Sound Scheme “Windows Default” has Yellow Exclamation Mark

When you open the Sounds dialog (mmsys.cpl) and switch to the “Windows Default” sound scheme, some program events may show up with a yellow exclamation mark  — actually, a yellow triangle with a black exclamation mark.

sound scheme yellow exclamation mark

Additionally, there may be some duplicate events — e.g., two “Critical Battery Alarm” events.


This happens if a theme has overwritten the Windows Default sound scheme, but the custom .wav file is missing in the specified location. Or some stock .wav files in the “C:\Windows\Media” directory may be missing.


To resolve the yellow exclamation issue in the Sounds dialog, follow these steps:

Step 1: Reset the Sound Schemes registry settings

Resetting the sound scheme settings should resolve the issue in most cases.

  1. Download and unzip the contents to a folder.
  2. Double-click the appropriate registry file to apply it.
  3. Click Yes when asked for confirmation.

The above registry fix restores the default settings under the following registry key:


Close the Sounds dialog and reopen it.

If that doesn’t resolve the issue, proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Run DISM and SFC

Run DISM (with the RestoreHealth argument) and the System File Checker (sfc /scannow) to restore the missing .wav files, if any, in the “C:\Windows\Media” folder.

For more information, see How to Repair Windows 10/11 System Files Using DISM and SFC.

That should take care of the issue.

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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded in 2005.

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