Get the Windows Startup Sound Back!

White Windows logo symbol in the middle of musical notations

by Daniel Dunne.

Since the launch of Windows 8 back in the Summer of 2012, Microsoft in their wisdom turned off the Windows Startup Sound in favour of giving users a quicker loading time for their laptops and PCs. However, for visually impaired users – especially those of us who use a screen reader, this development was not very welcome. In rare occasions where our screen reader didn’t load up alongside Windows – we had no sure way of knowing that Windows had fully loaded up to the desktop screen and thus were left in a bit of a lurch.

For many people who have used Windows based PCs and laptops since the early days of Windows 3.11 and Windows 95, the loss of the Windows startup sound after some two decades left us feeling like something was missing from our daily computing lives – nostalgic for the days when the Startup sound was confirmation that this session of Windows had successfully loaded up to the desktop – at least! No blue-screen-of-death (BSOD) during the “Windows is Loading” was seen as a triumphant start to the day back in those times.

The good news is that Microsoft has made it easier to switch back on the Windows Startup Sound in recent Windows 10 updates. We now explain how to get it back up and running again on your Windows PC or laptop. For keyboard/screen reader users the following steps should be followed:

  1. Hold down the Windows Key and tap the S key and then release the Windows Key
  2. The Windows Search function appears where you can type in “Change System Sounds” and then press the Enter Key.
  3. The Sound dialog box now appears on screen. Use your Tab Key (approx. three times) to navigate to “Play Windows Start-up Sound” checkbox.
  4. Use the Space Bar to check this check box.
  5. Press the Tab Key to navigate to the OK button and press the Enter Key to accept the change.
  6. That’s it – the next time you load up your computer from scratch, Windows will play a short introduction sound confirming that Windows is loaded, just like the olden days!