Changing Your Sound Theme

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 9, 2018)

1

Most PCs these days come with some sort of audio system attached. It may be nothing more than a small speaker inside the computer case, or it may be a full-blown system with external speakers and subwoofers.

Knowing this, Microsoft has built audio support into Windows for quite some time. In fact, Windows itself uses sound to signal certain system-level events. In other WindowsTips you discover how to change the sounds associated with those events.

What you may not know is that Windows has what Microsoft terms sound themes. A sound theme is a collection of sounds associated with a specific Windows theme. In other words, when you change your Windows theme (which controls backgrounds, colors, pointers, etc. used by Windows), a different sound theme is also called into play.

It's not unusual to like a particular Windows theme, visually, but not be happy with the sound theme associated with it. Fortunately, Windows allows you to change the sound theme independent of which overall Windows theme you've selected. How you do it depends on the version of Windows you are using.

Windows 7 and 8

If you are using Windows 7 or Windows 8, these are the steps you can follow:

  1. Display the Control Panel.
  2. Click the Change System Sounds link under the Sound heading. Windows displays the Sounds tab of the Sound dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Sounds tab of the Sound dialog box.

  4. Use the Sound Scheme drop-down list to choose the theme you want to use.
  5. Click on OK to close the dialog box.

Windows 10

With Windows 10 the method of accessing the sound dialog box changed slightly. You can still access the sounds dialog box through control panel, although the sound is now changed by clicking on Hardware and sound. Then you click Change Sounds under the Sound heading. With Windows 10, there is another way to access the sound settings:

  1. Click on the Start button in the bottom left corner. Windows displays the Start screen.
  2. Click on the Settings button (it looks like a small gear). Windows displays the Settings dialog box.
  3. Click on the Personalization link. This opens the Personalization portion of the Settings dialog box.
  4. Click on the Themes link. This opens the Themes setting of the Settings dialog box.
  5. Click on the Sounds link. Windows displays the Sounds tab of the Sound dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  6. Figure 2. The Sounds tab of the Windows 10 Sound dialog box.

  7. Use the Sound Scheme drop-down list to choose the theme you want to use.
  8. Click on OK to close the dialog box.

Simple, right? If you want, you can change individual sounds using the controls in the Program Events list. When your sounds are just the way you want, you can then click the Save As button (to the right of the Sound Scheme drop-down list) to save your own sound theme. That way you can call it up at any time should Windows change the sound theme when you choose a different Windows theme.

 This tip (399) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is one less than 7?

2018-04-10 08:48:33

Richard Ingram

An easier way to get to the Sound dialog box in Windows 10 is to type "sound" (without the quotes) in the Cortana search box, and then click on the Sound link that appears in the Best match section.


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