Change or disable the Windows 11 startup sound?

Microsoft has changed the look of Windows for the new Windows 11. Sounds are no exception. Even the Windows startup sound has changed. It’s effortless and short, and arguably ignorable. However, some would prefer to change or disable the Windows 11 startup sound, and we’ll show you how.

How to Disable the Windows 11 Startup Sound Using the GUI

Working from home is here to stay, so we have to be mindful of the people around us as we work. Maybe you’re an early riser and don’t want to wake anyone up. Just turn off the Windows 11 startup sound.

  1. Select the Start menu and start typing: sound settings. The first result will be Sound settings† Select that.
  1. In the Sound window that opens, scroll down and select More sound settings
  1. the known Sound window of earlier versions of Windows opens. Select the Sounds tab, then uncheck the box Play Windows Startup sound box. Click Okay to apply and exit the window. The other Windows sounds will still work, but starting the Windows 11 device will be silent.

If disabling all Windows system sounds is desired, go to the sound scheme drop-down list and select no sounds† Click Okay to apply and exit the window.

How to Disable the Windows 11 Startup Sound Using Group Policy

You may want to disable the Windows 11 startup sound for anyone who logs into Windows. Setting a group policy is the best way to do this. This does require administrator rights.

  1. In the Sounds window, uncheck the box Play the Windows startup sound box and select Apply or Okay† If the box is checked while setting the group policy, it will be locked by the group policy.
  1. Select the Start menu and start typing: group† The best result should be Edit Group Policy† Select that.
  1. In the Local Group Policy Editor, navigate to: computer configurationadministrative templates System login† In the right pane, find the setting Disable the Windows startup sound and select it.
  1. In the Disable the Windows startup sound setting, change it to Switched on and select Okay† Note that it says “This policy is not available in this version of Windows.” This is incorrect. Sometimes documentation in Windows is not updated.
  1. The next time Windows starts, the setting will be applied and the Windows startup sound will not be played. To apply the setting immediately, open the Command Prompt and enter the command
    gpupdate /force

    and press Enter† The computer and user policies are updated.

reopen the Sound window and notice that the Play the Windows startup sound the box is unchecked and also grayed out so it cannot be changed.

Disable the Windows 11 startup sound with PowerShell

If you haven’t already, take the time to learn PowerShell. PowerShell scripting can be used to manipulate almost any part of Windows and automate repetitive tasks.

This command, or in PowerShell terms – cmdlet, edits the registry to disable the Windows 11 startup sound for anyone logging in to the device. The cmdlet can become part of a PowerShell script to run on a fresh installation of Windows, or it can be deployed to multiple devices.

  1. Select the start menu and search for power shell† The first option will be Windows PowerShell† Right click on it and choose Run as administrator
  1. At the command prompt in PowerShell, enter the cmdlet:
    Set-ItemProperty -Path HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System -Name DisableStartupSound -Value 0 -Force

    and press Enter

Change the Windows 11 startup sound

Maybe you just want a different startup sound. Maybe as a reminder to do something, as a joke, or just because you can. We help you with that. You can use an existing Windows sound or your own.

How to use a custom sound for the Windows 11 startup sound

This requires administrator rights. Also make sure that the file is in .wav format. If not, you could convert the sound to the .wav format.

  1. In Explorernavigate to C:\Windows\Media
  1. Paste the .wav file. It will ask for administrator rights to copy to this folder. Select Get on† The file will be copied to this folder. Now it will show up in the list of available sounds in the list of system sounds.

Change the Windows 11 startup sound with the GUI

By default, Windows Logon is not displayed in the Program Events window. Here’s how to show it. It requires a change in the Windows registry. Modifying the Windows registry can cause serious problems for Windows. Make sure that backup windows registry so that it can be restored if necessary. Do not do this if you are not comfortable making registry changes.

  1. Press win key R† In the Run window, enter regedit and select Okay
  1. When the Registry Editor opens, navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\AppEvents\EventLabels\WindowsLogon
  1. Double click on the Exclude from CPL registry key. Change the value of 1 until 0 and select Okay to apply the change. Close the Registry Editor.
  1. Go back to the Sound window and scroll down in Program eventsWindows login will be there now.
  1. In the Sounds select box, navigate to the desired sound and select it. Attempted To test button to check if it works. If so, select Okay to apply the change and close the Sound window. This is the sound that will be played the next time Windows 11 starts.

Sounds good?

Now that you’ve had a good tour of how sounds are managed in Windows, via point-and-click, group policy, the registry, and PowerShell, what else are you going to do? Maybe add custom sounds for other Windows events? Or want to know more about Group Policy, the Registry and PowerShell? With these tools, Windows 11 is more customizable than you might have imagined.

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