How to Add Windows 95 (Or Any Other) Startup Sound to Windows 10

There’s something magical about the Windows 95 startup jingle (maybe owing to the fact that it was created by the great Brian Eno). I thought it’d be simple to use the nostalgic noise as my Windows 10 startup sound but was unpleasantly surprised to find that it’s actually deceptively difficult.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who wants Windows to greet me with a nice jingle, so here I’ll show you how to bring back a startup sound to Windows 10 and (if you so wish) replace it with quite possibly the best OS startup sound of them all.

You’ve probably noticed by now that when you shut down your Windows 10 PC you can magically turn it on again by pressing any key on your keyboard instead of the Power button on your machine. This is thanks to the “Fast Boot” feature in Windows 10 which essentially hibernates your PC, shutting it down but keeping your session, drivers and so-on dormant in the hibernation file, ready to spring back into action as soon as you turn your PC on.

Fast boot can speed up boot time, though its effects aren’t significant and some people have even reported that it slows down their boot time. It also prevents Windows from greeting you with a jingle because Windows doesn’t think that your PC was actually shut down in the first place.

So switching off Fast Boot can restore your startup sound. To do this, click Start, type power options, then click “Power Options” in the search results.

In the Power Options window, click “Choose what the power buttons do,” then uncheck the “Turn on fast start-up” box. If it’s greyed out, click “Change Settings that are currently unavailable,” then untick the box.

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Next, we need to go to the sound options in Windows 10. In the notification area at the bottom-right corner of your desktop, right-click the speaker icon, then click Sounds.

In the Sound window click the Sounds tab, then tick the “Play Windows Start-up sound” box. Your PC should now play a jingle whenever it boots. If you’re content with the Windows 10 startup sound, you can stop now. If you want to indulge your nostalgia and replace it with the Windows 95 jingle (or any other sound for that matter), read on.

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If you want to replace the default Windows 10 jingle, you’ll need to use a “.wav” file or convert an existing audio file to a .wav file. This is simple to do, and you can use a free online converter like online-convert or media.io to do it.

If you want to use the Windows 95 jingle like me, you can download it from here by right-clicking the little WAV logo and clicking “Save link as.”

windows-10-startup-download-wave-startup

Once you have your .wav file, it’d seem logical to change the startup sound from the Sound settings window, but for some reason this option is missing.

Thankfully, there’s a workaround to this, and you can download a small, simple tool made specifically for changing your startup sound. Download Startup Sound Changer, extract it, then run it.

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In Startup Sound Changer, click Replace, then navigate to your jingle and add it. Now just kick back and enjoy the soothing sound of Windows starting up!

It’s deceptively complicated to switch up your Windows 10 startup sound and a bit strange that Microsoft hasn’t tried to make it a bit simpler. Your startup noise is your Big Welcome as you boot up your PC, capable of setting you off on the right foot for a day of computer-based productivity, leisure, gaming, whatever.

Or maybe I’m reading too much into it. But I know that I feel much more satisfied now that I have Brian Eno’s perfect six-second startup sound greeting me each time I boot up.

7 comments

  1. Since I no longer have windows 10 and am now using Ubuntu 16.10 I would love to know how to do this in Ubuntu. All I get on it at startup is a short drum roll and that’s it. I would actually like to have the Windows XP startup and shutdown sounds

    • in Ubuntu all systems sounds are found in `/usr/share/sounds`
      You have a fair selection of sound filetypes that you can use here, you can use WAV-16 Bit, OGG, and even MP3 I think. To change your system sounds though, you need to open up System Preferences, and click on Sound tab and look through there to see what sounds you can change. You can download from certain repos that contain various sounds from other Linux distributions which will expand the number of sounds your system can play, or manually add some yourself in the directory I mentioned before into it’s own folder.

  2. Great tip! I’m gonna set it up right now :)
    By the way, I dunno why you call it that difficult, it seems kinda simple to me. Or maybe it’s because I’m used to play with things on my pc so this with 2 settings changes (and optionally some downloads and few more clicks) is nearly nothing :)
    But anyways thanks!

  3. Thanks for the info, kinda silly MS doesn’t let you change it like it used to, plus the fact the windows startup sound is disabled by default.

  4. I’ve tried everything in this guide, but it’s still not working. I think the startup sound changer program is poorly programmed, as it just plays the default jingle every time.

  5. ADVISORY: PLEASE READ BEFORE ATTEMPTING THE STEPS IN THE POST ABOVE!

    While this program successfully changed my startup sound, it also had the obstructive effect of causing all the folder icons in Windows Explorer to disappear. It also isn’t correctly built for this sort of thing, as can be seen by looking at what files it effects:

    -It only changes System32imageres.dll. The startup sound is located in this DLL as .rsrcWAVE5080 (without an extension). This is the only thing that it changes intentionally and does actually change the startup sound as intended.
    -It does not change SysWOW64imageres.dll as it should. This should be the exact same file as the one in System32 (in a default state, even WinMerge doesn’t detect any differences in a byte-for-byte comparison). This will cause system inconsistencies later on.
    -It does not recompile the DLL correctly. The default file is 25,603KB in size. After using the program to change and restore the startup sound, the resulting DLL is 25,602KB when, in reality, it should be the exact same file in the end. WinMerge also shows an obscene amount of differences between the original and “restored” files.
    -Whatever it fails to do on re-compiling the DLL makes it so that Windows cannot display icons correctly in Explorer. The re-compiled library can be extracted just fine by 7-zip, but it throws a checksum error when doing so. This appears to be related ONLY to how the file is compiled; again, WinMerge did not find any differences beyond the startup sounds when comparing the extracted contents of both DLLs.

    With all this in mind, this tool is poorly-written. Maybe it worked at the time without any adverse effects, but that is no longer the case as of this comment’s date (Windows 10 Pro with the Anniversary update, if anyone is wondering). I will give some credit to the writer of the tool, though; rather than altering the file first, it actually renames the original and creates a new one, which can easily be re-renamed and put back into place without having to use a Live-USB in the process. Of course, that doesn’t make the fact that it doesn’t work any better, really, but still.
    P.S. I am using an AMD Ryzen build as well. This shouldn’t have any effect on how the program works, but I thought I’d mention it anyway just in case.

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