If you like to change the little sounds associated with various Windows system events, such as starts and stops, logging off or shutting down, then you probably will have noticed that in Windows 8 you can’t! I say you can’t but that’s not strictly true, the system event sounds which have had the Disable or Change option removed are Windows Logon, LogOff, Unlock and Exit. There may well be others too but I haven’t checked them all.
The good news is that it is a very simple registry edit to re-instate the options for the above mentioned system event sounds.
As always, before you proceed create a system restore point and/or back up your registry.
Open your registry editor by typing regedit on the Start Screen and pressing Enter.
Click on Hkey_Current_User then AppEvents and finally on EventLabels.
Under EventLabels you will see a long list of system events that have sounds associated with them, scroll down to SystemExit and click on that key.
In the right hand pane you will see the ExcludeFromCPL DWORD, double click on that.
The default value data “1” disables the Change sound and Disable option and “0” activates it in the Control Panel Sound Applet.
Do the same for the Windows Logoff, Windows Logon and Windows Unlock keys.
If you want to check other keys then as you click on them, look in the right hand pane for the ExcludeFromCPL DWORD.
If it is not there then you can already change the sound option for that event. Do NOT add any Dwords, etc, to these keys.
Under the Sounds tab you will see Program Events and if you scroll down you will see the keys you enabled are now present. If the little speaker icon is yellow as mine is next to Windows Unlock then you (or somebody) has changed that event sound.
At this stage I was going to point out the different sound schemes, but it appears not all Windows 8 versions include these options. My version here in Europe does but apparently not so in the USA nor downunder (as confirmed by Dave and Jim). Another possibility is that it could be attributed to upgrading from Windows 7 as opposed to a clean install.
Anyway, to see if the sound schemes are included in your Windows 8, simply open the drop down menu under “Sound Scheme”. If the only options you see are “Windows Default” or “No Sounds”, then the sound schemes are not available.
If the sound schemes are included, the drop down menu will look like this:
Ah, the mysteries of Microsoft!