Sound Recorder

Sound Recorder is a very simple application that allows users to record and save sound on their computers. Recording sound is very easy: all you need is a sound card and a microphone that is plugged into it. By default, the recorded sounds will be saved as a Windows Media Audio (WMA) file.

Where to find Sound Recorder

The Sound Recorder shortcut can be found in Start -> Accessories.

In Windows 10 this app is called “Voice Recorder” and you can open it by clicking the small search icon (magnifying glass) in the bottom-left corner of the screen and then typing: “Voice Recorder”.

Sound Recorder

Alternatively, you can search for the word ‘sound’ in the Start Menu search box.

How to record sound

Once you have started Sound Recorder check that your microphone is plugged into the sound card. Also, don’t forget to check its sound level in the Volume Mixer. If it is on mute you won’t be able to record anything.

When you are ready, click on the Start Recording button.

Sound Recorder

To stop or pause the recording, click on the Stop Recording button.

Sound Recorder

A new window will pop-up asking you to type the file name and the location where the recording will be saved. In this window you can also specify information such as the artist name or the album (if it is the case). If you want to save the recording in another folder than the default one, click on the Browse Folders arrow.

Sound Recorder

Go to the desired location and click on the Save button.

Sound Recorder

If you close the previous window without saving the file, you will have the option to resume your recording. Click on the Resume Recording button and continue.

Sound Recorder

When finished, click on the Stop Recording button again and save your recording.

Related articles:
Volume Mixer
Disable the Windows Vista Startup Sound
Disable the System Beep
Pimp My Windows Vista: How to change your sound scheme
The Windows Speech Recognition Guide

63 thoughts on “Sound Recorder”

  1. vista sound recorder
    Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
    Went to record a voice presentation and it won’t record.
    I rebooted and still nothing.
    Worked all day just fine.

  2. Compressing Sound Files
    Is there any way to compress sound files, and video files? The file is so large, especially when you have both audio and video, the file can’t be emailed to friends. If the file can be compressed, how do you unzip it to play it? Thanks!

    • Recording wav
      You can record with Vista’s new sound recorder in WAV format.

      Use this command line
      soundrecorder /file outputfile.wav

      It will start sound recorder.
      Then when you hit stop, it will sak you to save, and it turns into a WAV file.

        • Command Prompt
          Go to “command prompt”, which you find in the start menu. I just searched for it. Then type in the command, with the spaces and everything. The sound recorder will then open, and you can record. When you go to save it, it won’t give you the option of putting it in wav, but it will save it in wav anyway.

      • Window Vista sound recorder
        Window Vista sound recorder still sucks. I can’t believe I can’t play back with the sound recorder. I can’t add effects. I wanted to play a bit of audio backwards, even Windows media player couldn’t do it, it apparently has the option, but forcibly prevents the little bit of audio from doing it. Why would they REMOVE features? Did people complain that sound recorder was too useful?

          • sound/moviemaker
            the older system sound and moviemaker is perfect!…. now new computer sucks!…they have the voice recorder but not same….and I don’t understand why new computer don’t have microphone jack…

          • Is it a new or reasonably new computer?
            It’s possible the jack you plug your headphones into also handles the microphone. I’ve just bought myself a new headset and the choice of two products became easy when the sales guy pointed out that one had separate jacks for headphones and microphone for older computers and the other had a single jack because new computers have a single jack that does sound-in and sound-out.

    • I completely agree!!!

      I completely agree!!!
      You can’t speed up or slow down the sound and when you record it has to be perfect. On the one for windows xp you can mix the clips or delete parts of it. Why Microsoft, Why?

      • Stop complaining and get
        Stop complaining and get audacity if you want something with a million functions. If you want to simply record something for memory, or do a running commentary before you import the file into something else to add FX etc, then this is for you otherwise, get Audacity or pay for some premium gear.

        • To the dude who sida “Stop complaining”
          We’re not asking for 1 million features (you ‘Overexaggerating’ Strawmanner), at the least we’re asking TWO features… Record and PLAY!!!

          You know, that function found on EVERY music device ever made! Even the ones from 100 plus+ years ago could do that!

          • What is annoying and stupid
            What is annoying and stupid is the ability to record WAV files is still there, but you cannot specify this in the GUI. I think it is a desperate attempt to get you to buy more Microsoft software where you can choose the file format… Hmmm from a company where features disappear on each new release, er, maybe not.

