How to Edit New Message Alerts in Outlook 2016 and Prior

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Microsoft Outlook loves to notify you of new messages, and it will use sounds, on-screen pop-ups and your system tray to remind you that an email has arrived. If you would rather it use none, some or all of those options, you can change this setting as long as you know where to look.


You can even edit how long the notifications that appear in the corner of your screen appear for and how transparent they look. No matter how you want Outlook to notify you of new messages, here are step-by-step instructions to set its alert options. 

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How to Edit New Message Alerts in Outlook 2016 and Prior

1. Click File.alert12. Select Options.alert2

3. Select Mail.alert3

4. Check and uncheck the boxes under Message Arrival, and click Desktop Alert Settings. Now you can silence the alert chime, set your cursor to change and set preview options if a message has an attachment.

image 45

5. Move the slider controls to adjust preview duration and transparency and click OK.


6. Click OK again on Outlook options screen.

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Now Outlook will only notify you of new messages in the manner you prefer. 


Author Bio
Henry T. Casey
Henry T. Casey,
After graduating from Bard College a B.A. in Literature, Henry T. Casey worked in publishing and product development at Rizzoli and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, respectively. Henry joined Tom's Guide and LAPTOP having written for The Content Strategist, Tech Radar and Patek Philippe International Magazine. He divides his free time between going to live concerts, listening to too many podcasts, and mastering his cold brew coffee process. Content rules everything around him.
Henry T. Casey, on
Add a comment
  • Doug Reid Says:

    Also upset that this article is misleading. Also looking for a solution for Outlook 2016.

  • Dominic Decocco Says:

    Thank you for wasting my time with reading this article. There are no "Desktop alert setting" in Outlook 2016 on my Win 10 Pro.

  • Jack E. Simmons Says:

    This isn't applicable with 2016. There is no alert settings in 2016 version, so this article is incorrect. Previous versions of outlook only. Should remove it so others won't open this article when searching. Wish I could find the correct article.

  • Alexander Bryant Says:

    RE: "How to Edit New Message Alerts in Outlook 2016 and Prior"

    Outlook 2016 at our work site does not have a Desktop Alert Settings box to change the transparency. All the other check boxes are there, and our earlier version (2007) of Outlook features it, but it is not there for Outlook 2016 running on Windows 10 Pro. Are you sure you have Outlook 2016 up there in the screen shot? If so, what might be causing our Desktop Alert Settings box to simply not be there?

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