GPO object to set sound scheme?


  • Is there a GPO option that I'm missing to set the sound schme for the user?

    I have a call center floor with hundreds of systems in close quarters and it's beginning to sound like a Vegas casino floor.  I'd like to force the sound scheme to none without having to personally visit each system.  This has been made more difficult because I had to disable control panel access for the agents as they were "customizing" the systems.

    Thursday, September 04, 2008 3:14 PM





    I fully understand your concern. Unfortunately, there is no existing group policy to directly achieve the requirement. I will route your requirement to our product team and hope this will be improved in the future.


    Thanks for your posts.

    Thursday, September 11, 2008 1:51 AM

All replies

  • Hi,


    Based on my research, the sound schema saves its value under the following path:



    The .current node under .Default is what logon user currently apply. The .default node is what Window provides. Others are what we customizes.


    You can see which sound scheme is currently applied by looking in



    To delete all custom scheme sound settings, you can refer to the following article to create a script, which delete every custom settings one by one.



    However, it's relative difficult to create this script, because there are so many items that may be customized. You may consider the following method:


    Note: Please understand that this method is related to the operation of registry, and may lead to the serious problems. Please ensure that you do appropriate backup before you modify any registry key.


    1. Export all the registry settings from HKEY_CURRENT_USER\AppEvents\Schemes\Apps from a clean install Windows XP.


    2. On the every clients, delete HKEY_CURRENT_USER\AppEvents\Schemes\Apps key, and ten double click the exported files to import the corresponding settings.


    If you hope the default sound schema is none, you can refer to the following steps:


    Open Registry Editor.


    In Registry Editor, navigate to the following registry key:




    Create the following value (SZ):


    Name: Default


    Value: .NONE


    After doing these, you can use the following GP to hide sound option in control panel.


    User configurations\ Administrative Templates\ control Panel\Hide specific control panel applets


    Hope this helps.



    Friday, September 05, 2008 8:17 AM
  •   I took a newly imaged (XPSP3) machine (where the local administrator account sound scheme was set to none) and created the new key in the registry. 

    After restarting the system I log on with a domain account (the first time this account has been used on the system) and the startup music plays.  The control panel shows an unnamed sound scheme (just as it does after a fresh windows install).  I can change it to none but I don't want to do that for every system I deploy.

    I don't think forcing a registry key load during account login is a safe long term solution as frequent registry changes means more opportunity for corruption. 

    Any other ideas? 

    Friday, September 05, 2008 6:00 PM
  • I'd also like a simple way to do this. Seems it would be an obvious group policy setting. My classroom needs silent computers.
    Monday, September 08, 2008 2:25 AM
  • Hi,

    If your goal is to just turn off all sound produced by the PC speaker, you could look into using the new Group Policy Preference Devices extension. It allows you to enable or disable many different kinds of hardware devices, including the built-in system speaker.

    If you are not familiar with preferences, there is a FAQ available here:

    A more detailed white paper can be downloaded here:

    Hope this helps.

    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    Tuesday, September 09, 2008 8:09 PM
  • I don't really want to disable the device, only to have the sound off by default. There are occasions when we need sound.

    Wednesday, September 10, 2008 5:26 AM



    I fully understand your concern. Unfortunately, there is no existing group policy to directly achieve the requirement. I will route your requirement to our product team and hope this will be improved in the future.


    Thanks for your posts.

    Thursday, September 11, 2008 1:51 AM
  • Thanks, Morgan; I expect legions of teachers would appreciate this capability.

    Thursday, September 11, 2008 2:19 AM
  • Here's my custom ADM file to disable the 'Start Navigation' sound ONLY
    read up a bit on ADM files and customize it for your own purposes. 
    ;Windows XP 'Start Navigation' preference ADM Template 
    CATEGORY  "'Start Navigation' Sound Preference" 
        KEYNAME "SOFTWARE\Policies\Start Navigation Sound"  
    ;The following editable text field was necessary to allow the value type to be reg_EXPAND_sz rather than reg_sz because the path includes an enumerable environment variable (%SystemRoot%).  The reg_EXPAND_sz is NOT needed for the '.Default' key below because the %SystemRoot% variable there does NOT need to be enumerated. 
      POLICY "CURRENT 'Start Navigation' sound file location/toggle" 
            KEYNAME "AppEvents\Schemes\Apps\Explorer\Navigating\.Current" 
        EXPLAIN !!CURRENT_Start_Navigation_Sound_Explain 
          VALUENAME "" 
            DEFAULT "%SystemRoot%\media\Windows XP Start.wav" 
        END PART 
    ;The following field exists as a reg_sz because it will never be enumerated, it will only be copied to the '.Current' key, thus there is no need for an editable text field to allow reg_EXPAND_sz. 
      POLICY "DEFAULT 'Start Navigation' sound toggle" 
        KEYNAME "AppEvents\Schemes\Apps\Explorer\Navigating\.Default" 
        EXPLAIN !!DEFAULT_Start_Navigation_Sound_Explain 
          VALUENAME ""  
          VALUEON "%SystemRoot%\media\Windows XP Start.wav"  
          VALUEOFF ""  
    CURRENT_Start_Navigation_Sound_Explain="CURRENT 'Start Navigation' sound file location/toggle.\n\nThe 'Location' field defaults to the Windows XP default value.\n\nSet this policy to Enabled and leave the 'Location' field in it's default state to enable the 'Start Navigation' sound\n\nSet this policy to 'Disabled' to disable the 'Start Navigation' sound.\n\nWhen this preference is set to Not Configured, no changes are made to the registry, previously configured settings will persist.\n\nThis policy creates, edits, or deletes the value (%SystemRoot%\media\Windows XP Start.wav) of the "AppEvents\Schemes\Apps\Explorer\Navigating\.Current\(Default)" registry Key" 
    DEFAULT_Start_Navigation_Sound_Explain="DEFAULT 'Start Navigation' sound toggle\n(When a user selects 'Windows XP' from Control Panel>Display Properties>Themes tab).\n\nSet this policy to Enabled to enable the DEFAULT 'Start Navigation' sound.\n\nSet this policy to Disabled to disable the DEFAULT 'Start Navigation' sound.\n\nWhen this preference is set to Not Configured, no changes are made to the registry, previously configured settings will persist.\n\nThis policy creates or deletes the value (%SystemRoot%\media\Windows XP Start.wav) of the "AppEvents\Schemes\Apps\Explorer\Navigating\.Default\(Default)" registry Key" 

    This first link in this search will help with the location of registry keys you will need:

    just scroll down to the bottom of the experts-exchange page to see the solution.

    Wednesday, December 31, 2008 5:27 PM
  • I have one other thought. I am a teacher with the same problem, except I want to do it for the teachers not so much the students. A thought I had reading this is what about using GP to run a bat that just has this in it?

    del %SystemRoot%\media\*.wav

    I would think that would do it for all users for sure.

    I tried it just now on my own computer, and I am not getting blue screens or popups, and I don't think it is slowing anything down. I will test this more fully and see how it goes.

    Wednesday, August 04, 2010 11:30 AM
  • There is this policy that will turn off the start up sound for Windows 7 Group Policy Setting of the Week 36 – Turn off Windows Start-up Sound

    Hope it helps

    Alan Burchill (MVP)
    Wednesday, August 04, 2010 10:11 PM
  • Anyone find a solution besides turning off Windows Audio service, registry or shell hacks? 
    Friday, November 30, 2012 6:59 PM