Jingle all the way! Operating systems like to announce when they have just been booted. Whether you own a desktop machine or a mobile device, you will be treated to a little chime when you restart it.
But, depending on who is doing the talking, these little sound bites can be a bit annoying. More so, if it’s a loud sound that can wake everyone in the house at the middle of the night.
Admit it, we’ve all been there one time or another!
Luckily, Windows offers you a multitude of ways to change things around. You can either choose another sound of your liking, or get rid of it altogether. And Microsoft has built this into settings, so you don’t even need to download any other application to accomplish this.
We’ll take a look at the different ways you can disable Windows startup sounds in this article.
The Sound of Startup
One of the most recognizable features of the Windows operating system is the sound that it plays every time you boot into it. These Windows startup sounds not only make each version of the OS unique, they also serve as confirmation that you have landed on the desktop.
Almost all versions of Windows since the 90s have played their own little chime, and this has continued till now. This default music usually plays for a few seconds after Windows had loaded, indicating that your computer is now ready to use. This was important back then, keeping in mind the slow hardware and long startup times of those days. Obviously, some of earlier sounds were not as delightful as what you hear in Windows 10 these days. A few were rather on the loud side of things, while others were downright obnoxious — you either loved or hated them.
Point being, most users get bored of hearing the same tune over and over again and want to change things around. Some of you may want to disable these sounds altogether, or replace them with your own music, or other sounds of your liking.
The Fast Boot Problem
Before we get down to the business of changing the Windows 10 startup sound, there is one thing you need to make sure of. And that is disabling the Fast Boot option. The fast startup feature is designed to cut down the time it takes for your computer to boot up after you shut it down.
It basically works by sending your PC into a pseudo hibernation of sorts, instead of entirely shutting down. Chances are, you probably noticed this yourself when pressing any key on your keyboard and seeing your magically turning itself on — no pressing of the power button necessary.
Fast Boot shuts your PC down, but keeps your session and drivers dormant in the hibernation file, which it then uses to quickly spring your device back into action when you turn it on. For the most part, it speeds up boot time significantly. Though there have been reports from users that their boot times were actually slowed down when this option was enabled on their machine.
Regardless, in order to cut down on startup time as much as possible, this fast startup actually makes Windows 10 skip over the startup sound. The reason Windows does not greet you with a jingle is because it doesn’t think your PC was shut down in the first place!
If you want to hear your computer’s startup sound at boot, you’ll need to give Fast Boot the boot. Switching off this feature restores your startup sound. You can do this from the Power Options section in the good old Control Panel.
- Open the Start Menu.
- Search for Power Options, and click on the search result.
- Click on the Choose what the power buttons do link on the left.
- Scroll down here, and uncheck the checkbox besides the Turn on fast start-up (recommended) option to disable it.
- If you find the option greyed out, simply click the Change settings that are currently unavailable link in the window up top, and you’ll be able to disable it.
- Click on Save Changes.
Now, simply restart your computer. You will find the Fast Boot option will be disabled, and you can now proceed to changing the startup sound using any of the steps outlined below.
Turn Windows startup sound on or off in the Sounds Panel
You will find the option to disable the Windows startup sound in the Sounds panel. Surprisingly, this is one option that Microsoft is yet to truly transition to the new Settings app. You can still find it in the Control Panel, but we’ll get to it quickly by searching.
- Search for Change system sounds in Start.
- Click the entry to open up the window and go directly to the Sounds
- Here, look for the Play Windows Startup sound option at the bottom.
- Check it to have the OS play the sound bite, or keep it unchecked if you don’t want to hear a sound every time your computer boots up.
- Click on the Apply
- Hit OK to confirm.
On some versions of Windows 10 you can get to this panel directly from the Taskbar by right-clicking or tapping on the Volume icon in the notification tray. This will also open the Sound settings dialog with the Sound tab as active.
And as mentioned above, you can also access it from the Control Panel, under Sound in the Hardware and Sound section.
Turn Windows Startup sound off in Settings
With all the focus on shifting the bulk of the settings and control applets from the Control Panel to the Settings app, it’s surprising to see this one still missing. Instead, the Sound section in the Settings app simply offers a link to the Sound Control Panel.
