Change System Volume from Command Line on Mac OS

By  on  
Mac Volume

Oftentimes the awesome GUI applications we love are simply gloss over a command line functionality.  While I do love a visual app, it's always good to know how to do things from command line, if only for the sake of automation.  I've covered loads of command line secrets, most notably Mac Camera Access, so I wanted to figure out if I could control volume from command line.

Change Mac System Volume

The secret to changing Mac system volume from command line is through osascript:

# Max volume
sudo osascript -e "set Volume 10"

# Mute
sudo osascript -e "set Volume 0"

# 50% volume
sudo osascript -e "set Volume 5"

Values range from 0 (muted) to 10 (maximum volume).  Note that you don't get to see a nice volume change indicator -- the volume simply changes without any feedback.

Recent Features

  • By
    CSS 3D Folding Animation

    Google Plus provides loads of inspiration for front-end developers, especially when it comes to the CSS and JavaScript wonders they create. Last year I duplicated their incredible PhotoStack effect with both MooTools and pure CSS; this time I'm going to duplicate...

  • By
    Create a CSS Cube

    CSS cubes really showcase what CSS has become over the years, evolving from simple color and dimension directives to a language capable of creating deep, creative visuals.  Add animation and you've got something really neat.  Unfortunately each CSS cube tutorial I've read is a bit...

Incredible Demos


  1. Akis

    Thank you for this tip. Are you sure that the maximum value is 10? On my Mac with High Sierra, the maximum value get on 7. The 8, 9, 10 also change the value to maximum. I did double check it by viewing the pop-up small window on volume indicator on menu bar.

Wrap your code in <pre class="{language}"></pre> tags, link to a GitHub gist, JSFiddle fiddle, or CodePen pen to embed!