My computer makes all these annoying noises while I'm surfing the Internet. Is there a way I can get it to shut up?
Back in the early days of computing, the most noise you ever heard from the machine was a small "beep" when you made a mistake. Now, with Windows XP, it seems every action requires some cute little noise. For example, now whenever Internet Explorer blocks a pop-up window, you are treated to a little chirpy blippy bloopy noise. Even though you're now not annoyed by the pop-up, you get this special noise instead. If all this sound is driving you (or your friends, spouse, or officemates) a little bit batty, you'll be happy to know that you can control Windows sounds.
Choose Start|Settings|Control Panel and double-click the icon for Sounds and Audio Devices. In the Volume tab, you can turn off all the sound on your computer completely. If you work in a small cubicle surrounded by a lot of other people, clicking the Mute button in this tab may score big points with your colleagues.
If you don't want to compute in complete silence, you can click the Sounds tab to see which Windows activities have sounds associated with them. For example, you may have grown weary of the Windows music for start up and shut down. If so, just scroll through the list. Items with an associated sound have little volume icons next to the activity. When you click to select an action, you see the sound associated with it in the Sounds drop down box below. If you click the little triangle button next to the sound name, you can listen to it to verify that it is the sound you want to remove. You can use the drop down list to change the action to use a different sound, or switch it to None so you can experience blissful silence.
Sounds may be associated with software other than just Windows itself. While you are in the Sounds tab, you can modify your audio experience in these other applications as well. For example, if you are tired of the little bloop sound Internet Explorer makes when it kills a pop-up, just scroll down the list, and eventually you encounter a listing for "Blocked Pop-Up Window." When you remove the associated sound, Internet Explorer can just block the pop-up silently, minus the annoying noise.