Every release of Windows since as far back as I can remember (Windows 3.1) has played a welcome sound at startup. In Windows NT-based systems, there is a startup sound as well as a separate logon sound. The startup sound can be enabled in Windows 10. In this article, we will see how to replace it with a custom sound.
You can enable the Startup sound in Windows 10 in the Sound dialog. Tick the option Play Windows Startup sound and you are done.
For reference, see the following article:
It is easy to change sounds for most of the sound events in Windows 10. The mentioned Sound dialog allows changing them easily individually or by applying a sound scheme.
In the Program Events list, click the event that you want to assign a new sound for. Then, in the Sounds list, click the sound that you want to associate with the event, and then click OK. Click the 'Test' button to listen to the sound. If the sound you want to use isn't listed, click Browse to locate it. See
However, you cannot change the Startup sound using this dialog. It is hardcoded inside a .dll file, C:\Windows\System32\imageres.dll. To replace it, you need to use a resource editor app. In this article, we will use the popular freeware Resource Hacker. However, you can use any other app you are used to.
You must be signed in with an administrative account to continue.
To change the Startup sound in Windows 10, do the following.
- Enable the startup sound.
- Take ownership of the file
- Copy the imageres.dll file to your Desktop.
- Download and install the Resource Hacker app.
- Run Resource Hacker and open imageres.dll from the Desktop. You can drag-n-drop it to the app's window.
- In the left pane of Resource Hacker, locate the section WAVE, and right-click on the 5080 : 1030 item and select Replace Resource... from the context menu.
- In the next dialog, click on the Select File... button.
- Browse for a .wav file you want to have played for the Windows startup sound.
Tip: You will find default wav files under the folder C:\Windows\Media. Also,you can visit the Winsounds.com website, where you can get lots of sounds for free.
- Click on the Replace button.
- In Resource Hacker, click on the menu File - Save or press the Ctrl + S keys.
You just replaced the startup sound with a custom WAV file.
Note: Resource Hacker will create a backup copy of the original file named imageres_original.dll in the same folder from where you have opened the imageres.dll file.
Now, you need to replace the imageres.dll file in the C:\Windows\System32 folder in order to apply it.
Here's how it can be done.
Install the modified imageres.dll file
- Reboot Windows 10 to Safe mode.
- Rename the original file C:\Windows\System32\imageres.dll to C:\Windows\System32\imageres.dll.bak
- Copy your modified imageres.dll file from the Desktop folder to C:\Windows\System32.
- Restart Windows 10.
Now you should hear your custom sound.
To restore the default sound, start Windows 10 in safe mode, open File Explorer to the C:\Windows\System32 folder. Rename the imageres.dll file to imageres.dll.new, then rename your imageres.dll.bak file back to imageres.dll.
To save your time, you can use Winaero Tweaker. It comes with the following option:
Just select a new WAV file and set it as your startup sound!
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