windows sound

Posted on 2004-11-04
Last Modified: 2013-12-28
How do I set up Windows so that there are no sounds when I open or close a program etc. ?
Question by:JohnnySax
    LVL 59

    Expert Comment

    Go to Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> Sounds.  Each event can be associated with a sound file.  At the bottom of the dialog box with the list of events and any associated sounds there is a list box labeled "Schemes".  Click on the downward pointing arrow at the right end of that list box and you will see a list of possible Schemes.  One of them should be called "No Sounds."  Choose that and then click the OK button.

    Author Comment

    Thank you
    I am getting ready to replace Win Me on two of my computers with Win XP Home.
    Any good advise for doing a "clean" install? Also, is there any good software for saving my data?
     I have a Home network with four computers on it, DSL connection. One of the computers has two HDs 80 gigs each.
    Best regards,
    LVL 59

    Expert Comment

    JohnnySax, it is against the site guidelines to ask more than one question in one question.  You need to start another question...  Please see this part of the Expert Exchange help documentation pages:
    Asking a number of questions in one question

    This is more of a huge annoyance than an actual violation of the Membership Guidelines, but it happens often enough to warrant inclusion here.

    The idea at Experts Exchange is to ask a question, assign a point value to it, get an answer from several possible answers, select the best one, and award the points for it. Frequently, new users will ask several questions in one (because they don't have very many points), and then withhold awarding the points until one or more Experts have answered a few follow-up questions -- sometimes totally unrelated to the original question.

    This will be met with disfavor by Experts, and will likely get you a warning from the Moderators. Let's keep it simple and to the point: You're better off asking one question at a time for few points than you are asking one question that has five questions plus a couple of follow-ups.

    Experts-Exchange Page Editor for Windows 3.x, 9x, ME, and XP
    LVL 38

    Accepted Solution

    I suggest keeping the odd sound that might be related to something like Intel Active Monitor to warn of power failure.

    I suggest that you first click the "Save" button and save this as a sound scheme like "Noisy Windows".

    When you've then set all the sounds to <None> click the "Save" button and name it as a new sound scheme like "Silence is Golden".

    That way you can always reload the default "Noisy Windows" scheme if you want to.
    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    Thank you, Johnny, but I am a bit puzzled as to why you didn't accept LeeTutor's comment.  All I did was to add my observations about the possibility of keeping a couple of sounds that might be helpful, but the basic method was outlined by LeeTutor in the first comment.

    If you really felt that my comment was significantly different enough to warrant the dicision you made, then that's fine and is your decision, but why award a "B" Grade instead of an "A"?  B Grades are normally kept for where all avenues have been exhausted while exploring a problem and, while the suggestion comes close to fixing it, the problem isn't completely solved.

    If this is because you are perhaps still getting sounds from particular programs and don't see the program listed in the "Sounds" dialog box, then this can usually be changed from the user options within that specific program.

    Author Comment

    You are assuming that I know how to use this EE web. site Not so.
    I wanted to split the points but did not know how. Also when I followed LeeTutor's insrutions I still had sounds. ?? I thought there was a simple solution but I guess not.
    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    Sorry, Johnny, I see that you are a fairly new member.

    This page is quite helpful in filling in the gaps that aren't immediately obvious:

    and particularly:

    The thing about the gradings is that a "B" Grade is rarely given unless the problem couldn't be solved in its entirety, but that the accepted comment(s) were helpful in providing a partial solution, a workaround, or perhaps provided some information which helped the member to discover a solution which they wouldn't otherwise have stumbled on.

    The Points go hand-in-hand with the grading, because "expert points" awarded to the expert whose comment is accepted, is multiplied by a certain % (can't recall exactly what this multiplier is) for an "A" Grade.

    C Grades are never really given, so I have to ask why that grade exists to begin with.  It would imply that a solution was never reached, and that no comments apparently came near to even providing a partial solution.  If it ever came to that, the asker would place a zero-points "question" in
    stating this fact, providing the link to the question, and would ask for a refund of question points.

    An administrator would drop a comment into the asker's original question stating that, unless there were any objections, the question would be closed and points refunded.  There are rarely objections to something like this unless experts feel that the asker hadn't taken the time to explore and test the suggestions fully.

    Splitting points is achieved by clicking on a text link worded the same, and the asker then has the option to choose the comment that most closely answered the question.  The asker allocated a certain amount of points to that comment, and then awards other amounts to any other comments that assisted with a solution.

    The grading isn't awarded on a separate "per-expert" basis, but is set as a grading for the "accepted answer".

    Normally an asker will then also provide some feedback in conclusion as the question status then becomes a "previously asked question" (PAQ) and no longer appears on the "questions awaiting answers" list.

    Grades and accepted answers are only reversed or altered at the request of an asker or expert, and the decision by an administrator is final.

    Hopefully this will shed some light on how it all goes around at Experts-Exchange....sorry, I forgot to welcome you, and that was quite a rough into I gave you.  Sorry about that  :-)

    Now, to consider your question again in light of what happened when you attempted to carry out LeeTutor's suggested solution.  That SHOULD have worked, but computers don't always do what they are told.

    Firstly, sound schemes are normally applied on a per-user basis, which is to say that if you have more than one user profile for that computer, each user can have their own desktop, start menu, appearance schemes, and sound schemes.  It all depends who made the change.

