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How to only get alerts for certain emails in Outlook?

By Emmanuel Seriki | August 11, 2020 |

greater than 11 minutes

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If you configure Outlook to fetch and manage your email for several accounts and also enable desktop alerts for new emails, then you will always get notifications when new emails arrive – and it won’t matter whether the new emails are important messages or not. Therefore, if you operate a private and a business email account in Outlook, for example, it makes sense for you to prioritize the messages for one account over those for the other.

In this guide, we intend to show you how to limit Outlook notifications to only important emails on Windows 10. For example, if you use your private email to receive advertisements and newsletters, then you can instruct Outlook to stop displaying desktop alerts for this account because the notifications are simply not that important.

How to manage Outlook alerts on a desktop computer

To be fair, a constant stream of email notifications can disrupt anyone’s train of thought. If you do not want to turn off notifications for all new emails in Outlook – especially if you need to continue seeing important work/business messages as soon as they arrive – then you can configure Outlook to notify you about important emails only.

For almost every situation, there are useful procedures you can take advantage of to force Outlook to behave appropriately (the way you want it to).

How to disable new mail alerts:

If you are tired of seeing new messages and do not want to get notifications at all, then you can disable new mail alerts. The move here is extreme, though, and we do not recommend it.

  1. These are the instructions you must go through to disable new mail alerts:
  • First, you must open or run the Outlook app on your computer.
  • Assuming the Outlook window is now on your PC’s screen, you must click on the File menu.
  • From the list presented, click on Options.
  • On the Options screen, you must check the list in the left pane and then click on Mail.

You will be directed to the Mail tab now.

  • Now, you must locate the Message arrival section (scroll down if you have to).
  • Once you see the Display a Desktop Alert parameter, you must click on its checkbox to disable it.
  • Now, you must click on the OK button to affirm things and go back to Outlook’s main screen.

If you did everything correctly, Outlook will take note of the new configuration and stop alerting you about new emails.

  1. How to disable alerts for a specific email account; how to enable alerts for all but one email account:

If you want Outlook to stop alerting you about new emails in a specific email account (say your private email, for example), then the procedure here is for you.

Follow these instructions to configure Outlook to stop showing notifications for a specific email account (while allowing notifications for other accounts):

  • First, you must run or open the Outlook application on your PC.
  • Once the Outlook window comes up on your screen, you must look at its top-left corner and then click on File.
  • From the list that shows up, you must click on Manage Rules and Alerts.
  • Now, you must click on New Rules.

Outlook will bring up the Rule Wizard window.

  • Here, you must click on Apply rule on messages I received (one of the templates).
  • Now, you must move to Condition. Click on Next.

Outlook will bring up another prompt now.

  • Click on the Yes button again to get on with the task.
  • Now, under the Actions list, you must click on Display a Desktop Alert.
  • Click on Next.
  • Now, you must select or specify the exception. Choose Except through the specified account.
  • Here, you must check the bottom of the box and click on the Specified link there.
  • And finally, you must click on Finish to affirm things and activate the new rule you just created.
  1. How to enable alerts for certain email accounts only:

If you want Outlook to send notifications for certain email accounts – the ones you deem most important – then you can configure the email client to do precisely that. If you want to see notifications for only two or more accounts, then this procedure is meant for you.

Go through these steps to instruct Outlook to only show notifications for specific accounts:

  • First, you have to run or launch the Outlook application on your computer.
  • Once the Outlook program window comes up, you have to check its top-left corner and then click on File.
  • Now, from the menu that comes up, you must click on New Rules.

Outlook will fire up the Rule Wizard window.

  • Click on the Apply rule on messages I receive template to continue.
  • Now, assuming you are in the Condition section, you must select the Through specified account parameter.
  • Here, at the bottom of the box, you must click on the Specified link.
  • Now, you must select the accounts for which you want to see alerts.
  • Click on Next.
  • Now, you must choose the Display a Desktop Alert action.
  • And finally, to affirm things and enable the rule you created, you must click on Finish.

If you did everything correctly, then you will only receive alerts for the email accounts you specified (and nothing more).

  1. How to get Outlook notifications for important emails only; how to get email alerts when a specific sender is involved:

Here, we intend to show you how you can mark an email from a specific sender as important and configure Outlook to only show alerts for messages from this sender. The proposed setup is useful if you do not want to bother yourself with emails from other senders or mailboxes.

Follow these instructions to force Outlook to only alert you when a message comes from a specific sender:

  • First, you have to fire up or open the Outlook app on your computer.
  • Once the Outlook window appears, you must navigate to its top-left corner and then click on File.
  • From the menu close to the left corner of the window, you must click on Options.
  • Assuming you are now on the Outlook Options screen, you must check the list close to the left pane and then click on Mail.
  • Now, you must locate the Message arrival section. There, you have to deselect all parameters (click on their checkboxes – if necessary).
  • Click on the OK button (close to the bottom of the window).

Now, you must move on to create a rule for important emails from a specific sender. Continue with these instructions:

  • Assuming you are on the Outlook application window, you must click on Rules (close to the top of your display).
  • From the list that appears, you have to click on Manage Rules and Alerts.

Outlook will bring up the Rules and Alerts dialog or window now.

  • Assuming you are on the Email Rules tab (by default), you have to click on the New Rule button.

The Rules Wizard dialog box will be brought up now.

  • Click on the box for Play a sound when I get messages from someone – if you want this feature. Choose a template box.
  • Now, you must click on the ‘people or public group’ link. Here, you must select the sender whose emails you want to mark as important.
  • Click on ‘play a sound’. Here, you have to select the sound you prefer or need.
  • And finally, you have to click on the Finish button.