        • Audaciy is a great piece of
          Audaciy is a great piece of software, but i think they are complaining about the fact that the older version of sound recorder has more than the newer version. If i used microsoft’s products, i would expect each passing version to get better, not worse. so plastering the situation with audacity does not fix the cut below it…. microsoft is going backwards with even their simplest of programs…

        • I’ve tried Audicity and it
          I’ve tried Audicity and it works well, but the the control scheme isn’t as convenient as Sound Recorder. I’d rather deal with a single track if I am recording a small sample, rather than multiple lines of recording. I’m going to have to go back into my old hard drive and pull out the old sound recorder now. Thanks Microsoft.

        • lol audacity on vista?
          Are you kidding me? With the amount of ram and everything else that vista eats up its a shock if Audacity can run successfully on Vista, let alone record at the actual real time.

          I downloaded audacity onto a Vista computer, it works and then it doesn’t. I could have recorded something for an hour just to click stop to find out that Vista had a “problem” running audacity. And when it does run? Audacity’s recording comes out choppy. I’m a musician. I play with sounds and different software. I figured that moving to Vista would help a great deal.

          What’s the point of vista’s recorder if you can’t change the file type, or add effects? It’s useless.

    • Agreed
      I cant even open a file unless I have a mic plugged is. Is it just me or is vista seeming ever more un-old-user friendly and more Granny-user-friendly

  3. Sound Recorder on Vista….
    It seems I can find the sound recorder icon in the program menu…but all I get is ….no recording device….geeeze….

    I installed a web cam on my vista…and it works fine….except for the sound……. what is with microsoft…am I missing a driver or something….someone throw me a bone here…..

  4. Recording from computer
    On the old sound recorder you could set it to record all the sound that comes out of the computer. Is there a way to do this with the new sound recorder? reply please

    • recording from computer
      yes it is, in the XP windows recorder it was avaliable to record from inside the computer
      I can play any sound file, and record it from inside

      but with the vista recorder, it seems unavaliable

      can any body help, plz !

      • go to the sound options in
        go to the sound options in Control panel, select the recording tab, right click the empty space and select show hidden devices. Wave Out should be there, set it as default and you’ll be able to again.

  5. Vista Sound Recorder BLOWS!!!
    Older version in previous operating systems (XP) a user can raise or lower volume levels on a .wav file. You can also chop up the file to any part of the song you want and save that clip. The Vista version is awful, straight up crap in my opinion. I am glad I left the anothe rpc equal to this one in speed with XP Pro on it. I even tried running the XP version on here, no luck..

    • lol
      I love how people say its crap, due to lack of knowledge.
      Dont blame your own short comings on other people.

      Try research before you post. I can do exactly what you claim you cant do in Vista…… Read and educate yourself!

      • Vista sound recorder
        Listen, the older XP version is so much better with more controls. The new version is like playing a cassette in your car and when you want to hear it again, it’s in your other car. This is sheer stupidity. Like, maybe, just maybe, while I’m recording something and I pause, I may want to hear it back to see if it’s right-or if it’s even there-to see if I made a mistake. Now, I have to search for the damn wave file (because I forgot to name the stupid thing) and I’ve ended up with 10 million files named “untitled”.
        I dare say, Vista is everything I’ve heard it was. Stupid.

      • lol, i love how you tried to
        lol, i love how you tried to sound smart. you cant cut up the audio files and manipulate them in vista like you could in XP, and even if you CAN do all that in vista, all you did is bash the other guy and provide no solution or proof that you can do that. Try actually reading and educating yourself before you make yourself look like a prick

      • Vista Sound Recorder
        Your comment is not helpful. I too think the Vista Sound Recorder is a step backwards. Please offer evidence of your claim. Otherwise your boastful comment is just unsubstantiated retoric. I’m reading here to educate myself. You no help.

  6. lol 2
    I find it hilarious that lazy software developers don’t design full-featured applications to match the previous ones in a user-friendly manner, so that some chump has to read the “secret special way” to do it in some book, or pay some other schmo for a certification in it, and thereby make fun of people who have more to do in a day besides drudge through tech-books so that they feel themselves of the “technical elite”.

    But the real purpose is so said techie-geeks will have a job to do in showing people how to do what they could do before, and get paid for it. Gotta keep that economy going! LOL

  7. no more programs
    i just want to chop up an audio file to use as a ringtone. i don’t want to have to download *another* program just for that, and has god only knows what viruses are attached to it! when on xp i could do it in an instant with the feature already in my apps. and i don’t want to pay anything for an mp3 ringtone i already own that’s not even cut in the right section i want. what a pain in the ass, i’d rather hook up my xp and not worry about it. how silly it is that this one little feature went backwards. don’t they listen to the consumer??

  8. How come?
    Why doesn’t Vista have the same old version of Sound Recorder with all the funny features such has speeding up or slowing down music and inverting? That’s so disappointing.
    Also, why is recording sounds directly from my computer illegal? That’s absurd.

