Microsoft Sound Recorder

Updated: 11/13/2018 by Computer Hope

The Microsoft Sound Recorder is audio software included with Windows Vista and earlier that allows you to record your voice, make a note, or any other recording using a microphone.

Tip: With the introduction of Windows 8 and Windows 10 the Sound Recorder has been replaced by the Voice Recorder app.

About sound recorder

Sound Recorder, as shown here, is an audio application that allows the user to listen and record WAV files.

Microsoft Sound Recorder
Windows 98 Sound Recorder.

Sound Recorder is accessed in Windows 95 by clicking on Start, Programs, Accessories, Multimedia, and clicking on Sound Recorder. Sound Recorder is accessed in Windows 98 and above by clicking on Start, Programs, Accessories, Entertainment, and clicking on Sound Recorder.

You also the option to manually run the file by clicking Start, Run, type sndrec32 and press enter.

Sound Recorder setup

The following contains information on how to install, uninstall, and reinstall Sound Recorder.

  1. Click Start, Settings, Control Panel, and double-click on Add Remove Programs icon.
  2. Click the Windows Setup tab.
  3. Highlight Multimedia, click the details button.
  4. Once within Multimedia:
  • Check the box for Sound Recorder, click ok, and then apply to install.
  • Uncheck the box, click ok, and then apply to uninstall.
  • Uncheck the box, click ok, and then apply; go back in and recheck the box, click ok and then apply to reinstall.


How can I record a 60+ second sound file?

Unfortunately, there is no known way to change the sound recorder to record longer than 60 seconds.

The alternative to this solution would be to get an application designed to record sound files at a good compression ratio such as Audacity.

Receive error sound device is not installed.

When trying to play a sound .wav file, you receive the following error message: "Sound Recorder cannot record or play back because a sound device is not installed."

Click on Start / Run and type system.ini, this should get you into the system notepad. In the [boot] section add the following line.


If this line is present, but begins with a semicolon (;), remove the semicolon to uncomment this line.

If the "drivers=" line exists, but with a different filename, you can add MMSYSTEM.DLL to the end of the line, separated by a space.

Microphone is not recording any sounds.

If, when trying to record, you do not see the status indicator line moving when you speak into the microphone, perform the following steps.

  • Verify the microphone is hooked into the correct place (line out or mic) in your sound card.
  • If the microphone uses batteries then in sure the battery is a known good battery.
  • Verify settings set properly by clicking Start, Settings, Control panel and go to multimedia; make sure that the correct recording and playback device are correct.
  • After all the above, try reinstalling your sound card or refer to our microphone and sound card troubleshooting sections.