the sounds are located in ~System/Sounds. And the System won’t let you touch them. In the Sound preferences, all you can do is listen to the different sounds. You can’t assign them to anything. What I’m looking for is a way to duplicate a sound file, like Sosumi, add it to the Sounds folder, and rename it to Funk, while renaming Funk to something like Funk.old. This way, the OS would use Sosumi instead of Funk. But the System protects these files. You can’t change their names, duplicate them, remove them, or add to them, at least, not from the Finder. When I do a Get Info and try to change the permissions of the sound file to Read & Write, it pulls up a message telling me I don’t have the necessary position.

You don’t say what version macOS you’re using. In Mojave (what I’m using) they’re in System/Library/Sounds. If Apple changed it and you can’t add sounds with a current version of the OS then you’re limited to choosing another of the built-in sounds by selecting in the PrefPane.

Years ago I used to use custom sounds (you can find classic sounds and others here), but over time I just resorted to choosing from the built-in ones. For some apps like FaceTime, Mail and Messages you can change the sound specifically for those apps.

I’m using Catalina. As I said, you can’t do anything to the built-in sounds. I was hoping there was some Terminal command that would change the permissions.

The PrefPane doesn’t allow you to anything tother than listen to the sound, select the sound output device, set the alert volume and select the output volume. Please let me know if I’m missing something here.

I also used to use custom sounds back in the day. That was back when I owned a Classic II. But those days are long gone.

You can choose from them. :peace_symbol:

I appreciate your willingness to try to help, but your statement isn’t accurate. What do you mean “you can choose from them”? This is from Apple’s Help window:

When you try to do something that isn’t allowed, or if your Mac needs your input or more information, an alert message appears on your screen and an alert sound plays. You can change the alert sound and set its volume.

Open the Sound Effects pane for me

  1. On your Mac, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, click Sound, then click Sound Effects.

  2. To select an alert sound, click it in the list. The alert plays when you select it so you can hear how it sounds.

  3. Do any of the following to adjust the alert sound.

  • Change where you hear alerts: Normally you play sound effects through your computer’s internal speakers, but if another sound output device is available, you can choose it from the “Play sound effects through” pop-up menu.

  • Adjust the volume of alerts: Drag the Alert volume slider. The alert volume is relative to your computer’s output volume, so if you lower the computer’s volume, alert sounds also play more quietly.

  • Choose whether to hear user interface sound effects: Your Mac plays sound effects when you perform certain actions, such as dragging an item to the Trash. To turn off sound effects, deselect the “Play user interface sound effects” checkbox.

  • Choose whether to hear a sound effect when you change the volume: On some keyboards, when you press one of the volume keys, the alert sound plays to let you hear the new volume. To prevent this sound, deselect the “Play feedback when volume is changed” checkbox. To temporarily reverse this setting, hold down the Shift key as you press a volume key. (Not all keyboards have volume keys.)

I do not understand your problem then. You can change the sound from your dreaded ‘Funk’ to one of the other built-in sounds by choosing it in the Sound PrefPane by clicking, simple as that.

Ok, now I understand. I was thinking there were different alert sound for different functions. But there’s just one alert sound that you can select. Thanks.

Actually there are, for select apps, which I linked to above.

Yes. Thanks again. In the old days, there was a panel where you could associate different sounds to different events. That was what was throwing me off.