  9. Vista sound recorder crashes my computer
    My Vista Home Premium sound recorder running on a Toshiba Satellite 210 keeps crashing my machine every time I click on the recorder tab. The same thing happened when I downloaded a recorder program called Freecorder and clicked on the record tab. After I updated my Skype and tried the test ring tab, the computer crashed again. I have checked for updates to Vista and to my Realtek sound card (drivers etc) but that didn’t help. All other sound features work fine: CD Player, DVD, iTunes, Media Player. The problem is specific to the recorder.

    This happened just after I redorded a message through my laptop mic. I was successful there, but then the crashes began.

    The recorder works fine on my desktop computer???

    Snowed in on the North Shore of Lake Ontario, Canada in more ways than one.

    Any suggestions?

  10. Well I have vista and am
    Well I have vista and am trying to figure out how to change this back to the “unnchipmunk” way. i dont remember hitting anything and there are 0 settings that I can find does anyone know how to make it normal again

  11. record from application
    ok, this sound recorder is no brainer, BUT why not make it record from applications too? like radio shows, video games, movies…MAC has an equivalent application. Why not make the SR up to par with that of competition?


  12. playback
    i got this cord that’s supposed to give live playback through your computer’s speakers from a guitar. the microphone driver works, but the playback driver doesn’t, or i cant figure out the settings i need. i thought maybe i could get sound recorder to do live playback of whatever audio it was receiving, but to no avail. anyone had this problem? maybe someone can tell me how to do ether of these things…

  13. Vista Sound Recorder BLOWS!!
    I agree with Noswad, the Vista OS shows how retarded the people at Microsoft have become. “read and educate yourself” you say? Ha~! why should I have to?

    Microsoft lost the basic common sense of what “Intuitive and eas of use” means. The point is, we shouldn’t have to go and dig for every answer. We should be able to do it the same way we did in other MS OS versions.

    My Microphone should be able to be added to Volume Mixer the same way we did it in XP in “Control Panel”. Also, the Sound Recorder should just work the way it did in XP.

  14. Vista sound recorder does not work
    I prefer the earlier versions of sound recorder
    Vistas says I dont have one.Also do see with
    the box that came up you can not compress
    wav files

  15. Stop complaining about ‘complaining’
    People with nothing better to do and moreover, nothing intelligent to offer, whine about users ‘complaining’ about the crap that M$ shoves down our throats.

    By the way, Audacity’s too complicated and I find that it does NOT produce a wav file that can be used on vista’s media files (startup wav). That, or just more broken crap on vista (usually via so called updates crammed down our throats (nearly always hiding more and more spyware and anti copying tweaks intended to subvert legitimate copying programs).

    Norton’s NIS 2009) is the worst offender, often failing to startup for users who attempt to manage updates themselves, especially after updating defs when thereafter, it error as 8404, 4 (supposedly meaning it needs uninstalled and re-installed), when in actuality, users merely need to shutdown, re-boot loading only drivers and then NIS 2009 works again (I use the term ‘works’ loosely there just as when I refer to Windows ‘working’).

    Even submitting NIS 2009 support request failed to resolve such a simple issue, nor did they so much as post an FAQ on this (as it I’m certain reduces the paid support revenue they devise by injecting this bug).

    There, now whine about that.

  16. Can’t find sound recorder under accessories

    I can not find sound recorder under accessories.
    This is strange as I used that once before and now I am not able to find it.



  17. In XP it was easy to playback
    In XP it was easy to playback recorded audio without saving it. It was very useful to check if your mic is working properly and its settings are ok, (or need to be adjusted) but in windows 7, they removed “rewind” button. Is it necessary to save a file first, then search where it exits and then play in win media player? Useless function. They should retain Sound Recorder as it was in Win XP.

  18. Why is it that NO sound
    Why is it that NO sound output recorder works? I have tried audacity, but you need a freakin’ 20 channel mixer or a in-studio 20 channel switch board but then to get it to MP3, forget it….

    Does microsoft plan or fixing this fricken’ problem? Becuase it’s annoying me….

    GOD bless.

    I download de

    I download de AUDACITY recorder, but strangely I coudn’t find the uninstall option in the control panel.
    Other problem I get is that I try to use the vista recorder (I have use it before) but it desapeared from the acesories, also it desapperars the “siniping tool”and “conect to a network projector”. Its is strange.
    Can you help me please!!!!

  20. about sound recorder or/and speech recongnition
    i purchased a logitech headset w/ microphone and it was working fine then i accidently clicked on uninstall in the playback devices tab and lost it to where i have no idea,i unplugged,plugged in,restarted pc,checked device manager,clicked on recordiong device tab …NOTHINGon on top of this logitech doesnt have a driver download,ive sent 2 e-mail supports they cant seem to find it or help????????

