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New messages alert

When I receive a new mail message in my Inbox I can see the envelope icon in my Notification Area. So far so good.
However, it doesn’t reveal how many emails I have received nor does it show when I receive a message in a folder other than the Inbox.

Is there a way to get an alert for any folder as well? This would help me, especially when I’m away from my desk for a while.

Since Outlook 2003, the envelope indeed only shows when the message is being received in the Inbox folder and not when it is moved to a subfolder by for instance a rule.

However, there are other methods of getting notified of newly received messages while you were out even if they are not delivered to your Inbox.

New Items Alerts rule

The most suitable for this scenario is probably the “New Items Alerts” rule. This will show a dialog box with an overview of all the messages you have received since you last closed the dialog.

  1. Create a new rule;
    • Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007
      Tools-> Rules and Alerts…
    • Outlook 2010
      File-> section Info-> button: Manage Rules & Alerts
  2. Press the New Rule… button and start with a blank rule;
    • Outlook 2003
      Start from a blank rule
    • Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010
      Check messages when they arrive
  3. Press Next.
  4. Verify that no condition is selected and press Next.
  5. A warning will pop-up stating that this rule will apply to all messages. Press "Yes" to indicate that that is correct.
  6. Select the action "display a specific message in the New Item Alert window".
  7. Click the “a specific message” link at the bottom to type your custom message (this is handy if you create more than one rule that displays the New Item Alert window so that you can easily distinguish between them).
    • For instance;
      While you were gone you’ve received these e-mails;
  8. Click Next and then Next again to skip the exceptions dialog.
  9. Specify a name for the rule and press Finish to complete the rule.
  10. When prompted, press OK to acknowledge that this will be a client-only rule.
  11. If needed move the "display a Desktop Alert" rule all the way to the top.

New Item Alert window
Get your newly received e-mails in a handy overview.

Today’s Unread Mail Search Folder

Another method to keep track of recently received emails is by using my previous tip of creating a “Today’s Unread Mail” Search Folder.

Showing the New Mail Desktop Alert longer than 30 seconds

If you’d like to see the New Mail Desktop Alert longer than 30 seconds and/or also for messages that are delivered to folders other than your Inbox folder see the guide Creating a Permanent New Mail Desktop Alert instead.