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Enable Visual Alerts for Notifications in Windows 10 (Sound Sentry)

Visual Alerts, also known as 'Sound Sentry', is a special feature which provides visual notifications for sounds. For instance, when an notification sound plays, there will also be a visual alert displayed. The user can enable and customize visual alerts in Windows 10.

Sound Sentry extends system sounds with extra actions, e.g. it can flash with the window title bar, so you will be able to see a sound notification even when it is not heard.

You can enable Visual Alerts/Sound Sentry with either Settings, Control Panel, or by using a Registry tweak. Let's review these methods

To enable Visual Alerts for Notifications in Windows 10 (Sound Sentry), do the following.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go to Ease of Access and select Audio under Hearing on the left.
  3. On the right, navigate to Show audio alerts visually.
  4. In the drop-down list, select one of the following options according to what you want: No visual alert (set by default), Flash active title bar of the active window, Flash active window, or Flash entire display.

Enable Visual Alerts for Notifications using Control Panel

  1. Open the classic Control Panel app.
  2. Go to Control Panel\Ease of Access\Ease of Access Center.
  3. Click on the link Use text or visual alternatives for sounds.
  4. On the next page, turn on the option Turn on visual notifications for sounds (Sound Sentry).
  5. Enable one of the options below: None (default), Flash active caption bar, Flash active window, or Flash desktop, according to what you want.

Finally, here is how to activate the Visual Alerts feature using a Registry tweak.

Enable Visual Alerts with a Registry tweak

  1. Open the Registry Editor app.
  2. Go to the following Registry key.
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Accessibility\SoundSentry

    See how to go to a Registry key with one click.

  3. On the right, modify or create a new string (REG_SZ) value Flags. Set it to 3.
  4. Now, modify or create a new string (REG_SZ) value WindowsEffect.
    Set WindowsEffect to one of the following values:
    0 - None (disabled)
    1 - Flash active title bar
    2 - Flash active window
    3 - Flash entire display
  5. To make the changes done by the Registry tweak take effect, you need to sign out and sign in to your user account.

Note: To disable the Visual Alerts feature, set the Flags string value to 2.

To save your time, you can download the following ready-to-use Registry files:

Download Registry Files

That's it.

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