How To Change the Startup Sound in Windows 10

Quite possibly the most successful operating system family of all time, Windows has built quite a reputation in numerous ways. However, it owes most of its success to its ease of use.

One way it achieves this is related to the use of auditory signals, notifying the user of every event that requires attention. Among the most memorable are the startup sounds, which signal a successful system boot. Microsoft was so serious about this at one that it even engaged Brian Eno, one of the pioneers of ambient music, to come up with a startup sound for Windows 95.

Unfortunately, not only hasn’t Microsoft come up with a new startup sound since the release of Windows Vista in 2006, but it also made it impossible to change in Windows 10’s Sounds menu, where it was possible earlier. You can now only enable or disable the startup sound this way.

Fear not, though, as you can still return to the old times, or just choose a completely different startup sound, and we’re about to tell you how. But first…

Did You Notice There Is No Startup Sound?

The startup sound in Windows 10 is disabled by default in two different ways. Besides being disabled in the aforementioned Sounds menu, which we’ll explain later, newer versions of Windows have an option that prevents it from playing. It’s called Fast Boot, which lets the operating system keep all your running applications even when you shut down your computer. Instead of shutting down the system, this serves another function known as Hibernate.

Fast Boot doesn’t ever treat your computer like it was shut down, which is why you’ve most probably never heard the startup sound. Therefore, in order to enable the startup sound and change it, we first need to disable this option.

Disabling the Fast Boot Option

In Windows 10, there are multiple ways to find the application you need, which might seem confusing at first. Here’s one of the easier ways:

  1. Press the Start
  2. Type “control”. As you type with your Start menu present, Windows searches your system and the internet for anything regarding the chosen term.
  3. Choose Control Panel, which shall appear as a Best match.
  4. At the top right corner, there is a search bar that helps navigate through files. Click it to let Windows focus on it and type “power”.
  5. Click “Change what the power buttons do”.
  6. The shutdown settings are frozen because Windows 10 doesn’t always recognize you as an administrator. If you are, click “Change settings that are currently unavailable”.
    Change the Startup Sound in Windows 10
  7. As the shutdown settings become available to you, check off “Turn on fast startup (recommended)”.

Note: A computer restart is suggested for the changes to take action.

Enabling the Startup Sound

Unlike older versions of Windows, the startup sound is disabled by default in Windows 10. Here’s what you can do to turn it back on:

  1. Right-click on the Speakers icon located in the System Tray located at the bottom right corner.
  2. Choose “Sounds”.
  3. If it isn’t checked already, check the box that says “Play Windows Startup sound”.
    How to Change Startup Sound in Windows 10

Changing the Startup Sound

There are multiple ways to change the startup sound, but using a third-party software proves to be the easiest. One such program is called Startup Sound Changer and can be found here. The steps for changing the startup sound are as follows:

  1. Install the application.
  2. Start the application. You shall see four buttons, although they are just represented in text: Play, Replace, Restore and Exit.
    Change Startup Sound in Windows 10
  3. Click the Replace
  4. Find the desired sound.

Closing Notes

Here are some more things you should consider when changing the startup sound:

  1. Wave (.wav extension) is the only supported audio format for all Windows notification sounds.
  2. If you plan on changing the Windows 10 startup sound with that of an older version of Windows, you’re in luck, as you can download most, if not all of the official ones here as wave files.
  3. When you change the startup sound, the sound changer will play it once for you to make sure you’ve chosen the right sound. You can’t use the program until that’s finished.
  4. There were some reported cases where the startup sound just reverts to the default one. This is most likely caused by Windows So if you’ve enabled updates, we strongly advise that you keep the sound changer program installed, although it’s not required after changing the startup sound.

Which startup sound is your favorite? Are you considering a blast from the past, or do you prefer some other jingle? Be sure to tell us in the comments below!

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