Windows 7 has some great built-in themes. Even better, Win7 has an easy way to download new themes directly from Microsoft’s web site.
What’s a theme?
It’s a pre-built combination of Windows Desktop background images, screensaver images, mouse cursor images, and sounds. The concept has been in Windows since back in the days of Windows 3 (I think), but has been getting better with each new version.
Finally, with Windows 7, I’ve finally started using themes with changing background images, instead of just setting my Windows Desktop background and independently setting a screensaver of my choice.
One of the things that I don’t like about Windows 7 themes, though, is that a number of them apply sounds to standard Windows functions. Well, I know Windows is actually the one playing the sounds and allowing sounds to be tied to functions, but the themes are the ones actually picking the sounds (after all, they could pick the "None" option) that are so annoying.
Who really needs Windows to make a sound when you open a folder in Windows Explorer? That’s the most annoying of all. Not the particular sound – it’s that there IS a sound assigned to that action.
Fortunately, Windows also allows us to change the sounds in the themes. We can’t save the revised, edited theme with the same name, but we can save it with another name.
More interestingly, even though we’ve picked a theme, if we go into the Windows settings and change anything, the change is remembered.
Now that I think of it, it appears that the theme is used to set Windows’ settings at the time you select the Theme. Apparently Windows doesn’t reread the theme when Windows starts – it just reads its current configuration for all the items (background, screensaver, sounds, etc) from the Windows Registry.
So, how can we change a sound in Windows, such as change from that obnoxious bonk when a directory is opened (at least it’s an obnoxious bonk in some of the themes I use)?
The procedure to make the change is the following:
- Click the Start button
- Select Control Panel from the Start menu
- Appearance and Personalization
- Under Personalization, click the "Change sound effects" link
- Select the Program Event you want to change, in this case, it’s Start Navigation
- Change to "None"
- Click Apply, then OK