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How to Limit Outlook Notifications to Only the Most Important Emails

Desktop notifications are simultaneously useful and a giant pain. Without them, you’re left to your own devices to check email, and thus may miss a timely one on occasion. When enabled, however, they can be as distracting as trying to work while someone constantly shouts at you. 

Luckily, you can have the best of both worlds with one quick tweak to the way notifications are handled. So you can get alerts  when the boss mails you, but not when you get a company newsletter. First, we’re going to turn off all notifications.

1. Click the File tab.

2. Click Options.

3. Select Mail and then uncheck all three boxes under Message arrival.

4. Click OK.

Now, we need to create rules to display notifications only from certain users.

5. Under the Home tab, click Rules and select "Manage rules and alerts." 

6. Click New Rule.

7. In the Rules Wizard, click "Play a sound when I get messages from someone." If you don't like aound alerts, just click "Display mail from someone in the New Item Alert Window."

8. Click "people or public group."

9. Select a name from your address book, or create a new one and then click From and OK.

Now, when this person emails you, you’ll get a notification. Others will remain silent. You’ll have to repeat the steps fro anyone else you want to get notifications from, but your spouse, boss, and someone that typically demands a quick response are generally good starts.

Microsoft Outlook Tips