The startup sound associated with Windows has always been divisive, with some wanting to disable it, others feeling indifferent to it, and some enjoying it. And, of course, the sound is typically turned on by default, including in the new Windows 11. So turning it off, rather than on, is where the confusion can sometimes lie.
There are multiple ways to disable the Windows 11 startup noise. Including at least a couple of ways to do so by editing the Windows Registry. Although that method comes with the potential to break something in Windows if the steps aren’t followed precisely. And is more complicated than many other methods for interacting with system settings.
Of course, some also opt to use some form of third-party software to customize their system. However, that potentially comes with other risks associated with security and privacy. And there’s a fair amount of bias to be found about which software is best too.
For those reasons, we’ll be starting this walkthrough first with the easiest built-in method — and arguably the safest way — to adjust this audio setting. Since this method won’t require any admin permissions to accomplish. But especially since this method presents the least opportunity to accidentally change the wrong setting and break something.
However, we’ll also cover the methods involving Registry changes for more advanced users. So if you’re looking to disable the startup sound in Windows 11, this guide will help you accomplish that.
Here’s how to disable the sometimes annoying startup sound in Windows 11
- Open Windows Settings. The easiest method to open Windows Settings will be to press the four-square-shaped Windows key and ‘i’ simultaneously. Conversely, you can also use the Windows Start menu to either search or navigate to the app
- In the left-hand sidebar, select “Personalization.” The option should be just a few spaces down from the top option. Windows 11 denotes that via a paintbrush-shaped icon
- In the resulting menu, select “Themes” from the list. The menu option also utilizes a paintbrush-shaped icon and has a subheading that reads “Install, create, manage”
- Near the top of the resulting “Themes” page, Windows 11 displays four options. Those are “Backgrounds,” “Color,” “Sounds,” and “Mouse Cursor.” Select “Sounds”
- Windows 11 will load up a more traditional window for editing settings, bearing the title “Sound” in the top bar. There will also be four tabs, labeled “Playback,” “Recording,” “Sounds,” and “Communication.” The option we’re looking for is under the “Sounds” tab. Select “Sounds”
- In the Sounds tab, deselect the checkbox labeled “Play Windows Startup sound” near the bottom of the page. The box is hard to miss, as it’s marked by default.
- Finally, click or tap — on touchscreen gadgets — on the “OK” or “Apply” button. Both buttons will save changes. The primary difference is that “OK” closes the window entirely, while “Apply” keeps the window open. To allow users to make additional changes if needs be
IT admins can do this to disable the Windows 11 startup sound instead
For IT admins and power users, using the Windows Registry will be the easiest way to ensure that no other users can potentially change the setting once it’s set. The Windows 11 OS provides a couple of ways this can be accomplished. Just as with previous versions of Windows and with other how-to guides. Albeit, that’s where the options are available — as not all machines will necessarily show the same options. And, of course, that’s after you open the registry as shown in the steps immediately below.
- Press the four-square-shaped Windows key and ‘R’ simultaneously to open up the “Run” dialogue
- Type “regedit” once the dialogue box is opened
- Press the “Enter” key. You may also need to select “Yes” in an associated pop-up dialogue requesting administrative permissions
- The Windows Registry window will open
Alter the value associated with the boot animation
- With the Windows Registry window open, under “Computer,” select the folder that reads “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE” via a double-click
- Next, double-click or tap to open the folder labeled SOFTWARE
- Under “SOFTWARE,” locate and open the folder labeled “Microsoft,” and then the folder dubbed “Windows”
- Select the folder titled “CurrentVersion,” next, followed by “Authentication,” and then “LogonUI”
- Finally, select the folder that’s titled “BootAnimation”
- In “BootAnnimation,” in the right-hand pane of the Windows Registry window, locate the “DisableStartupSound” option and double-click on it
- A new window will open up to Edit the value. To turn off the startup sound, simply enter a “1” in the text box labeled “Value data:” and then press “OK” to apply the change
Alter the value associated with the System settings
- In the Windows Registry window, under “Computer,” select the folder that reads “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE” via double-click or tap, followed by the nested “SOFTWARE” folder
- Next, double-click to open, in the following order, the folders for “Microsoft,” “Windows,” and “CurrentVersion,” as shown in the above steps
- Next, select “Policies”
- Click or tap to select the “System” folder
- Within the right-hand pane for the System folder, look for the entry “DisableStartupSound”
- If present, double-click the option and change the “Value data:” figure to “1” before pressing “OK” to apply the change