Windows users can change the sounds associated with program events using the dialog in Control Panel -> Sound and Audio Properties -> Sounds. Different sounds (or no sound) can be assigned to program events and the sound scheme can be saved.

Where and how does Windows store its sound schemes? How do I export or save this sound scheme and load it somewhere else?

(I am using Windows XP.)


Windows XP store its sound scheme in the registry, under


XP also stores her original .wav files for its sounds under C:\Windows\Media (assuming C is your root drive).

Thus, if you want to export this sound scheme for others, I recommend you follow these steps :

  1. Put all your sounds in a single folder, e.g C:\OS_SOUNDS
  2. Use Windows XP Control Panel > Sound and Audio Properties > Sound to configure Windows to use the sounds in C:\OS_SOUNDS
  3. Export the registry key for HKEY_CURRENT_USER\APPEVENTS\SCHEMES\APPS

At this time, if you copy your C:\OS_SOUNDS to another computer (also under the same C:), and import the registry key you have just exported out, your sound scheme will be able to be transferred.

  • When you go to your Display Properties (right mouse click on the desktop and select "properties") you can load and save theme's which include the registry settings mentioned by Caliban (thanks) – Pete Sep 24 '12 at 13:20

I use Windows 7 now, but when I used to use Windows XP, I could find the Windows Sound Scheme files someplace in the C:\Application Data\, in that whole maze of folders there, but not in the main directory after your UserName where most of your application data was kept. It was someplace in the Windows Themes there, the files themselves could be found, moved, and backed-up, or put on a new Windows XP computer, without going anyplace into your registry.

I am 100% sure on this, because I used to back those sound schemes up all of the time on to CDs. Not the .wav files in the Windows\Media directory itself, but just the Sound Schemes that remembered which sound you assigned to which event. I lost my Windows XP hard drive, and have the computer in storage pending a solution to recover files and photos I want from that hard drive, but I don't have a working version of Windows XP, so I can't tell you exactly where to find the physical location of those Sound Schemes in your Application Data directory at this time. But you can find them without entering your Registry, I am certain of that, they had their own extension and everything.

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