- Open the Settings app by pressing Winkey + I.
- Go to
- Here, select Sound from the listing at the left to open up the Sound panel.
- Under Related Settings, you will see a link to the Sound Control Panel. Click or tap on that to bring up the panel again.
- Check or uncheck the Play Windows Startup sound
- Hit Apply.
- And finally, click on OK.
Perhaps Microsoft will build these options from the grounds up in the Settings app in the future. Something that lets users not only enable or disable the startup sounds, but also choose their own files that play when they boot into their devices.
Until that happens, though, and we get some dedicated options, this is all we have.
Disable Windows startup sound via Command Prompt
There is a simple trick that lets you do this via the good old Command Prompt, too. A short command that opens up the Sound panel, whereby you can uncheck the checkbox next to the option that plays the sound bite every time your computer boots.
- Press Start.
- Type cmd and hit Enter.
- The Command Prompt window will now open.
- Here, you just simply type cpl, and hit the Enter key to execute it.
- This command opens up the Sound panel.
- Navigate to the Sounds section up top, and again, select or unselect the Play Windows Startup sound option at the bottom.
- Click on Apply, once you are done.
- Hit OK, and exit.
Although this option uses the Command Prompt, you can also apply this trick using the Run dialog. Simply fire up the Run box, paste the above command into it, and hit the Enter key to open the Sound panel. Smooth sailing from thereon.
Disable Windows startup sound by modifying the Registry
If you’d rather thinker with the Windows Registry to accomplish this, then this process is not too complicated either. The only consideration is that you must be signed on an Administrator to be able to disable the Windows startup sound using this option.
- Go to Start, and search for “Regedit“
- Click or tap on the Registry Editor icon to open it.
- If prompted, select Yes from the User Account Control window.
- When the editor window opens, navigate to the following key from the left side of the panel, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Authentication\LogonUI\BootAnimation.
- Look for the DisableStartupSound DWORD here.
- Set Value data to 0 to disable the sound, or 1 to enable it.
You can also save these steps as a .REG file and merge them on your computer whenever you want to turn the Windows startup sound on or off. Obviously, this is something that really comes in handy when you have multiple PCs at home, or manage a fleet of computers on a company network.
But it also serves as a neat introduction to modifying the Windows Registry for minor touchups to the workings of your computer. Before you start, as always, be sure to back up the registry if it’s your first time editing it.
Replace the Windows Startup Sound
Now to make things really interesting! Enabling or disabling the default Windows 10 jingle is straightforward enough. But if you want to change or replace it to something else, then you will have to apply a third-party workaround.
You can download this small, simple, freeware tool called Startup Sound Changer that has been specifically made for changing the startup sound on your PC.
Go to the link above, and click the Download button to begin downloading the ZIP file that contains the installer for the Startup Sound Changer application. Once downloaded, unzip the file and locate the executable among its contents.
Double-click to run it, and install the program on your computer, and then launch it.
The program gets to the point straight away. You can click on Play to play your current startup sound, or click on Replace to change it with a new file.
Windows 10 still only works with .WAV files for the startup sound, so you will need to make sure that your chosen file is in this format. If it is not, then you can use any of the free online converters available on the web like online-convert or media.io to change the format of your sound.
Alternatively, if you’d rather go on a nostalgia trip and use the classic Windows 95 jingle or any of the rich Windows 98 sounds, then there is no shortage of websites that host these sound bites. Grab them, and then use the files in Startup Sound Changer.
It is also possible to Revert back to the default startup sound, if you so desire.
Enabling and disabling the startup sound on Windows 10 is about as easy as it gets. That said, it is a bit strange that Microsoft has not made the process of changing it to something else easier. There are a few extra steps involved, third-party applications, but it’s not too complicated.
Once done, though, you will be able to put up your own unique startup noise as a welcome sound that greets you whenever you boot up your PC for whatever you need to do on it.
Shawn is a WindowsChimp Staff writer, who is a fan of making lists and does the same on this site. He has a Contemporary Writing degree and been in technology niche since last 3 years.