Change Startup Sound in Windows 10

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.

Windows 10 enable startup sound

For reference, see the following article:

Enable startup sound in Windows 10

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

How to change sounds in Windows 10.

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.

  1. Enable the startup sound.
  2. Take ownership of the file C:\Windows\System32\imageres.dll.Windows 10 Imageres.dll File
  3. Copy the imageres.dll file to your Desktop.Windows 10 Copy Imageres To Desktop
  4. Download and install the Resource Hacker app.
  5. Run Resource Hacker and open imageres.dll from the Desktop. You can drag-n-drop it to the app's window.Windows 10 Drag Imageres To Reshacker
  6. 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.Windows 10 Replace Resource
  7. In the next dialog, click on the Select File... button.Windows 10 Reshacker Select File Button
  8. 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 website, where you can get lots of sounds for free.Windows 10 Reshacker Browse For Wav File
  9. Click on the Replace button.Windows 10 Reshacker Replace Button
  10. 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. Windows 10 Imageres Original


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

  1. Reboot Windows 10 to Safe mode.
  2. Rename the original file C:\Windows\System32\imageres.dll to C:\Windows\System32\imageres.dll.bakWindows 10 Imageres Bak
  3. Copy your modified imageres.dll file from the Desktop folder to C:\Windows\System32.Windows 10 Imageres Dll Replaced
  4. 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, 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:

Winaero Tweaker Startup Sound

Just select a new WAV file and set it as your startup sound!

Download Winaero Tweaker

That's it.

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28 thoughts on “Change Startup Sound in Windows 10

  1. Darth Agnon

    Will this option be added to WinAero Tweaker v10.3 ?

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Yes it is. I am working on it.

  2. Sal M.

    Or, you could just use Startup Sound Changer . Works on Windows 10 as well as prior versions.

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      I am the author of Startup Sound Changer.
      And no, you should not use it on Windows 10. There are reasons for that.
      All your links are removed. Startup Sound Changer’s home is Winaero, not some shitty third-party web site with adware.

      1. Sal M.

        What are your reasons for advising not to use it on Windows 10? I have not had any issues using it with the latest build.

        1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

          One day you may face the unbootable OS with the message “imageres.dll has invalid digital signature”. I know how to fix it and will fix.
          Unfortunately, I learned this just a few weeks ago.

  3. Kyle

    YIKES! Never I mind. Sorry I even looked for it.

  4. Kyle

    Microsoft is so f’ed up. Trying to make your PC into a phone is the most retarded thing. They took over Nokia (a failed phone company) and fired the remaining PC workers to replace them with phone only idiots.

  5. Kyle

    The only and ONLY reason Microsoft and the other big corporations are even in existence is because in the Bush era and especially Obama they shook hands with the government and shuffle things around. They get in return political protection.

    Trump is trying to stop it but is only going halfway thru as he isn’t a computer user himself. He is just a phone idiot only knowing how to tweet. The reason he tweets is because he can’t get a word in edge wise without being edited or censored outright. Obama got soft balled the whole time.

  6. Calin

    Will you add a tweak for enabling “LOG IN” sound in Windows 10. I tried changing in registry HKEY_CURRENT_USER\AppEvents\EventLabels\WindowsLogon\ExcludeFromCPL binary value to 1.

  7. nebula

    the size of this dll in win10 1903 is only 3kb, and no sound resource in it.


    Hello, Changing the Windows Start Sound does not work with update from May 1903. It looks like something has changed internally in the system, Please can check failure.

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      THanks, I will do

  9. Geeker82

    this app is awesome to use in windows 10 however the OS was updated to Ver. 1903, and now when I try to change the startup sound I get the following error: “Failed to set new sound” is there an update in the works to Winaero Tweaker?

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      it is already a work in progress.

  10. Gomes

    Just found out that in the latest updates and in Insider Builds, the file you have to change is C:\Windows\WindowsResources\imageres.dll.mun
    The method is the same as the article. When you save, make sure to select All files on the Save as type box on the Save As dialog and keep the .dll.mun filetype.

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author


    2. Dave

      The location of “imageres.dll.mun” is now “C:\Windows\SystemResources”.

      1. EP

        more specifically the imageres.dll.mun file in C:\Windows\SystemResources folder is only available in the 1903 version of Win10. I am not using the 1903 version on some of my PCs. don’t know if imageres.dll.mun exists for 1809 and older Win10 releases.

        1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

          it doesn’t exist in 1809. it is new to 1903.

  11. Edivan Baptista

    Por favor qual é o caminho no regedit !? Para este comando do som de abertura!?

    Please, what is the path in regedit? For this command of the opening sound !?

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      It is a file modification. Not a Registry tweak.
      Could you read carefully please?

  12. Jack Wonnacott

    I changed my startup sound and now when I try to change it or revert it back to original it doesn’t work. Even after rebooting PC. Please help.

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      which sound you currently have?

  13. Joel

    Hi Sergey, can you advise me on this? Using Winaero to change the startup sound works, but the sound plays at the login screen, even before I can use my fingerprint to login to Windows. Is this normal?

    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Hmm. Must be normal for Windows 10.

      1. Joel

        Any chance you will be adding tweaks for other sounds like logon/logff, shutdown etc. ?

        1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

          hey work extremely unreliably. Technically, there’s nothing complicated about them. However, I am afraid that I will receive very negative feedback about them from users of the application.


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