Tweaking the Sound Scheme and Adjusting the Speaker Volume

Movies and other media files that show some stuff on the screen will be boring if you don’t hear anything. The world will never be the same without sound. You won’t be able to wake up on time if your alarm does give off its usual beeping or ringing sound or be alerted that someone is at the door if knocking doesn’t produce something that you can hear or if your doorbell is busted. There really are things in this world that will never be complete without the sounds that they produce and the same is true even with the Windows 8.1 operating system installed on any device like tablets, laptop computers and even PCs.

Just like all of its predecessors, Windows 8.1 is equipped with some system sounds which you can hear when certain events happen. Common actions that you do such as adjusting the volume, pressing on the keyboard while you are on the desktop screen or even when an error occurs during installation, a complementary sound plays which can be a simple beep coupled by the message appearing on the screen. The very familiar Windows boot up sound back in the days of Windows Vista and Windows 7 also plays when you open your computer. All of these sounds constitute a group that is called a “Sound Scheme”.

Ways in Accessing the Control Panel

The sounds that play on your computer when you do some actions in it or whenever certain events happen are not fixed. This means that you can tweak some sounds and replace even the music that plays during Windows startup. All of these tweaks are done within the Control Panel section of the Windows 8.1 system just like how you did it in previous Windows editions.

To change some sounds that play during certain events, you will need to access the Control Panel. If you have been using Windows for a long time and you’ve just upgraded to Windows 8.1, the Control Panel might be hard to find for you because of the absence of the Start Menu but there are plenty of ways to access this section of the system in Microsoft’s brand new operating system version. Here are some of it.

1. Through the Settings Charm

The Control Panel Window is capable of being accessed from one of the Charms specifically the “Settings” charm found at the bottom of the charms bar. Just remember to access the Settings charm while you are on the desktop screen so you can see the Control Panel link on the Settings screen when it appears. If you don’t know how to access the Charms, simply press on the Windows Key + C keys or point the mouse to the top or the bottom-right portion of the screen the drag it to the opposite direction from where you point it to summon the Charms bar. Once it appears, simply click on the Settings charm and you will see the Settings screen open.


2. Through the Windows Key + X Hidden Menu

There is a hidden menu in every Windows 8.1 machine which only a few knows about and this menu will help you get instant access to some very important system locations and tools which includes the Control Panel section. To access this menu, simply press on the Windows + X keys and the hidden menu will pop up on the bottom-left corner of the screen. From this Window, simply click on the link that says “Control Panel” and the Control Panel Window will open right away.


3. Through the Apps View

Another way of accessing the Control Panel Window is by going to the “Apps” view section which is another brand new feature included in Windows 8.1. To access this section, simply open the Start Screen by pressing on the Windows Key, move the mouse pointer over the screen and click on the arrow-down icon that appears at the bottom-left portion of the screen. After you do this, the App view section will open and from here, all you need to do is click on the Control Panel icon located under the “Windows System” category.


Tweaking the Sound Scheme

Now that you know the ways in accessing the Control Panel Window, it is time to learn how to access the section where you can make some tweaks to your computer’s sound scheme. To do this, simply open the Control Panel Window and click on the category that says “Hardware and Sound”.  After you do so, you will be taken to the options which are under this menu, from here, just look for the link that says “Change system sounds” which is located under “Sounds” and a small Window will now open.


After clicking on the “Change system sounds” link, you will be taken to a small Window labeled ” Sound”. From here, you will see a box that bears all the events and system tweaks which plays sounds whenever you do them. To change the sound being played by these events, all you need to do is click on them. On the screenshot below, you will see that I clicked on the “Asterisk” program event.


After clicking on a program event, you will need to select a sound that you want to assign to it by clicking on the “Sounds” box at the bottom just below the “Play Windows Startup sound” check box. After clicking on the box, a drop-down Window will appear which lists more sounds that you can assign to the program event that you have selected. To listen to a sound, simply select it and click the “Test” button to the right of the “Sounds” box.


You can also assign a music that you own as the sound that would play for a certain program event but it needs to be in the “*.wav” format. To do this, simply save the music in a location which you can easily remember and hit “Browse” located just beside the “Test” button then simply browse to the location of the file and hit the “Open” button at the bottom. Once you are done selecting the sound that you want to assign for a certain program event, simply hit the “Apply” then “OK” buttons to save all the changes made.


You will then notice that the name of the sound scheme is now “Windows Default (modified)”, to change this name, simply hit the “Save As…” button then enter the name that you want to assign to the new sound scheme you created and hit the “OK” button.


Tweaking the System Volume

Back in the days of some old Windows versions, adjusting the system volume was simply done by clicking on the “Volume” icon on the system tray and dragging the volume adjustment knob to your desired level. While this method is still available in the new Windows 8.1 operating system, there’s another way of adjusting the volume from the Metro environment which you need to learn. To do this, simply access the “Settings” charm then when the Settings screen appears, simply hit the volume icon at the bottom and an adjustment know will appear which you can control in the same way you controlled the volume adjustment knob in older Windows versions (click and hold then drag).


Tweaking your computer’s sounds is part of making it look and feel more personalized. Take time to download some of the music and tones that you love and convert them into the “*.wav” format using some third party music conversion software available for free everywhere over the Internet and use them to replace the system assigned sounds on your Windows machine.