Before Windows 10 came along, we were free to change the sounds that played when we shut down, logged off, or logged on to Windows. For some reason, Microsoft hid those sound actions from being modified in Windows 10. Here’s how to get them back.

RELATED: How to Make Windows Play a Sound When You Press Caps Lock, Num Lock, or Scroll Lock

Windows has always been pretty good about letting you customize every nook and cranny of the OS, including what sounds played for all kinds of different system events. You can even make Windows play a sound when you toggle your Caps Lock, Scroll Lock, and Num Lock keys. While you can still customize what sounds sounds play for most OS events, Windows 10 hid shut down, logoff, and logon from view. They’re still around, though. You just need to make a few mild changes in the Windows Registry to get them back.

Add the Actions Back to the Sound Control Panel by Editing the Registry

To add the shutdown, logoff, and logon actions back to the menu in the Sound Control Panel app, you just need to make a few little tweaks in the Windows Registry.

RELATED: Learning to Use the Registry Editor Like a Pro

Standard warning: Registry Editor is a powerful tool and misusing it can render your system unstable or even inoperable. This is a pretty simple hack and as long as you stick to the instructions, you shouldn’t have any problems. That said, if you’ve never worked with it before, consider reading about how to use the Registry Editor before you get started. And definitely back up the Registry (and your computer!) before making changes.

Open the Registry Editor by hitting Start and typing “regedit.” Press Enter to open Registry Editor and then give it permission to make changes to your PC.

In the Registry Editor, use the left sidebar to navigate to the following key:


You’re going to be making one small change in each of three different subkeys inside that EventLabels key. First, we’ll tackle the shutdown sound or, as Windows likes to call it, System Exit. Under the EventLabels key on the left side of Registry Editor, select the SystemExit subkey. On the right side, double-click the ExcludeFromCPL value.

Note that by default, the value is 1, meaning that the action is excluded from the Control Panel. Change the value to 0 and then click “OK.”

Next, you’re going to make exactly the same change in two other subkeys inside the EventLabels key: WindowsLogoff and WindowsLogon . Head into each of those folders, open the ExcludeFromCPL value inside, and change the value from 1 to 0.

No need to restart Windows. You can go ahead and test your changes right away. Open up the Sound Control Panel app by right-clicking the speaker icon in your Notification Area and selecting “Sounds.”

You should now see the new actions (Exit Windows, Windows Logoff, and Windows Logon) available in the selection window and you can assign whatever sounds you like to those actions.

If, for whatever reason, you want to hide those actions from the Control Panel again, just head back into Registry Editor and change each of those ExcludeFromCPL values back to 1.

Download Our One-Click Registry Hacks

If you don’t feel like diving into the Registry yourself, we’ve created some registry hacks you can use. Download and unzip them first. Inside, you’ll find three folders named “System Exit Sound Hacks,” “Windows Logon Sound Hacks,” and “Windows Logoff Sound Hacks.” Inside each of those folders, you’ll find two hacks: one for adding the action to the Sounds Control Panel and one for removing the action again. Double-click the hack you want to use and click through the prompts. When you’ve applied the hack you want, the changes will take place immediately. No need to restart Windows.

Shutdown-Logoff-Logon Sound Hacks

RELATED: How to Make Your Own Windows Registry Hacks

These hacks are really just the individual SystemExit, WindowsLogoff, and WindowsLogon subkeys, stripped down to the ExcludeFromCPL values we talked about in the previous section and then exported to a .REG file. Running either of the hacks sets that value to the appropriate number.  And if you enjoy fiddling with the Registry, it’s worth taking the time to learn how to make your own Registry hacks.

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Walter Glenn is a former Editorial Director for How-To Geek and its sister sites. He has more than 30 years of experience in the computer industry and over 20 years as a technical writer and editor. He's written hundreds of articles for How-To Geek and edited thousands. He's authored or co-authored over 30 computer-related books in more than a dozen languages for publishers like Microsoft Press, O'Reilly, and Osborne/McGraw-Hill. He's also written hundreds of white papers, articles, user manuals, and courseware over the years.
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