How to change, disable, or enable Windows sounds

Updated: 04/01/2018 by Computer Hope

SoundThe sounds in Microsoft Windows and many of its programs, such as Internet Explorer and Windows Instant Messenger, are controlled through the sound properties section of the Control Panel. To adjust the sound settings for these programs, follow the steps below.

Note: Changing or disabling sounds using the instructions below only affects sounds relating to Windows functionality. Software and game sounds are controlled through the software or game itself and not affected by changing or disabling Windows sounds. If a sound is still heard after changing or disabling a Windows sound with the below instructions, you need to check sound settings for the software or game you are running.

Tip: Some sounds are generated by the computer BIOS or other hardware. Changing or disabling Windows sounds will not affect BIOS and hardware sounds. You will need to access the computer BIOS or hardware settings to change or disable those sounds.

Disable or change individual sounds

Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 10 users

  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. In the Control Panel, if viewing by Category, click the Hardware and Sound option, then click Sound on the next screen. If viewing by icons, click the Sound icon.
  3. In the Sound window, click the Sounds tab.
  4. In the Program Events section, find the sound you want to disable or change. Then, in the drop-down list in the Sounds section, select (None) if you want to disable the sound or select a different sound file if you want to change the sound.
  5. Click OK and Save or Yes, if prompted, to save the settings for the currently selected Sound Scheme.

Windows XP and earlier

  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. In the Control Panel, click or double-click the Sound icon.
  3. In the Sound settings window, click on the Sounds tab.
  4. In the Program Events section, find the sound you want to disable or change. Then, in the drop-down list in the Sounds section, select (None) if you want to disable the sound or select a different sound file if you want to change the sound.
  5. Click OK and Save or Yes, if prompted, to save the settings for the currently selected Sound Scheme.

Disable or change all sounds

Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 10 users

  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. In the Control Panel, if viewing by Category, click the Hardware and Sound option, then click Sound on the next screen. If viewing by icons, click the Sound icon.
  3. In the Sound window, click the Sounds tab.
  4. In the Sound Scheme section, click on the drop-down list and select No Sounds if you want to disable all sounds or select a different sound scheme if you want to change all sounds.
  5. Click OK and Save or Yes, if prompted, to save the settings for the currently selected Sound Scheme.

Windows XP and earlier

  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. In the Control Panel, click or double-click the Sound icon.
  3. In the Sound settings window, click on the Sound tab.
  4. In the Sound Schemes section, click on the drop-down list and select No Sounds if you want to disable all sounds or select a different sound scheme if you want to change all sounds.
  5. Click OK to save the updated sound settings.

Additional information