Adjust Outlook Notifications to only be notified for IMPORTANT messages

By: standss , Mar 11th, 2019

Outlook’s default setup notifies you every time an email comes into your Inbox. Given the amount of email we all receive daily, you NEED to turn them off if you want to get any real work done… but you can also tweak it to still notify you when important or critical emails arrive.

Here’s what you need to do:

Step 1: Turn off Notifications for Message Arrival

Click File-Options.

Select the Mail Tab.Outlook Options Screen

Scroll to the Message Arrival section and untick all the boxes.

Click OK to save your changed settings and go back.

Now you won’t be disturbed any time any email lands in your Inbox….

But what about those important emails?

Step 2: Create a Custom Rule to be notified for Important Emails.

Click File.

Click Manage Rules and Alerts. The Email Rules tab should already be selected.

Click New Rule to display the Rules WizardRules Wizard

Select “Apply rule on messages I receive” and click Next.

You can now select the “conditions” on which you wish to be notified. You can choose to get alerts for emails with specific words, emails from specific people or domains etc.

In this case I will select from people or specific group.

Rules Wizard

Click on the hyperlink at the bottom half of the screen to enter the email addresses (Separated by semicolons).

Then click Next

Click Display a Desktop Alert and click Next again (there is also an option to Display a Specific Message in New Alert Window that you may want to use).

Click Next (to enter exceptions if any) and then Next again.

Give the rule a name (e.g. Notify me for Critical Emails) and click Finish.

Your new rules will be saved and ready to go.

You can create additional rules to get alerts based on other conditions if you want.


This small change can have a great result on your productivity. Now you will not be disturbed every time anyone send you an email BUT… you will still be notified when an important email arrives.

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