Older Windows versions were able to play a startup sound, a separate logon sound. A sound could also play when Windows logs off or when it shuts down. The user could assign all these sounds from Control Panel -> Sound. Starting with Windows 8, sounds for these events have been eliminated almost entirely. Let's see how to play the shutdown sound in Windows 10.
Why Windows 10 doesn't play the shutdown sound
In Windows 10, Microsoft focused on making Windows boot and shut down faster. Developers of the OS had completely removed the sounds which play at logon, log off and shutdown. Even if you assign sounds to the events for 'Exit Windows', 'Windows Logon' and 'Windows Logoff' or try to restore these events using the Registry, they will not play. There is the official statement from Microsoft which explains the situation.
"We removed these sound events for performance reasons. We pay a lot of attention to how quickly the machine powers on, powers off, goes to sleep, resumes from sleep, etc. As part of speeding this up, we experiment a lot with what process is in control of the startup and shutdown sounds. In an interim build of Windows 8 while it was under development, we were able to speed things up considerably by moving the shutdown sound from Explorer.exe (which is running while you’re still logged on) to Logonui.exe (which is the process that shows the "Shutting down" circle.)
However moving the shutdown sound this late started running into other problems. The code we use to play the sound (the PlaySound API) needs to read from the registry (to see what the preferences for this sound were) and from the disk (to read the .wav file), and we ran into issues where the sound was unable to play (or got cutoff halfway) because we had shut down the registry or the disk already! We could have spent time rewriting the API but we decided the safest and most performant thing to do was to eliminate the sound altogether."
Note: The startup sound remained in Windows 10 but it is disabled by default. You need to enable it manually if required. See the following article:
Additionally, Windows 10 comes with a fast startup/hybrid boot feature. Due to this feature, when you click Shut down, it logs you out and hibernates the kernel and powers off; it doesn't really exit Windows. When you turn on your Windows 10 device again, it resumes from hibernate and logs in again. This is different from booting after a full shut down.
In a previous article, I've covered how to play a sound at logon. See
Here are instructions to revive the Shutdown sound. The solution is to simply use the Windows event log system to play the sound.
The Shut Down event
We need to create a task in Task Scheduler attached to a special Shut Down event. The event we need has ID 1074 = User Initiated Shutdown, as shown in the following screenshot.
Task Scheduler is able to run tasks attached to any event, so specifying our script as the task's action will make it play the sound every time you shut down the OS. To play the sound, we have to use PowerShell.
- This method only works when you know and can use credentials for an administrative user account.
- It doesn't work if your user account has no password.
- It might not work if you have Fast Startup disabled.
Unfortunately, there is no way to bypass these limitations. The method is very tricky and doesn't work reliable. You've been warned.
Play the Shutdown Sound in Windows 10
- Open Administrative Tools.
- Click the Task Scheduler icon.
- In the Task Scheduler library, click on the Create Task... link on the right.
- In Create Task dialog, fill in the Name box some meaningful text like "Play shutdown sound".
- Set the options as follows:
- Configure for Windows 10.
- Run whether user is logged on or not
- Run with highest privileges box
- Switch to the Triggers tab and click on the New... button.
- Set the event for the trigger to On an event.
- Select System in the drop down list under Log.
- Enter the value 1074 in the Event ID text box.
- Switch to the Actions tab and click on the New... button.
- In the next dialog, set the action type to Start a program.
- In the Program box, specify powershell.exe as the program.
- Type the next text into the Add arguments text box:
-c (New-Object Media.SoundPlayer 'C:\Windows\Media\Windows Shutdown.wav').PlaySync();
- Switch to the Conditions tab and disable the option Start the task only if the computer is on AC power.
- Click on the OK button to create the task.
- Type your user account password (or other administrative user account credentials).
You are done!
This newly assigned sound will play when you shut down the device. For extra sound files, check out the WinSounds.com web site. It comes with a large collection of sounds for Windows.
Note: I am using the default shutdown sound file which comes with Windows 10. It is short and nice. You can use any WAV file you want. Just provide the correct path in the task.
This trick also applicable to Windows 8 and Windows 8.1.
In the comments, please tell if this method works for you or not. Please specify which Windows 10 version and build number you are running, and if you have the Fast Startup feature disabled or enabled.