We’ve ranked the best Windows startup sounds from 10-1 (because we have nothing better to do)

The Microsoft Windows startup sound is more than just a few notes – it’s a multi-layered sound that signifies the journey you’re about to embark upon. Be it browsing the web, diving into some Excel spreadsheets or opening MS Paint to do some crude cat drawings, those opening notes unfurl a world of infinite possibilities. They’re full of optimism, charm and enlightenment.

Or, you know, they’re just a few notes that help delay the load time.

Either way, you can’t deny everyone has their own favourite startup chime; one that transports them back to a better time before Brexit and Trump. After much sharing of videos around the office, we’ve compiled the ultimate list of the best Microsoft Windows startup themes. So, without further ado…


10. Windows Vista and Windows 7 startup

It’s fine but dull. Too dry to be truly enjoyable.

9. Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 startup

The same as Windows Vista and 7, but with a little more bounce in its step.

8. Windows XP startup

Iconic thanks to just how prolific XP was, but it doesn’t really inspire much. It’s an open window, a fresh start. But it isn’t going to set the world alight.

7. Windows 2000 startup

Business-like – to fit the fact that most Windows ME and 2000 users were professionals – but with an air of optimism.

6. Windows NT 4 startup

What’s this? Is this the future calling? I think so. Get ready to be logged into the world of networked computers!

5. Windows 98 startup

Riffs on the future vibes of NT, but softens it to allow for a truly wonderful crescendo that rises through and drives home just how accessible Windows 98 was.

4. Windows NT 5 startup

The future called back. It wants you to enjoy its business vibes again, but this time it’s up for some fun.

3. Windows for Workgroups 3.1 startup

A bit of xylophone frivolity. It’s fruity, tantalising and playful. Who knows what fun you’re going to have.

2. Windows 3.1 startup

Blissfully simple and yet oh so optimistic.

1. Windows 95 startup

A stone-cold classic. Nothing beats this beast of a Brian Eno wonder. Sit back, relax, and get ready for some productivity!

As a little bonus, the Windows 95 startup theme slowed to 4000% is wonderfully cathartic.

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