How to Display a Desktop Notification When Outlook 365 Subfolder Receives Email

Although the instructions below are specifically for Outlook 365, the same instructions should apply to all versions of Outlook from 2007.

By default, any emails that are automatically moved to a subfolder in Outlook using rules will not generate an alert that they have been received, as emails to the inbox normally do. Luckily the fix for this is relatively straightforward as I’ll show below –

The Solution

We will edit the rule that currently moves the received email to the subfolder and add a new action that will generate a desktop notification.

  1. In Outlook, in the Home tab, click the Rules button then ‘Manage Rules & Alerts’ in the dropdown.
  1. Select the rule you want to create a desktop notification for, then click ‘Change Rule’ followed by ‘Edit Rule Settings’.
  2. Click Next so that you’re seeing the actions that the rule performs, scroll down the list and then check the ‘display a Desktop Alert’ action.
  1. Click Finish and then click OK in the remaining window.

Outlook will now generate an alert whenever a new email is received.

Alert on Email to Any Subfolder

It is possible to create a rule that will run on any new email that arrives by doing the following, this is useful if you have a large number of subfolders present in Outlook.

  1. Create a new rule using the ‘Apply rule on messages I receive’ in the ‘Start from a blank rule’ section.
  2. Do not select any conditions for the rule.
  3. Check the ‘display a Desktop Alert’ action.
  4. Click Finish.
  5. Ensure the rule is the first rule to run as by default most rules will stop processing of any further rules and so this is unlikely to be ran if it is not first in the list.

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