Outlook plays a chime to alert you to scheduled reminders on email, tasks, or calendar events. Unlike the new mail alert (which you manage in Windows), you manage the reminder alert in Outlook, where you can change the chime to something else or turn it off altogether. Here’s how to get that done.

Turn Off the Chime

If you don’t want an auditory alert every time a reminder pops up (which can be especially jarring if you’re working with headphones on), then you can tell Outlook not to play a noise at all when a reminder is due. Go to File > Options > Advanced and scroll down to the “Reminders” section. The setting you’re looking for is “Play Reminder Sound.”

Switch this off and then click “OK.” Outlook will no longer play a sound when a reminder pops up.

Change the Chime to Something Else

If you still want an auditory alert, but you want something other than the standard “reminder.wav” chime, leave the “Play Reminder Sound” option switched on and click the “Browse” button next to it.

You can then select any WAV file on your system to use for your reminder alert. When you’re done click “OK” to exit. You shouldn’t need to restart Outlook, and your new sound will be played when a reminder pops up.

If you’ve got a different file type you want to use, you’ll have to convert it (we’re big fans of Audacity and VLC for audio work, but use your tool of choice). If you want one of the other Windows sounds that you can access through Control Panel > Sound, you’ll find them at C:\Windows\media.

Rob Woodgate Rob Woodgate
Rob Woodgate is a writer and IT consultant with nearly 20 years of experience across the private and public sectors. He's also worked as a trainer, technical support person, delivery manager, system administrator, and in other roles that involve getting people and technology to work together.
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