  21. No rewind or fast forward or editing possibilities
    The worst part of their sound recorder is that they got rid of rewind and fast forward, so you cannot correct anything you have recorded. They are total idiots for removing so basic a feature. Now, in order to correct something you are trying to record, you actually have to EXIT the program and then REOPEN THE PROGRAM in order to start from the beginning of your sound file!!! What a mediocre programming team, whoever was assigned to create the Sound Recorder in Windows Vista. They should never work in computer programming again… In this case, they really SHOULD quit their day job.

  22. sound recorder
    I live by the XP/win98 Sound Recorder. I am always recording streaming internet for up to my own two hour template that I re-record over and over again. They can’t leave well enough alone. For this reason, I will not buy a PC with Vista or 7 on it. If I can get a loaded PC in the future, I need to load XP on it. I am glad I tried it on my friend’s PC before I bought a new PC. Good luck guys.

  23. Good…but playback is bad!
    I like this sound recorder.
    Except when I play the recording back, it is real ‘crackly’ and there seems a load of noise other than my voice!
    Does anyone know how to fix this?

  24. new version is bad
    Nobody is complaining ! It is just weird that all the useful features have been excluded in the new version. I have always seen new features added to the old one and not remove the existing ones. It is dumb.

  25. Sound Recorder
    For all the “stop complaining folks” maybe you can tell me; and I have never, ever come across this since my first box in 1983(pre windows) everything works…the mic, the speakers, headphones, speech recognition all show sound in and out. So open Sound Recorder and some times it shows some green(input) and other times not. Yet each time I click Start Recording…
    The error pops up “Audio Device not found”. I have replaced drivers and done all the other obvious steps that I can think of or find posted.
    So as Frank Sinatra once sang “Complaints, I’ve had a few”…between this and the windows SVCHost issue, you could get the feeling that no one is minding the store anymore. Maybe they are all playing golf on the Wii. If anyone has any knowledge on this please give me some pointers.

  26. Microphone on sound recorder…
    When I want to record a sound using sound recorder on my vista installed laptop, it will only let me record using the laptop’s built-in microphone. I went to control panel and went on ‘sound’, clicked on the tab ‘recording’ and set my external microphone (in microphone jack of acer aspire 5315) as the default and the green bars showed it was working but as soon as I started recording in sound recorder, it used the laptop microphone as the active one (although the external was still set as default). Does anyone know how I can use my external microphone as the recording microphone on the ‘sound recorder’ accessory?

  27. soundrecorder
    I am S-0-0-0 disappointed with the new soundrecorder .
    I used the old one in XP to rehearse and practice singing with my guitar and it was perfect (even if I wasn’t)
    I had previously used a little tape recorder on which the old sound recorder was obviously based
    I can only think that the new device is aimed at the strolling MP3 listening people . SImple but extremely limited
    (not the people)
    Can anyone tell me if I can download soundrecorder from my XP disk into my new windows 7 computer
    Frustrated Phil

  28. enquiry about the sound recorder
    I want to have the sound recorder hyperlinked linked to an icon on a word document or ppt so that by clicking the icon the recorder works. I tried that and hyperlinked it to the recorder icon in windows/system32/sound recorder but it didn’t work. Is there another way of doing it? Or is there a dialogue box for recording as a tool that functions on word and ppt whereby I can insert it as an object and it functions as embeded media? If you can help please either post it here or send it to my email. [email protected]. Thanks.

  29. Windows 7
    Yep, not a fan.
    Windows 7 sound recorder can’t play backwards, can’t listen to what you’ve recorded until after you’ve saved and then reopened the file.
    Windows 7 doesn’t even come with a movie maker program. Yes, it is available for free download, but that’s not my point.
    Windows 7 doesn’t let you arrange files however you want in a folder. Again, yes, I know there are many preset arrangement options, but again, that is not the point. If for some reason I want a particular file at the top of the folder because I use it the most often, or for whatever reason, I want to be able to just put it there. I don’t want to have to put a letter ‘a’ at the beginning of the file name.
    Windows 7, I appreciate your new features, but why in the world did they remove so many of the old features?!?!!???!?

  30. The XP one will work on windows8
    Copied the sndrec32.exe from c:windowssystem32 on an XP machine to the same directory on a windows8 machine and it works.

    This allows you to open files, gives you sound cropping and also save in various formats in the GUI!

    🙂 good old XP.

    Given they had already done this work, why didn’t microsoft add this file to windows8?

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