How to cancel Outlook new incoming message notifications?

Here’s a question from a reader:

I am setting up my new Outlook installation, and started to get 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 hide new email notifications and sounds; as my incoming notification settings on GMail doesn’t seem to apply to Microsoft Outlook.

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 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.

Cancel alerts on Windows

As expected, not much change here when compared to Outlook 2013/2016 which i use through the Office 365 package.

Here are the steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Outlook.
  2. Hit File and then Options , then select Mail.
  3. In the Message arrival section go ahead and uncheck the following boxes: Display a Desktop Alert and Play a Sound.
  4. Note that here you can also hide the envelope icon in your right hand side desktop bar.


  1. Once done, hit OK.

Note: couple of readers asked us whether it’s possible to 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.

Disabling alerts on MAC

  1. Open Outlook.
  2. Hit Outlook, and then select Preferences.
  3. Then under Personal Settings, hit Notifications and Sounds.
  4. In the Message Arrival section uncheck the ” Display an Alert on my Desktop” check box.
  5. Then, under Sounds, uncheck all applicable, as shown below. Note that i also cancelled any reminder and sent messages alert sounds.


  1. Once done, close the dialog.

Reinstating your notification defaults

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.

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