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Windows 11 just took dark mode to the next level

Windows 11 users have noticed a difference in notification sounds between the light and dark modes on the new operating system.

Microsoft confirmed the observation in a statement to BleepingComputer, saying it deliberately made the alert sounds played in dark mode calmer and softer than when the PC is in light mode.

The design elements of Windows 11 in the Start Menu.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Microsoft recently confirmed that it has been focused on “making the technology calm” by changing the soundscape of Windows 11 in dark mode to a more subdued profile. The system sounds in dark mode are calmer and softer, featuring ‘a much rounder wavelength’ as compared to the alert sounds on Windows 10 and the light mode on Windows 11.

The company believes that “Windows 10 sounds were sharp, literally created with sharp wavelengths. In Windows 11, we have focused on making the technology calm. In order to do this, we needed to reevaluate our soundscape to also be calm.” They’ve made light mode sounds sound crispy and loud, while dark mode sounds have been suppressed and constrained. “The new sounds have a much rounder wavelength, making them softer so that they can still alert/notify you, but without being overwhelming,” the company added.

You might wonder why the company didn’t just apply the calmer sounds to both light and dark modes if they believe them to be more soothing. Microsoft has responded to that query: “We introduced light and dark sound options so that people who may have low visibility or no vision can still experience light and dark themes audibly. Themed sounds improve productivity by matching your working style through your theme. Dark sounds help you stay in focus while light sounds ensure you’re always engaged.”

Whatever the real reason for the change might be, the company isn’t wrong about its approach. Softer sounds have a more calming effect than sharp and loud sounds.

You can access the light mode sounds in the C:WindowsMedia folder, just like you do on Windows 10. In order to access the dark mode sounds, you have to look in the new C:WindowsMediadm folder. You can also listen to the ten new light and dark sounds for Microsoft 11 here and compare them.

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Dua Rashid
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Dua is a media studies graduate student at The New School. She has been hooked on technology since she was a kid and used to…
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