How to enable desktop notifications in Microsoft Outlook

In Microsoft Outlook, it is understandable that the user will consistently receive mail, given the nature of the application. Whilst notifications are often an automatic feature of the application, be it on desktop, smartphone or anything else, sometimes you may wish to be notified of any incoming mail whilst operating on Outlook.

Thankfully, such an issue is a fairly easy one to resolve. Within Outlook, there is something that can be enabled to notify the user of any freshly received mail. In order to enable this, you will need to access the ‘Notifications’ option of your Outlook settings, make your way to ‘Desktop notifications’, and alter whether or not you want desktop notifications to be sent to you.

If this isn’t enough for you to follow, then don’t worry. Below, not only will there be a step-by-step of the process, but there will be a more thorough walkthrough following that should you need it.

Step by step: How to enable desktop notifications in Microsoft Outlook

  • Go to and open Microsoft Outlook.
  • From here, click ‘Settings’.
  • Then, click ‘View all Outlook settings’.
  • Within the ‘General’ tab of the settings, click the ‘Notifications’ subsection.
  • When on the ‘Notifications’ tab, go to the ‘Desktop Notifications’ subheading.
  • Toggle the ‘Send me desktop notifications’ from no to yes.
  • Alter any following settings to your choosing.

As mentioned, don’t worry if the steps above are not detailed enough for you. Now, we will look deeper into the process of enabling the envelope option within Outlook.

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Your first step after going to and opening Microsoft Outlook, will be to access the Outlook settings. To do this, click the cog in the top-right of the screen, as shown in the screenshot here:

After opening the initial settings menu, which will open to the right hand side of the screen, you will want to access the wider array of Outlook settings. To do this, look to the bottom of the settings menu and click, ‘View all Outlook settings’.

After clicking this, you’ll be brought to the wider selection of Outlook settings. Before doing anything else, make sure you are on the General subsection of options. You may be put there by default, but you may also see yourself on the Email tab, hence the need to point it out.

Once you’re on the General tab of settings, you will then want to find the Navigation section of settings, which yet again, has been highlighted in the screenshot below.

When on the notifications section of Outlook’s general settings, you will want to scroll down to Desktop Notifications, which is the second section in the list, going downwards.

Underneath the ‘visual aid’, of sorts, provided by Outlook is a switch, its label reading, ‘Send me desktop notifications’. It’s this switch that you’ll want to flick in order to turn on desktop notifications for any incoming emails.

Toggling this will turn on desktop notifications for your incoming Outlook emails. After turning the option on, the options below it will become available for you to edit. With those, you will be able to sort the type of messages you want to be prompted to you through notifications, whilst also being able to opt whether or not you want event notifications to be pushed to you.

After adjusting this to your personal wants, you can simply close the window, as the changes for this particular aspect of Outlook will save automatically.

Whilst the process is now complete, there is of course the ever-present worry of running into potential issues of the notifications. As so, we will now look at some ways that may serve to resolve any troubles you’re having with receiving notifications within your Microsoft Outlook account.

In the past, you may have altered your settings for events and notifications. Doing so may have conflicted with your recently updated desktop notification settings, so you’ll want to check this to ensure there is no conflict.

In order to do this, you will first want to get to the advanced settings menu, just as you did initially when following the above walkthrough. Instead of accessing the General subsection, however, you will want to look to the Calendar bracket of options, highlighted below.

Once in the Calendar section, you will want to find the Events and Notifications subcategory, the second one down in the list of options you will be presented with.

Under this bracket, will be an option titled ‘Invitations from other people’, as such:

You may have one, or both, of these boxes ticked, and it may be this that has led to your Outlook failing to receive any notifications.

It may also be worth looking at your Rules in your Outlook settings. In the past, you may have set a rule, or several rules, to prevent certain topics, or certain people, from messaging you. Again, this is thankfully a fairly simple issue to resolve.

From the overview of your Outlook settings, make sure you are first on the Email tab. You should be there as the default option when you open your settings.

From here, click the ‘Rules’ subsection of the Email options:

From here, you will be greeted with an overview of any and all rules you have previously set up. Here, you will be able to read through any rules you have created, and be able to restructure or delete any that may prove conflicting with your recently established notification prompts.

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So, to summarise, this blog has provided you with the means by which you can establish desktop notifications for incoming emails. Not only that, but it has also discussed a couple of issues you might face, and how you can best resolve them.

Thank you for reading this blog, I hope you find it as helpful as you wanted it to be! As always, if you run into any issues with this walkthrough, or simply wish to let us know your thoughts on the process, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team.

Below is a link to an article of a very similar nature to this one. In it, the piece discusses making a rule in order to allow notifications for all of your inboxes in Outlook.

How to get notifications for all my inboxes in Outlook – Business Tech Planet

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Michael Fontana

Michael Fontana has been the managing director of telecoms and MSP Optionbox for over a decade and has worked in various telecommunication roles over the last 20 years. Michael has been involved in many exciting projects, such as co-founding telecoms and IT businesses and has now built up a team of more than 15 staff, serving over 300 clients nationwide. With a wealth of experience in IT and a passion for technology, Michael is now helping BTP to produce the highest quality guides on the internet. You can connect with Michael on LinkedIn.

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