Weekly Computer Tip # 301
20 February 2010

Turn off the startup and exit sound
(Windows XP)

Anybody else not really understand the need for sound effects when you start your computer or shut it down? Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't want any sounds at all (in an attempt to manage my compulsive desire to check my email I only look at it when I hear the You Have New Mail sound); it's just that I cannot get my head around the general "tada" sounds, especially when you subtly want to do some work on a train or plane. So ... I've switched it off.

Here's how:

  1. Open the Control Panel. (Remember? My preferred way is to press the WIN key on your keyboard.)
  2. In Classic View (I do like change; honest!) double-click on Sounds and Audio Devices. (In Category View click on Sounds, Speech and Audio Devices and click on Change the sound scheme.)
  3. Open the Sounds tab.
  4. Under Program events, click Start Windows.
  5. In the Sounds box, select (None).
  6. Click OK.

Do the same for the Exit Windows event. Or for any other system beeps you find annoying. That said: I know some people (you?) will take this opportunity to select new sounds. Or even use the Browse button and use their own tunes. For example, hubby used to have a colleague whose PC started up with the Black Betty song. (With apologies to anyone who finds themselves singing "Whoa Black Betty bamalam" for the rest of the day!)