    In case you are curious, the registry key that names all the possible "events" is:


    The sub-keys all dictate the different names that appear in the list of events, such as "Start Windows", "Empty Recycle Bin", etc.

    The registry key:


    provides the details of all applications (or processes) that use sound events, such as Explorer, Media Player, Power Configuration, Microsoft messenger, etc.  3rd-party applications or utilities, such as the Intel Active Monitor which warns of power fluctuations and temperature changes beyond the set thresholds, are also listed here.

    The sound "SCHEMES" are listed by named sub-keys of:


    This shouldn't be confused with "THEMES".  There are normally only 2 schemes listed:  "Default" and "None".  (this was what LeeTutor was talking about when he suggested changing the sounds to the "None" sound scheme.

    I have a couple more listed for MY profile namely "BO" and "AO".  These are abbreviations of my personal schemes "Battery_Only" and "Alarms_Only" which I might wish to change to at any time.

    Going back up to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\AppEvents\Schemes\Apps key.  Each application is listed, and then each event within the scope of that application is listed.  There will usually be 2 sub-keys named "Current" and "Default".  These will provide the full path to the .wav file used to provide the sound for that event.  "Current" always indicates what is set right at that moment under your user profile.

    Where you have previously created a sound scheme, there will also be a sub-key named after that scheme alongside the Current and Default.

    So getting back from the theory to what is actually a very straightforward change on your computer, you should have either been able to set your Current sound scheme to "None", or change individual events to "None" and leave some warning events with a sound.

    The only reasons why I can see that the changes have not been applied are:

    1. The "OK" button didn't set the change.  Normally you should click the "Apply" button which becomes dark when you make a change, but stays greyed-out when no changes have been made

    2. You have logged in as another user.

    Please have another go at this and hopefully the changes will be effected to suit your needs.

    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    Whoops, sorry about that.  I had some of this in NotePad ready to paste into the comment, but forgot about it and typed right in there.

    Please insert the following text after this line from the above:

    "Now, to consider your question again in light of what happened when you attempted to carry out LeeTutor's suggested solution.  That SHOULD have worked, but computers don't always do what they are told.

    Continue here.....

    Changing a sound for an event:

    Create your own sound for events:


    If you installed Windows 98 originally using the , then it will not have installed any of the following "themes" which create their own screensavers, icons, and sounds for windows events:

    Baseball, Dangerous Creatures, Inside Your Computer, Jungle, Leonardo DaVinci, More Windows, Mystery, Nature, Science, Space, Sports, The 60's USA, The Golden Era, Travel, Underwater, Windows 98.

    To install these, you would have to do as described on this page:

    I'm with you on this count, I don't want the sound of chattering monkeys and parrots from the Jungle Theme, or a "sproing" from the Robotz theme to tell me when I've just emptied the recycle bin!!  I know when I have just done this.

    The actual files used to create the sounds are .wav files normally in the C:\Windows\MEDIA folder.  There will probably also be a sub-key in there for the Microsoft Office sounds, if installed.

    The sounds that show as being set for certain events when YOU decide to change an event sound while YOU are logged in, are taken from the windows registry under all the settings for the CURRENT_USER (ie. You).

    The list of sounds that you might wish to CHANGE them to are taken from that MEDIA folder.

    Now skip back to... >>> Firstly, sound schemes are normally applied on a per-user basis..." <<<

    and continue to the end.


    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    One more thing, seeing as you also hate these sound events.

    You will no doubt have noticed that Microsoft Office sound events aren't listed in the Control Panel > "Sounds" dialog.

    You either have to allow ALL Office sounds, or turn them ALL OFF.

    Start up any new MS OFFICE document and then use the Tools Menu > Options > "General" tab.  Untick the "Provide feedback with sounds" and then click "Apply".

    I also turn off "Feedback with animation", because I dislike all the fancy effects.

    If you don't like the new mail notification sound in Outlook Express, use the Tools > Options menu, and untick the "Play sound when new message arrives" under the "Genral" tab.

    For Microsoft Messenger, look under the Tools > Options > General tab.

    If you want to replace a sound file, and then reset the sound to a specific event, do either of the following:

    1. Copy the .wav file into the C:\Windows\Media folder and then select it from the list in Control Panel > Sounds

    2. Click on the existing sound in Control Panel > Sounds and note the path (under the "Name" field) to the .wav file currently set to play for that event.  delete that named file from that folder, copy the new .wav file in there, and rename it to the name of the file you just deleted.

    Actually, I lied a bit earlier.  I do have one sound for new mail that says "You've got mail ?%*!@".  Unprintable, but hilarious.

    Have fun.

    Author Comment

     That is what I would call an "Answer" ***** five stars
    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    You're welcome, Johnny.  Hope you can get your PC as silent as mine is.

    I assume you also have an aversion to people who use their Nokia mobiles which emit a beep with every keypress, and either like to be hard or don't know how to turn off the beeps!!  I feel like saying this to them First one in list (*** DON'T click if you are religious or easily offended ***)

    After all that typing ...

    You might actually get to like selected sound events if you customise a few:

    Most problems can be fixed without this type of drastic action:

    New sound for your recycle bin empty:

    I wonder if Scandisk or Defrag can be tailored to have a sound event:

    Beginning to change your mind yet?

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