How to Edit the Sound Scheme Registry in Windows XP

Written by mike benson
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How to Edit the Sound Scheme Registry in Windows XP
Advanced users may want to manually adjust the sound scheme settings from the registry. (gadget image by Vasiliy Koval from

The sound scheme options menu within Windows XP's sound menu allows users to test, change and modify the sounds for the various events that occur within Windows. Advanced users may wish to make additions or changes manually from within the registry.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Press "Windows Key" + "R"

  2. 2

    Type "Regedit" without the quotes, then press "Enter."

  3. 3

    Navigate to "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\AppEvents\Schemes\Apps\". This is the registry hive that stores all of XP's sound scheme information.

  4. 4

    Click on the ".Default" folder. This is the location of the information that is currently loaded into the system, as well as where you can make the changes or additions. To make a change to a sound scheme, click on the "Current" folder under any of the subfolders. Right-click on the value in the right-hand pane and select "Modify," change the path to locate the new sound and press "Enter." The sound files must be in "Wave" format.

Tips and warnings

  • Unless you are cleaning the registry hive of removed sound packs, or are a programmer creating a sound pack for an application, this method is generally not as efficient as using the Windows sound manager for basic scheme customisation.

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