How to Change Windows 10 System Sounds

Tired of hearing the default Windows sounds? Change them!

A stock photo of a woman sitting on bed wearing headphones around her neck and staring at Windows 10 Surface laptop.

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When it comes to Windows 10, you don't have to stick with the factory settings. Microsoft's latest operating system comes with numerous ways to customize its features. If you don't like the little dings, blips, and chimes that make up Windows 10's sounds, you can switch them up just by adjusting the sound settings.

Instructions in this article only apply to PCs running Windows 10.

What Windows Sounds Can Be Customized In Windows 10?

The sound settings governing the system sounds of Windows 10 allow you to customize the audio for a long list of system sounds, including system notifications (like low battery alerts) and sound effects for emphasis when actions are completed, such as closing a program or emptying the recycle bin.

To help you navigate the many different kinds of system sounds, the sound settings menu divides them up into the following categories:

  • Windows (system): Includes sounds for things like battery notifications and instant messages.
  • File Explorer: Handles sounds for things like moving menu items and blocked pop-up windows.
  • Windows Speech Recognition: This category deals with sounds for things like turning the speech recognition feature on and off.

How to Find Windows 10 Sound Settings

There are three ways to find the sound settings: Via the Settings icon in the Start menu, the Search bar, or right-click the speaker-shaped icon located in the Desktop's Taskbar notification area.

Using the Start Menu

  1. Select the black and white Start Menu icon in the lower left corner of the screen.

  2. Select the gear icon on the left-hand side of the menu to open the Windows Settings.

    A screenshot of how to access the Settings menu via the Start menu in order to access the Windows 10 Sound settings.
  3. Select System > Sound.

  4. Under Related Settings, select Sound control panel.

Using the Search Bar

  1. Type "Sounds" into the search bar, located on the lower left side of the screen and to the right of the Start menu icon, then press Enter.

    A screenshot of using the Search bar to access the Windows 10 sound settings.
  2. A list of search results should appear. Select either Sound or Change system sounds.

  3. Once you choose either option from step two, the sound settings menu will appear on your screen.

    Either option will take you to the sound settings menu. However, select Change system sounds to go to the specific settings necessary for system sound customization much quicker.

  4. That's it!

Using the Speaker Icon in the Taskbar

  1. On the lower right side of the screen, select the upward facing arrow icon in the Taskbar, to open a menu of program icons.

  2. Within the menu of program icons, right-click the speaker.

    A screenshot of accessing the Sound settings of WIndows 10 by using the speaker icon in the notification area of the desktop taskbar.
  3. Select Sounds.

How to Customize Windows 10 Audio Settings

There are at least two main ways you can change your Windows 10 system sounds once you've accessed the sounds settings. You can either totally turn off the system sounds or you can adjust and change the sound effect assigned to each Program Event.

A Program Event is an event that happens in Windows and the system wants to notify you in some way, usually with a sound, that it happened. An example of a program event would be a low battery notification.

Turning off the System Sounds

  1. Once you're in the sounds settings menu, Select the Sounds tab if it hasn't already been selected for you.

  2. To simply turn off all of the system sounds in Windows 10, select the Sound Scheme dropdown menu, then select No Sounds.

    A screenshot showing how to turn off the WIndows system sounds in the Sounds settings menu.
  3. Select Apply > OK.

    You can also turn off the sound for individual program events. Select a Program Event, select the Sounds dropdown menu, then select (none). Select Apply > OK to confirm the change.

  4. That's it!

How to Change the Windows Sound Effect for a Program Event

  1. To change the sound effect assigned to each program event, select the Sounds tab, then select a program event from the list.

  2. Select the Sounds dropdown menu, then select a sound effect.

    A screenshot showing how to change the assigned sound effect for a given program event in the Sound settings menu.
  3. Select Browse to search your computer for your own sound effects files.

    Your chosen sound effect must be a .WAV file.

  4. Once you've selected a sound effect, you can select Test to preview the sound effect. Select Apply.

  5. Select Apply > OK to confirm your choices.