Open Bug 508474 Opened 15 years ago Updated 2 years ago

Add menu item or about:config entry to disable beep sound from popup windows and warning messages in Firefox 3.5.


(Firefox :: Settings UI, enhancement)

3.5 Branch





(Reporter: fxbugzilla.cdr, Unassigned)


(Blocks 1 open bug)


User-Agent:       Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20090729 Firefox/3.5.2
Build Identifier: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20090729 Firefox/3.5.2

Security warning messages generate the Windows system sounds when they display popups.  Usually this is an annoying beep or similar sound.  There is no setting in Firefox 3.5 (where this first appears) to disable this sound.  This request is for a menu item or about:config entry to disable this sound so that users do not have to change or disable the global system settings or disable security warnings.  This beeping is new to Firefox 3.5 and did not appear in previous versions.

Reproducible: Always

Steps to Reproduce:
1. Enable warning messages in Tools->Options->Security (we'll use the warning for entering an encrypted page from an unencrypted one).
2. Open a new tab and go to
3. In the same tab, change the address and go to
4. In Windows XP, listen to the exclamation beep sound.
Actual Results:  
When the warning message appears, it makes a beep sound based on my Windows XP sound profile settings.  This is new in Firefox 3.5, and there is now setting to disable the sound.

Expected Results:  
From the warning message menu (or even in about:config), uncheck a box (or set a value to false) an item that will play a sound when warning messages appear.  Then, when the warning message appears, there is no beeping, warning, or any sound of any kind like in Firefox 3-.

I would love a check box in the Security Warnings dialog where I select which warning messages to display to turn them off and would make it easy for users to find who care about such things.  However, an about:config entry to make this change would be sufficient.  No other sounds play for other events, and it would be useful to have a feature to disable this one as well.
This is not Firefox's doing, per se. It's a feature of Windows associated with dialogs. You can adjust it via the Windows control panel. Go to "Start", "Control Panel", "Sounds, Speech, and Audio Devices", "Change the sound scheme" (or just the sound tab in the dialog, if you're using the classic mode), in the "Program Events" list you can scroll down to "Exclamation" under the "Windows" heading, select it and then set the "Sounds" drop-down menu to "(None)" and click OK. There are of other events in here you might also wish to change. Alternatively, you can just do what I do when I'm forced to use Windows and set the scheme to "No Sounds" in the menu up top to make ALL of the annoying sounds go away.
Closed: 15 years ago
Resolution: --- → INVALID
I whole-heartedly disagree with this bug being marked as invalid. I'm using ubuntu and 3.5 gives me a similar result with the system's warning noise being used with popups. I've actually found it so annoying it's prevented me from upgrading to 3.5. I don't believe you can simply shrug this off as the operating system's fault. It's a completely NEW feature to 3.5, so some code on your end must have changed. It would be nice to have some sort of legacy support for users who do not like the new alerts and would prefer not to make system wide changes just to fix them.
Firefox is now properly using the native operating system's settings for this. Programs should generally be doing what the OS tells it to, and this is no exception. If you tell it to have sound, then it does. If you don't want it to have sound then turn it off through the normal system. (I can't stand OS sounds either)

I marked this invalid because there already is a setting to disable this as requested. There's one for GNOME somewhere too. (can't give you exact directions off-hand, I'm on KDE here, but you should be able to find it)

If your argument is that Firefox should have an option in spite of there already being one, then I dissagree. May be a slight argument in there for an about:config entry, but definitely not one in the GUI. I'll move this over to the meta bug for all this and reopen, but I personally vote for wontfix.
Blocks: 461963
OS: Windows XP → All
Hardware: x86 → All
Resolution: INVALID → ---
Version: unspecified → 3.5 Branch
Firefox is not using the proper native settings for this. On my system (Opensuse 11.1, KDE 3.5.10) I have all system sounds disabled and I still get a beep. And it is not even the sound KDE gives me when I do enable the warning sounds, it's just a beep. Extremely annoying!
I even checked the Gnome settings, but it is not one of the standard Gnome sounds either. If I knew where Firefox grabbed the sound from I could just delete the sound file, but it is not using any of the sounds I can find.
Neither of my Linux installs (Kubuntu 8.04 & 9.04, w/ KDE3 & KDE4) make a sound. I think there's a system-wide setting to murder the pc speaker beep somewhere if it's on for you, but I'm sorry, I don't know where it is offhand. Nonetheless, it is an OS setting. Firefox just does what it's told.
I have actually set the system bell volume to 0 (and the system bell is a different sound than the one FF uses anyway) and still get the beep in Firefox.
All system sounds are globally disabled, the volume is even set to 0 and I still get the beep in Firefox. That sounds like a bug to me!
I'm willing to accept that certain types of dialogs trigger OS behavior (XP in my case) that cause the sound to be played in a manner beyond FF's control, but then I'd like control over the type of dialog that gets displayed.  I want the dialog as a reminder when entering/leaving secure sites, but I don't want the beep.  However I don't want to turn off the exclamation sound system-wide because I *do* want the beep for other things.

