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Turn on or off new message alert pop-up window

A Desktop Alert is a notification that appears on your desktop when you receive a new email message, meeting request, or task request. By default, Desktop Alerts are turned on.

The information displayed in a Desktop Alert varies depending on the item that you receive in your Inbox.

  • Email message: Displays the name of the sender, the subject, and the first two lines of the message. A Desktop Alert doesn’t display the contents of an encrypted or digitally signed message. To view the message, you must open it.
  • Meeting request: Displays the sender, subject, date, time, and location of the meeting.
  • Task request: Displays the sender, subject, and start date of the assigned task.

TIP: If you want to keep a Desktop Alert visible so that you can take more time to read it, rest the mouse pointer on the alert before it fades from view.

To turn on or off Desktop Alerts, do the following:


  1. Click the File tab.


2.      Click Options.


3.      Click Mail


4.       Under Message arrival, select or clear the Display a Desktop Alert check box

NOTE: To suppress other notifications such as playing sounds, changing the mouse pointer, or displaying an envelope icon in the taskbar, clear the respective check boxes for those functions.

You can also turn off Desktop Alert when one appears on your screen. Click the down arrow on the alert, and then click Disable New Mail Desktop Alert.


 5.       To change the transparency of Desktop Alerts or how long they are visible, click Desktop Alert Settings

When Desktop Alerts don’t appear

Desktop Alert notifications don’t appear during the initial synchronization of an email account or when you request a manual Send/Receive.

Also, if you are using message rules and a new message is moved out of the default account Inbox, you might not receive a Desktop Alert notification, or the Desktop Alert notification might not appear for the full duration of time that you configured in the settings for the Desktop Alerts feature.

NOTES: IMAP notifications are not supported in Outlook 2010+.  In order to get the notification a rule needs to be created.

Select the Inbox folder of your IMAP account.

  1. On the Home tab, click on the Rules button and choose Manage Rules & Alerts.
  2. Click on; New Rule…
  3. Select: ‘Apply rule on messages I receive’ and press the Next button.
  4. Verify that no condition is selected and press next.
  5. A warning will pop-up stating that this rule will apply to all messages. Press "Yes" to indicate that that is correct.
  6. Select one or more of the following actions;
    • play a sound
    • at the bottom, click on “a sound” and browse to
    • Windows 7 and Windows Vista: C:\Media\Windows Notify.wav
    • Display a specific message in the New Item Alert window
    • at the bottom, click on ‘a specific message’ and type your custom message. For instance;
    • New IMAP messages
    • display a Desktop Alert
  7. Click Next and then Next again to skip the exceptions dialog.
  8. Specify a name for the rule and press Finish to complete the rule.
  9. If needed move the created rule all the way to the top.
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