Last Update: December 2019
Here’s a question from a reader:
I am setting up my new Outlook installation, and started to get some emails from different people. One thing i notice is that i started also to receive those small black alerts that keep popping up on my Windows 10 desktop. The alerts also play an annoying beep sound. I have also noticed that small envelope popping up in the right side of the task bar whenever unread email is available for me to start reading. So i guess my question to you guys is whether there a way for me to turn offOutlook notifications and sounds. Looks like my incoming notification settings seem not to match the ones i have in Gmail.
Thanks so much for your question. Actually this one is kind of timely, as i am coincidentally setting up my new Outlook 2019 install. I also feel that new message alerts can be a productivity-killer as those keep popping up and get you out of your flow. So, with the aim of maintaining focus and be more productive, i usually go ahead and modify the default Outlook settings, and get rid of incoming message pop up alerts. Actually, this is probably the first thing i do immediately after setting up my Outlook.com and Yahoo email accounts on a fresh Outlook install.
In this post i would like to go ahead and explain the configuration of the new email alert settings using an Office 2019 install, both for Windows 10 and MAC OSX. That said, the process outlined below will work on previous Microsoft Office versions.
Mute notifications in Outlook
As expected, turning off Outlook desktop alerts is not much change here when compared to previous Microsoft Office versions.
Here are the steps:
- Open Microsoft Outlook.
- Hit File and then Options , then select Mail.
- In the Message arrival section go ahead and uncheck the following boxes: Display a Desktop Alert and Play a Sound.
- Note that here you can also hide the envelope icon in your right hand side desktop bar.
- Once done, hit OK.
Note: couple of readers asked us whether it’s possible to turn off and cancel Outlook new email notifications; however keep those notifications when incoming email from certain people hit your inbox. Basically, the process outlined above will suppress notifications for all your inbox emails and can’t be overwritten. That said, you could potentially define a new Outlook rule that will route email to a specific folder that you’ll create, say Important Email, and then you could write a short VBA macro that will pop up a notification when a new message hits that folder.
Silence sounds and alerts in Outlook on macOS
- Open Outlook for macOS.
- Hit Outlook, and then select Preferences.
- Then under Personal Settings, go ahead and hit Notifications and Sounds.
- In the Message Arrival section un-check the ” Display an Alert on my Desktop” check box.
- Then, under Sounds, un-check all applicable, as shown below. Note that i also cancelled any reminder and sent messages alert sounds.
- Once done, close the dialog.
Reinstating your default notification settings
If you are interested to revert the changes you have mode just modify the settings mentioned above. Outlook will immediately reinstate the desktop alerts for you.
In case of any question, feel free to leave us a comment.