If you are returned to the Rules and Alerts dialog or window, you must click on the OK button there (to save the rule you just created).

Now, if you followed the steps above correctly, then you will only get alerts for messages from the marked sender and the specified sound will be played.

  1. How to get notifications for important messages only; how to get email alerts only when a specific subject is involved:

If you want Outlook to show notifications for important emails based on a specific subject, then you can configure the email client to do precisely that. Here, we intend to show you how to mark certain emails as important based on a known subject and also force Outlook to take note of things.

Follow these instructions to force Outlook to show alerts for new emails based on a specific subject:

  • First, you have to fire up or run the Outlook app on your computer.
  • Once the Outlook window comes up, you must look at its top-left corner and then click on File.
  • Check the menu close to the left corner of the window and then click on Options.
  • Once the Outlook Options screen appears, you must check the list close to the left pane and then click on Mail.
  • Now, you must find the Message arrival section. There, you have to deselect all parameters (click on their checkboxes – if you need to remove the marks).
  • Click on the OK button (at the bottom of the window).

At this point, you must move on to create a new rule that defines certain emails – based on a subject – as important messages for which notifications must be displayed. Continue with these steps:

  • Here, assuming you are back to the Outlook main screen, you must click on Rules (an option close to the top of your display).
  • From the list that appears, you must click on Manage Rules and Alerts.

The Rules and Alerts dialog or window will be brought up now.

  • Under the Email Rules tab, you must click on the New Rule button.

Outlook will bring up the Rules Wizard dialog or window now.

  • Under Start from a blank rule, you must click on Apply rule on messages I receive.
  • Now, you must click on the Next button.
  • Assuming you are now on the second Rules Wizard dialog or window, you must do this:
  1. Click on the box for With specific words in the subject (to select this parameter).
  2. Click on the box for Specific words (to select this parameter).
  3. Now, you must fill the Search Text dialog box with specific words or phrases for the email subject.
  4. Click on the Add button and then click on the OK button to affirm things.
  5. Click on the Next button.

Here, assuming you are on the third Rules Wizard dialog or window, you must click on the box for Play a sound (to select this parameter).

  • Under Step 2, you must click on the a sound link.
  • And finally, you must click on the Finish button to round up things and save your work.

If you are taken back to the Rules and Alerts dialog or window, you have to click on the OK button.

Well, if you performed the tasks above correctly, then Outlook will only be showing alerts and playing sounds for new emails that contain the specified words or phrases in their subjects.

  1. How to edit rules in Outlook:

You may have noticed that in the operations above, we used the Rules function in Outlook to configure the mail client to behave in a certain way. Through rules, you can instruct Outlook to only alert you about certain mails for a specific email account, display notifications for certain types of messages, and so on.

Here, we intend to show you how to modify rules, delete them, or even turn them off temporarily.

For example, if you want to force Outlook to display the New Mail Alerts dialog in place of the Desktop Alert dialog, then you must do this:

  • First, you must fire up or run Outlook on your computer.
  • Once the Outlook window appears, you must go to the top of the window and then click on Home (one of the tabs).
  • Around the Move section, you have to check for and click on Rules.
  • From the list that appears, you must select Manage Rules and Alerts.

Outlook will bring up the Rules and Alerts dialog box now.

  • Assuming you are on the Email Rules tab, you must click on Change Rule (to see the list of available options).
  • Click on Edit Rule Settings.

At this point, the first screen of the Rules Wizard dialog will bring up the list of conditions that can be used to define a rule for incoming email messages. In previous procedures, we directed you to make certain selections. If you want to make changes to the conditions for the rule you are working on now, then you must do so now. Otherwise – if you have no intention of making changes – you have to click on Next.

Similarly, you can make changes on the screen that lists conditions that can be used to define rules for incoming messages. For example, you have to click on Display a Desktop Alert to select the box for this parameter and then click on Next to get on with things.

If you want Outlook to display alerts that are more likely to get your attention, then you must scroll down through the list of actions and then click on the box for Display a specific message in the New Item Alert window (to get this parameter selected).

And if you want to customize the message that appears under the New Mail Alerts dialog or window, then you have to click on the a specific message link, which is usually under the box for Step 2. The Alert Message dialog or window will be brought up now. Now, you have to fill the text box under Specify an alert message and then click on the OK button to save your work.

If you want to introduce new exceptions or remove already existing exceptions, then you have to click on Next. This way, you get to access the list of exceptions and make the changes you need.

For example, if you want to change the name of a rule or alter other options that appear on the last screen of the Rules Wizard dialog, then you have to click on Next (once more on the Exceptions screen). If that is the only change you intend to make, you can now click on the Finish button (on the Actions screen) to confirm and save the changes you made.

At the end of the task, the Rules Wizard dialog will be dismissed automatically. You are likely to be returned to the Rules and Alerts dialog. There, you can click on OK to close the window. If you want to run the rule you just worked on immediately, then you must click on Run Rules Now (the option at the top of the Email Rules tab).

Here, assuming you are on the Run Rules Now dialog, you can click on the Select rules parameter (to get it selected), click on the checkbox for the rule you want to run right now, and then click on Run Now. The Outlook app is now supposed to work to run the rule.

The Run Rules Now dialog or window, however, will not go away automatically. You will have to click on Close to dismiss it. Similarly, you have to click on OK to dismiss the Rules and Alerts dialog or window. The latter is also unlikely to go away automatically.

Well, if you did everything correctly, then the New Mail Alerts dialog or window will now start showing your custom message at the top.

TIP:

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