Turn sound effects on or off in Outlook

Outlook can alert you to a variety of actions with sound effects. You can control some of these sounds through the Outlook options pane, while other settings are controlled by Windows. 

New message notifications

When you receive a new message in Outlook, you can receive alerts with sounds, a message pop-up notification, or simply a change in the Outlook icon in the status bar. 

To change these settings, use the following steps. 

  1. Click the File tab.

  2. Click Options Mail. 

  3. Under Message Arrival, select or clear the Play a sound check box.

Note: You can also change other notification behaviors here, such as changing the mouse pointer briefly, showing an envelope icon in the bottom right of the Windows Taskbar, or showing a Desktop alert. 

If you'd like to change the sound played when you receive a new message, see Change the sound played when an email message arrives.

Calendar, task, and flag reminders

When you receive a calendar, task, or flag reminder, Outlook can play a sound. To turn this on or off, use the following steps. 

  1. Click the File tab.

  2. Click Options Advanced. 

  3. Under Reminders, select or clear the Play reminders sound check box.

    If you choose to play a reminder sound, you can either use the default sound file or click Browse to select a sound file that you want to play.

Miscellaneous alerts and changing sound volume

Note: The instructions in this section are written for Windows 10. For older versions of Windows, the basic settings should remain the same, but the way you access these settings may be slightly different. 

The volume of the sounds Outlook plays is controlled by your Windows sound settings.

Outlook may also play a sound for errors and alerts that you receive. For example, if you try to Dismiss All reminders from the Reminder dialog box, you may receive a warning or informational message. Other tasks that may have audible alerts include: 

  • Permanently deleting an item by pressing the Shift key and the Delete key

  • Moving multiple conversations at once to another folder

  • Closing an item you've made changes to without saving or sending the item

Whether or not sounds are played for these alerts is controlled by Windows. To turn all Windows sounds off, use the following steps. 

  1. Click the Windows button and type Sound. You should see an option for Sound Settings. 

  2. Click Sound Settings and use the Master volume slider to adjust your sound levels. By adjusting the Master volume to its lowest level (0), sounds will be muted.

Change individual alert sounds in Windows

You can change the sound Windows plays for various alerts and reminders by using the following steps. 

  1. Click the Windows  button and type change sound. You should see an option for Change sound settings. 

  2. Click Change sound settings.

  3. In the Sound dialog box, you can select an item from the Program Events list to change the sound associated with the event. To never play a sound for that event, regardless of your other Windows sound settings, use the Sounds dropdown box and choose (None) from the very top of the list. 

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