How to disable annoying Windows 10 notification sounds!

There are some Windows 10 notification (system) sounds that are quite annoying to say the least. I am not sure who decided that it was a good idea to choose these sounds for alert notifications in Windows 10. One in particular was quite annoying to me and I wanted to get rid of it. Here’s how you can get rid of a specific Windows 10 notification sounds.

Locate the source

You have to first figure what sound(s) do you dislike the most and where they are originating from. For this, you can access ‘change system sounds’ in the Windows search bar. That brings up the ‘sounds control panel’.

Over here, play the different sounds (‘Test’) and locate the source of the sound that you want to turn off. In my case, it was the Asterisk sound that originated from ‘Windows Background.wav’. I tried to select ‘None’ for asterisk and apply the setting but the sounds would still play for other events. I wanted to completely get rid of that sound ‘Windows Background.wav’. Therefore, I decided to just delete the source of the sounds – the WAV file itself.

Delete the source

The WAV file is located in C:/Windows/media/. However, Windows would not let me simply delete the file since it is owned by ‘TrustedInstaller’.

Alright, seems like I need to first take ownership of the file before I delete it. Right click on the WAV file and click ‘Properties’. From here, access the ‘Security’ tab and then ‘Advanced’. This will bring up a Window that tells us that the owner of the file currently is “TrustedInstaller”. We need to modify this so click ‘Change’. Type your username in the ‘object name’ area and hit ‘Check Names’. It should populate the correct username. If it doesn’t, go to advanced and hit ‘Find Now’ and select the correct name.

It should display a message saying something along the lines of “you have taken ownership of the file”. You should now be able to delete the file.

Good riddance Windows Background.wav. You will not be missed.

Pranshu Bajpai
Pranshu Bajpai
Principal Security Architect

Pranshu Bajpai, PhD, is a principle security architect..