The visual notifications feature of Windows 7 can set up your computer to use a screen flash whenever there is a system alert that uses sound. This feature is helpful to people with hearing impairments that might miss those alerts.

To set up visual notifications in Windows 7:

  1. Choose Start, Control Panel.
    Start Menu with Control Panel link highlighted
  2. In the Control Panel, choose Ease of Access.
    Control Panel window with Ease of Access highlighted
  3. On the next screen, click on the link that says “Replace sounds with visual cues.”
    Options in Ease of Access window with Replace sounds with visual cues link highlighted.
  4. At the top of the next screen, check the box next to “Turn on visual notifications for sounds.”
    Options screen for visual cues with Turn on visual notifications checked and Flash desktop selected as warning type.
  5. Next, choose the desired visual warning (screen flash): you can flash the caption bar, the active window, or the desktop.

When visual notifications are turned on, the screen will flash each time there is a system sound. For example, when you click on the button at the top of a window that takes you back a screen, you will see a screen flash along with the click sound you would normally hear.

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