When I was using Windows XP, there was a distinct sound when an application showed a balloon tip in the notification area (aka system tray). Unfortunately, I didn't look any deeper into it. Now Windows 7 has this behavior disabled by default and I do not know how to configure it.

Discovered the name of sound file used to accompany tray balloon tips in Windows XP Windows XP Balloon.wav

More clues: interesting registry key is HKEY_USERS\XP Registry Hive\AppEvents\Schemes\Apps\.Default\SystemNotification\.Default

Default value is %SystemRoot%\media\Windows XP Balloon.wav

So, the System Notification event label appears to be correct, but tray balloons are silenced elsewhere.

  • Go to Control Panel -> Hardware and Sound
  • Click on Change System Sounds under the Sounds heading
  • Under the Windows heading, tweak the System Notification item
  • System Notification sound event works, but tray ballons are remaining completely silent. – Free Consulting Apr 8 '11 at 0:47
  • Hmmm, thought that was it. Windows Balloon.wav is set to play on that item. Let me check again. – squillman Apr 8 '11 at 0:53
  • @Worm This is definitely the one, at least for Windows balloon notifications - confirmed with low battery notification. What notification is not sounding for you? – squillman Apr 8 '11 at 1:17
  • i'm affraid low battery notification have distinct sound event, and last time it worked ok. Other non-specific ballons like "low space" and "no antivirus" are silent – Free Consulting Apr 8 '11 at 1:32
  • @Worm right... bad choice for confirmation. – squillman Apr 8 '11 at 1:47

Try this, worked for me (found on some MS forum):

  1. In registry editor go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER/AppEvents/Schemes/Explorer
  2. Under Explorer you shouldn't see SystemNotification entry, so it comes to next step.
  3. Right click on Explorer -> New -> Key and rename it as SystemNotification
  4. Right click on SystemNotification -> New -> Key and rename it as .current
  5. Left click on .current, and in right panel you'll see (Default) entry, double click on it.
  6. In value data paste C:\Windows\media\Windows XP Balloon.wav and click OK

NOTE: Obviously, you will have to copy the Windows XP Balloon WAV file to your Media folder for this to work exactly as shown above; just enter the path to your favorite balloon sound in step #6...


If you go to the Ease of Access Center: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/What-accessibility-features-does-Windows-offer

You should be able to change your sound notification there.

  • Which exactly option i have to change there? – Free Consulting Apr 8 '11 at 0:28

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