Software

Customize Outlook's incoming mail sound

Outlook gets noisy when you've got new mail. If you don't like the sound Windows uses to alert you to new mail, change it!

Outlook uses the Windows XP Notify.wav file (the name will vary a bit depending on which version of Windows you're running) when you've got new mail. It sounds a bit like a dull doorbell. There's nothing wrong with it, but you can change the sound Outlook uses when you have new mail. To do so:

  1. From the Start menu, select Control Panel (using Windows XP Classic View).
  2. Double-click Sounds And Audio Devices.
  3. Click the Sounds tab.
  4. Highlight New Mail Notification in the Program Events list and Windows will display the current sound file. (If the current file isn't Windows XP Notify.wav, someone else has already changed it.)

  1. Select a file from the Sounds drop-down list. Or click Browse to find more sound files not currently in the list.
  2. Click the right triangle to test the file.
  3. When you find a sound file you like, click OK and close the Control Panel window.

If Outlook doesn't make a sound when new mail arrives, there are a few things you can check:

  • First, make sure your speakers are connected and turned on.
  • Check the system's volume by opening Sounds And Audio Devices in the Control Panel and clicking the Volume tab.
  • In Outlook 2003, choose Options from the Tools menu and click the Preferences tab. Click the E-mail Options button in the E-mail section. Then, click Advanced E-mail Options at the bottom of the Message Handling Section. Make sure Play A Sound is checked in the When New Items Arrive In My Inbox section and click OK three times to return to Outlook.

About Susan Harkins

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

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