Some emails are more important than others. Rather than getting alerts every time an email arrives, configure Microsoft Outlook to only alert you when the important stuff hits your inbox, rather than any old email that can wait until you check your inbox.
If email alerts from Outlook are distracting you, the easiest thing to do is to turn them off. But what if you really need to know when an email arrives from your boss, a client, or someone else important to you?
Microsoft Outlook lets you set up custom alert rules for specific email addresses or entire domains. We’ve covered rules in general previously, so have a quick look if you’ve never used them before.
When you set up a custom alert using a rule, it overrides the default alert permissions you’ve set up. If you’ve turned off all alerts in Outlook, you’ll still get an alert if you have a rule set up to do so.
Create a Rule for a Specific Person
To set up a custom alerting rule for a specific person, open Outlook and then find an email from someone for whom you want an alert. Right-click the email and select Rules > Create Rule.
Alternatively, select the email, and on the Home tab of the ribbon, click Rules > Create Rule.
Switch on the checkbox next to the sender’s name and then choose “Display In The New Item Alert Window” and/or “Play A Selected Sound.”
If you choose “Play A Selected Sound,” then you’ll have to choose a sound file to play. Most people don’t keep a selection of .wav files to hand, so navigate to C:\Windows\Media (or /System/Library/Sounds/ if you’re using Outlook on a Mac) and choose the sound you want. You can use the play button in the “Create Rule” window to hear the sound before you confirm your choice.
Click “OK” in the Create Rule window, and your rule is set. From now on, you’ll be alerted whenever you receive a message from that email address.
Create a Rule for a Whole Domain
If you want to be alerted when you receive an email from a particular domain, such as a specific client or your home email domain, you’ll need to set up a rule from scratch.
In the Home tab, click Rules > Manage Rules & Alerts.
In the “Rules And Alerts” window, click “New Rule.”
Select “Apply Rule On Messages I Receive” and then click the “Next” button.
Scroll down, select “With Specific Words In The Sender’s Address,” and then click the underlined “Specific Words” in the bottom panel.
Add in the domain you want an alert for, click “Add” (you can add multiple domains if you want), and then click “OK.”
The domain will have replaced “Specific Words.” Click “Next.”
Now, choose whether you want a sound played, an alert displayed, or both. If you choose a sound, you’ll have to click “A Sound” and chose the sound you want. Once that’s done, click “Finish.”
The rule will be visible in the “Rules And Alerts” list. Click “Apply” to turn it on.
From now on, whenever an email arrives from that domain, you’ll get the alert you chose.
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