By default, Windows uses a generic sound for notifications. However, you can easily change it if you don’t like it or are tired of hearing the same tone. Apart from the built-in options, you can download or import your own sound and set it as the notification tone. This tutorial illustrates various methods to change the notification sound on Windows.
Good to know: learn how to customize the Windows startup sound.
How to Change the Notification Sound via Settings
You can change the notification sound on your Windows computer by navigating to the Personalization menu.
Press the Win + I keys to launch the Settings app.
Click “Personalization -> Themes” in the left pane.
Click “Sounds” on the “Themes” screen.
Click the “Sounds” tab on the dialog box. Scroll and find the “Notification” option under “Program Events.”
Click the drop-down box under “Sounds” to view the list of built-in tones.
Select any option from the list, and click “Test” to listen to it. Select the tone you wish to use, and click “Apply -> OK” to set it as your notification tone.
FYI: don’t like your current screensaver anymore? Check out our list of awesome screensavers for Windows.
Change the Notification Sound Using Registry Editor
You can also use the Registry Editor to change the notification sound on Windows. This example uses your own custom sounds. Just make sure you create a registry backup before proceeding.
Press Win + R to launch the Run utility. Type
regedit in the box, and click “OK” to launch the Registry Editor.
Click “Yes” if you see a pop-up to provide permission.
Type the following path on the location bar at the top, and press the Enter key: “Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\AppEvents\Schemes\Apps\.Default\Notification.Default\.Current.”
Press Win + E to launch File Explorer, and navigate to the following path “C:\Windows\Media”.
Right-click the file you want to set as a notification, and click “Copy as path” or press Ctrl + Shift + C to copy the file path. This needs to be a WAV file.
Back in the Registry Editor, double-click on “Default” on the right. In the pop-up dialog box, paste the file path you copied to the “Value data” field, and click “OK.”
That’s it. The tone you have selected will be played whenever you get a notification on Windows. If you can’t hear the tone you selected, restart the computer to make sure that the changes in the registry are saved.
Tip: need to clean your Windows Registry? We can show you how.
How to Add a Custom Notification Sound to Windows
It’s not necessary to use the Registry Editor to add custom notification sounds. You can do so through the Settings app, too. Keep in mind that the audio file must be in WAV format, as Windows does not accept other audio formats.
Press Win + E to launch File Explorer, and navigate to the folder that contains the sound file. Use the Ctrl+ C keys, or click “Copy” at the top of the screen to copy the file path.
Go to the “C:\Windows\Media” path, and paste the file here. If prompted, click “Continue” to provide administrative permissions for pasting the file.
Now launch the Sound window as demonstrated above, and click on “Notification” under “Program Events.”
Click the drop-down box under “Sounds” on the bottom of the dialog box. Find and select the file you copied earlier.
Click “Apply -> OK” to set the custom tone as a notification tone.
FYI: check out our list of tips to find out how to improve the sound on Windows.
You can customize the sounds for various notifications, such as Calendar Reminders, New Mail Notifications, Low Battery Alarms, and more, by accessing the Sound dialog. If notifications annoy you, learn how to disable them.
Image credit: Pexels. All screenshots by Meenatchi Nagasubramanian.
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