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How can i play a sound (CPU Beep or wav, don't matter what) using the Windows cmd?

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migrated from Jan 29 '10 at 2:01

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Using start file.wav is a bad idea. It might take a second to start a bloated media player, just for a single beep. In addition, file associations might be wrong, the media player might not play the file, or it might play it over and over again, etc. The way of creating a simple "beep" is to write beep ^G. "^G" is not the circumflex accent followed by a capital letter G, but rather a special character that you insert by pressing Ctrl+G. It is actually the BEL character with ASCII value 0x07. – Andreas Rejbrand Aug 25 '10 at 20:30
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Not in windows now, in order to test this possible solution, but try to: "start "

I think it will open the wav file with the associated program that your windows has for ".wav" files.

And note, this is a wild-guess - someone with windows may give you a better solution if this doesn't do the job

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Well, it'll certainly open the file in whatever application is associated with the type, but that's it. It's up to that application to decide what it does with it - it might play it, it might add it to a queue, or something else. Even if it does play the file, it's entirely likely that it won't terminate after playing, meaning this is probably a bad idea. – Michael Madsen Jan 29 '10 at 0:31
That's all what I needed for now.. Thanks :) – TiuTalk Jan 29 '10 at 0:53

You can do this natively with PowerShell. PowerShell is included with Windows Vista and later, and can be downloaded from Microsoft for older versions.

Wave files

PowerShell can be used to load the System.Media.SoundPlayer .NET class, which can be used to play a wave file.

(New-Object Media.SoundPlayer "C:\WINDOWS\Media\notify.wav").Play();

If you want, you can run this from the normal command line:

powershell -c (New-Object Media.SoundPlayer "C:\Windows\Media\notify.wav").PlaySync();

(note that PlaySync is used in the second example since the standard asynchronous play would be interrupted by the PowerShell process closing when launched like this)

And if you wanted to play only the first, say, 5 seconds of the sound:

powershell -c (New-Object Media.SoundPlayer "C:\Windows\Media\notify.wav").Play(); Start-Sleep -s 5; Exit;


A beep can be easily accomplished in the normal command line with echo ^G (where ^G represents BEL, ASCII character 7, inserted with Ctrl + G), as described in other answers. In the interest of completeness, here's the PowerShell method:

echo ^G

Yes, it's the same as the cmd one. echo in PowerShell is an alias (i.e. means the same thing) to Write-Host, which displays something to the screen (or triggers the Windows notification sound in the case of BEL).

An alternative method in PowerShell is to use the escape sequence for BEL, rather than inserting a literal BEL character with Ctrl + G:

echo `a

` is PowerShell's escape character, which modifies the meaning of the character after it. An escaped a indicates BEL. The advantage of this approach is it is easier and more visible when typed into a script.

To run this in a batch file (again, Vista or later):

powershell -c echo `a


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Is it possible to also have this command kill and currently playing wav files before executing the new wav file? – Dodd10x Jul 21 '14 at 15:39
@Dodd10x Not easily for global audio, no. Could you provide more context? Do you intend to kill or pause? Is the other player another instance of this script, or a media player, or a browser, a game, etc.? If it's another instance of the same script, then it's much simpler (though still not entirely trivial). – Bob Jul 21 '14 at 15:46
It's another instance of the same script. I'm thinking I could add a line to kill powershell.exe in the task list first – Dodd10x Jul 21 '14 at 15:49
@Dodd10x There are two ways I would suggest. One is to get the process ID of the PowerShell instance and save it to a file, then kill that ID at the start of a new instance (and clear the file). This is safer than killing all PS processes. The other way would be to use a semaphore (flag/signal) in PowerShell - you'd signal the semaphore, use Play() (async), wait for a semaphore, and close. Semaphores are a cleaner way of doing this, but a bit more complicated. I'd be happy to go into further detail in chat. – Bob Jul 21 '14 at 15:53
echo ^G

Where ^G is CTRL + G or Alt + 7 on the keypad.

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Install VLC. Use the following command. It starts up REALLY fast. This is what I used on Windows 7 b/c wmplayer takes so long to load, and the /close option was removed from wmplayer.

vlc.exe --play-and-exit audio.wav
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If a plain beep is alright, echo the character with the value 7, the so-called bell character. Note, however, that beeps can be turned off.

If you want something else, you'll have to launch an application that does the trick.

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You could write a simple console application that took the sound file (or sound id) as an argument and called PlaySound

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On XP I do this

start /min mplay32 /play /close %WINDIR%\media\tada.wav

It's not ideal but it's really easy and it works.

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I use mplayer for this. A bit an overkill as it can play almost any media file. Recent windows builds can be found at spirton, as of 2013. Example usage:

mplayer c:\windows\media\chimes.wav

You should add mplayer.exe to your PATH (see What are PATH and other environment variables, and how can I set or use them? or How can I permanently append an entry into the system's PATH variable, via command line? to do this.)

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Workaround (some sort of):

1) run audio file

2) wait till track ends (in my case its 5 seconds) and close media player

start wmplayer "C:\Windows\Media\Alarm10.wav" && timeout 5 && taskkill /im wmplayer.exe
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