Every time I use a COPY function on my Win 7 laptop, whether from a right-click list or keyboard shortcut, it makes a bell sound (similar to a hotel desk bell). I want it to stop. There's nothing in the sound themes panel that seems to apply. Ideas?
Check if you have a "Clipboard History" program running. This kind of program will keep a history of everything that you copy to the clipboard so you can view things you have copied or cut in the past, and select which one you want to re-load to the clipboard.
These "Clipboard History" programs can be turned on and off with hot-keys (or menu options), and it is common for these programs to make a sound when you copy or cut something to the clipboard. I guess this is partly a "feature" to remind you the "Clipboard History" is "On", and partly because of the way these programs interact with the clipboard (explained below).
The one I use is called: ClipboardHelpAndSpell
(Note: this is way beyond the scope of the original question, but it serves to explain the "why" of it.)
These programs monitor the clipboard by calling a system function to "insert" their program in to the "clipboard chain". My understanding of how this works is that when something is placed on the clipboard, the first program that has been inserted into the chain (if any) is notified of the event. This first program examines and processes the event (usually by making its own copy of what was placed on the clipboard), and then notifies the next program in the chain (if there are any others). This continues to the end of the chain.
Apparently, it can happen that this "chain" can become "broken". When that happens, (some of) the programs in the chain no longer receive notification of clipboard activity. The clipboard continues to function normally, but the notifications no longer make it to the end of the chain. It seems to be a common long-standing problem with this feature of the clipboard.
This problem is common enough, that the program I use will periodically "re-establish" itself into the clipboard chain, and has a tray-icon menu item to manually "re-establish" the clipboard chain.
So the second purpose of the "sound" could be to let you know (by no longer hearing the sound when you "copy") that the "clipboard history" program is no longer receiving clipboard notifications.
I have experienced this. I will be copying and pasting various things to/from the clipboard, and at some point, I will no longer hear the "sound". At that point, I will right-click the program tray-icon and select to re-establish the clipboard chain. This doesn't happen to me "frequently"... I would say an average of about once a day.
Sometimes, when the computer is very busy, the notification can be delayed (perhaps the actual "copy" is partly delayed). I will copy something to the clipboard, and there will be no sound... then, say 5 seconds later, I will hear the sound.
So, for me, it is (usually) comforting to hear the "bell" because I know the clipboard history is working ... but, I can see how it could become annoying.
If you do have one of these programs running, there should be a way to turn the sound off, or select a different sound that is less annoying to you: