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.
Switch Off Fast Boot
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.
Enable Windows Start-up Sound
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.
Replacing the Windows 10 Startup Sound
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.”
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.
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.