I'm also willing to accept that this is fairly picky in a Meg-Ryan-in-When-Harry-Met-Sally kind of way so if the end result is I have to install an add-on to get this behavior, I'll cope.
If I can give my humble two cents, the problem for me is that in FF 3.5, the alert dialog is now a "system level" event, rather than constrained to a "browser level" event.  That is, in my view of the world, an event which requires my attention at the operating system level should issue a system level beep or dialog to get my attention.  But, a web page invoked javascript alert() or an ssl cert warning does not constitute a system level type event.

While yes, the controls are in place to squash sounds at the OS level, it's a bit of a cop-out to suggest that Firefox should simply delegate to the OS and to promote these types of events.  In my opinion, a "filtering" type mechanism should be put in place allowing a user to decide which level of priority such events occur at.  Allow the user to specify that a javascript alert() (which is commonly abused) should be constrained to the browser, and thus not generate a system level alert box.

It's these types of options which makes Firefox better than IE/M$FT.  In IE, you don't get a choice, and you will never have one.  FF is about choice and user control (on many levels), and what's happened on this issue has gone against those principles.

We don't need a preferences GUI option for this, just an about:config option would be fine.  A plugin would be less preferable, if even possible.
To be more specific, in 'gnome-sound-settings', unchecking 'play alert sound' isn't enough, I have to disable 'play alerts and sound effects'.  Also, the alert sound in this dialogue is not the same sound being played by Firefox, it's a lot less invasive.

To be clear, to disable this sound in Firefox (which again, is a new behaviour since 3.5), I have disable all sounds in my desktop environment.  This is far from desired behaviour.

I develop websites and regularly have to resubmit a form with POST data. To hear an obnoxious sound every time I do this is unbearable, so I've disabled all the sounds on my desktop... but I like the sounds on my desktop; I don't like the new behaviour in FF 3.5.

Another vote for a about:config option to change this, please.
I'm completely for Adam Taft comments. The OS is certainly _not_ telling FF to trigger those events. It's like the program I wrote that doesn't make any sound at all and you cannot blame the OS for that, but just the programmer. I dont want to have to disable sound events globally on my laptop, as e.g., I would like to get a sound notification if the battery is low. But I can't stand that FF emits a sound every now and then just because I'm prompted for a password (password manager), I resubmit a form, or it alerts me about the security status of a given page. It's annoying for me and for the people around me at work. A sound is a message that is much more "invasive" (or "agressive" depending how you see it) as it gets not only my attention, but also that of the people around, but they certainly would not like to hear that. 

If FF is going to get sound, this should come with the corresponding GUI option to disable it. When I want sound I use Mplayer or Amarok, not FF.

Another vote for there to be an option to disable this new feature.
I have disabled sound notifications everywhere I could find them --- in KDE, in GNOME, system beep etc.  *Only* Firefox ever beeps on this machine.  This is annoying as hell when you're listening to music and developing HTML/JS.
I concur with the above comments. Kubuntu (in common with Ubuntu) turns off system beeps by not loading the pcspkr kernel module. If you re-enable system beeps, then you have some control over when beeps are produced. "ping -a" works, and of course here you're specially requesting audible output. Readline can be configured not to beep with the appropriate "bell-style" setting in /etc/inputrc. In Firefox, though, there's no way to turn off the beep. The only way to turn it off is Kubuntu's all-or-nothing blunderbuss approach, or there's an equivalent setting in KDE to use or not use the system bell, which controls *all* applications.
Severity: normal → S3
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