My Windows 7 system makes an intermittent ding sound (like a single chime, or bell). I don't know which process does it. So, my question is: Is there software/method out there that can tell me which processes are currently sending output to the sound device?

  • 1
    Did you check your clock gadget? – Mehper C. Palavuzlar May 5 '10 at 21:36
  • @Mehper: What does the clock have to do with random sounds? – Joey May 5 '10 at 22:03
  • 2
    @Johannes: Some clock gadgets make a sound every 15 minutes. – Mehper C. Palavuzlar May 6 '10 at 6:17

Fire up the volume control which will list all applications that recently made sounds. If you have it open while the sound plays you can also see which application is doing it.

  • 10
    More specifically, after opening the volume control from the system tray, click "Mixer" to view all applications. Resize it so all applications appear in view, and wait. The app causing the ding will be indicated by a brief green peak. – Paul Lammertsma May 5 '10 at 22:10
  • Because of your advice I was able to figure out what the sound is, as well. It is the same sound that the sound mixer issues when you adjust volume levels. In my case it comes up randomly from some other event, but I think now I'll be able to track which one at some point. – harschware May 5 '10 at 22:27
  • 10
    What if instead of the application name I'm seeing "System Sounds"? I do see other apps listed as well but the "annoying" one is being produced by "System Sounds". Is there a way to further find out what exactly is playing it? (I realize that this is from 5 years ago and I'll unlikely get an answer... :) ) – Mihail Russu Jun 4 '15 at 13:12
  • @MihaillR In Windows Sound settings you can change Sound Scheme to "No Sounds", that will remove any digs etc. – voldemarz Nov 4 '18 at 14:21

My case is likely different, but solution for me was to right-click the speaker icon on the task bar and select "Sounds". I cycled through the list until I found the sound that matched what I kept hearing. In my case it turned out to be the "fingerprint scan failed" notification and I realized I kept accidentally swiping my hand over the fingerprint scanner and triggering the sound, hahaha. But same method might help you troubleshoot your case.

  • 5
    Thanks for the tip. Just in case checking the volume mixer is not feasible if the chime sound plays at random intervals, you can use Process Monitor. (winhelponline.com/blog/…). In that case, Tracking events containing lines ".mp3", ".wav" should help. – w32sh Feb 21 '16 at 16:08
  • Thank you @w32sh, your link helped me solve my problem. It turns out that the Netgear software was also the one making sounds on my computer. – CleanCoder Dec 30 '16 at 7:23
  • @w32sh Your comment should really be an answer (if you're willing to add a bit more detail). That's an excellent solution. – Twisty Impersonator May 6 '17 at 15:56

I had this problem today. I changed from Windows (modified) sound to Windows default and it disappeared. Just a thought


Its most likely the close program sound which only plays a sound in some sound schemes. It is triggered Normally programs closing.

But is also triggered by processes (Which you can see in the second tab of Windows task manager.)

When the sound plays you can see the number of processes drops by one so it triggers the sound. (you can see this count in bottom left)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.