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How to customize sound effects on Windows 10

Alongside all the personalization options, Windows 10 includes sound effects for system and apps events, such as for connecting and disconnecting peripherals, notifications, battery alerts, errors, and more.

While they can be useful, listening to the same sounds every day can quickly get annoying. However, you don't have to mute your system if you don't like them, as it's possible to customize each sound or disable the experience with just a few clicks.

In this Windows 10 guide, we'll walk you through the easy steps to customize or disable sound effects completely on your computer.

How to customize Windows 10's sound effects

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Click on Personalization.
  3. Click on Themes.
  4. Click on Sounds.
    • Quick Tip: You can also get access to these settings by right-clicking the speaker icon in the notification area and clicking Sounds.

  1. In the "Sounds" tab, you can disable system sounds completely or customize each one just the way you want:
    • Disable sound effects: Using the "Sound Scheme" drop-down menu, select No Sounds.
    • Enable sound effects: Using the "Sound Scheme" drop-down menu, select Windows Default.
    • Changing sound events: Under "Program Events," click the event you want to change, and using the drop-down menu select a sound from the list. You can even click the Test button to know exactly the sound you're selecting, and it's also possible to click the Browse button to add a custom sound as long as it's a .wav file.

  1. Click Apply.
  2. Click OK.

Once you've completed the steps, Windows 10 will use the new custom configuration. However, remember that when applying Windows Themes, sometimes some of them may include custom sounds that can override your settings (even re-enable sounds if you've previously disabled them), and these steps can also come in handy if you don't like the new sounds and you want to go back to the default settings.

If you're using custom sounds for a number of events, it's also a good idea to click the Save As button to create a custom sound scheme, in case settings ever change, and you want a way to re-apply you prefered configuration.

Wrapping things up

Sounds for Windows and applications events have been around for years, and if you didn't know or simply forgot about them, this guide can help you to personalize sound effects on your Windows 10 device.

While we're focusing this guide on Windows 10, you can also refer to these instructions (but using Control Panel) to change the sound effects on Windows 8.1 and Windows 7.

More Windows 10 resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the following resources:

Mauro Huculak is technical writer for WindowsCentral.com. His primary focus is to write comprehensive how-tos to help users get the most out of Windows 10 and its many related technologies. He has an IT background with professional certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, and CompTIA, and he's a recognized member of the Microsoft MVP community.

3 Comments
  • I wish I could manage notifications on PC as I do on my phone!
    This guide doesn't work for UWPs
  • Off topic I know, but I can't help saying everything MS potentially need UI wise is in this picture. What we need are expandable 'origami' style apps that can be opened up or folded away according to screen estate and device resources/APIs - from icons/tiles on the left to full blown apps on the right, the future is right there. And I love that 'flat' look and feel. If folks want 3D, they can don a hololens and superimpose until the technology is good enough to merge with the OS. Don't screw it up MS, the UI is right there before your eyes - just make it 'origami' style.  
  • They really need to get rid of these old Win95-Style dialoges. They are getting less with each update, but still, they are horrible to use on a Tablet. New Office has replaced 90% of all this old dialogs, so come on, push them out!