Customize Outlook's default appointment reminder

By default, Outlook reminds you of appointments 15 minutes before the fact. You can change that warning time to suit your own schedule (or turn it off altogether).

When you create a new appointment using Outlook's calendar, Outlook sets a 15-minute reminder by default. As you might expect, 15 minutes before the appointment is due to start, Outlook displays a reminder -- popup style. If you attach a sound to the reminder, Outlook will sound the alarm 15 minutes before the appointment. Reminders are a convenient and easy way to stay on track. If a 15-minute reminder prior to the start of the event isn't enough time (or it's too much time), you can change the reminder when you create the appointment. Simply use the Reminder drop-down list to change the default time of 15 minutes. Changing the reminder time isn't a big deal unless you have to do it every single time you create an appointment. If you find yourself changing the reminder time a lot, change the default instead:

  1. From the Tools menu, choose Options
  2. Click the Preferences tab.
  3. In the Calendar section, select a new time from the Default Reminder drop-down list. You can enter a custom time; just be sure to identify it as minutes, hours, days, or weeks.
  4. Click OK.
When you create new appointments, the reminder time will reflect the default you chose in the Options dialog box. You can also disable the default reminder. Simply uncheck it (step 3). Once the option is disabled, Outlook will disable it in the appointment window, too. By all means, use the appointment reminder feature if you find it helpful -- but don't work around the default setting. Configure the default setting that's most convenient and efficient for you!