When you receive messages in Mail, you have the option of sounding an audio alert so you know new messages have arrived. However, after upgrading to OS X 10.10.3, you might find yourself in a situation where despite Mail otherwise operating normally, the alert sound you choose will not play, or may not play at all times. While not a problem that will affect the use of your Mac, it does put you at a slight inconvenience if you have grown accustomed to this sound for checking your mail.
If this is happening to you, then check whether or not you have Do Not Disturb enabled in Yosemite’s Notification Center. The issue here might very well be that even though Mail’s alert sound is not a windowed notice, per se, it is tied to notification center and will only sound if Mail sends a notice through notification center.
- Hold the Option key and click the Notification Center menu.
- Open Notification Center, scroll up, and then use the toggle button to enable it.
With either of these done, ensure your system’s audio volume is not muted, and then either wait for a new Mail message, or send yourself a test message, and see whether or not the alert sound plays.
Beyond adjusting Notification Center’s behavior, try toggling the various sound settings in the General section of Mail’s General preferences, which will force the program to re-write its preferences and possibly get Mail’s audio alerts going again.
Finally, if you cannot seem to overcome this issue, you can bypass Mail’s use of Notification Center for alerts by creating a rule that will sound an alert whenever a new message arrives. To do this, create a new rule that will run if “any” conditions are true, and then add a list of your accounts as the list of conditions for the rule. Then set the action to “Play Sound” and choose your desired sound.
Thanks to MacIssues reader Chris for writing in about this fix!