New mail notification for IMAP in Outlook 2010

I’m using an IMAP account in Outlook 2010 and ever since I upgraded, I no longer get any new mail alerts (like a sound and the envelope icon). I used to get these alerts when I was using Outlook 2007 or previous.

How can I get new e-mail alerts for IMAP accounts to work in Outlook 2010?

This is indeed a bug in Outlook 2010 when working with IMAP account. At the moment, there is no available fix for this. Once there is, I’ll update this post with a reference to the update.


Until a fix is released, you can create an alert rule as a workaround;

  1. Select the Inbox folder of your IMAP account.
  2. On the Home tab, click on the Rules button and choose Manage Rules & Alerts… .
  3. Click on; New Rule…
  4. Select: “Apply rule on messages I receive” and press the Next button.
  5. Verify that no condition is selected and press Next.
  6. A warning will pop-up stating that this rule will apply to all messages. Press “Yes” to indicate that that is correct.
  7. Select one or more of the following actions;
    • play a sound
      at the bottom, click on “a sound” and browse to
      Windows 7 and Windows Vista: C:\Media\Windows Notify.wav
      Windows XP: C:\Media\Windows XP Notify.wav
    • display a specific message in the New Item Alert window
      at the bottom, click on “a specific message” and type your custom message. For instance;
      New IMAP messages
    • display a Desktop Alert
  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. If needed move the created rule all the way to the top.

Note 1: Displaying the new mail envelope icon via a rule is not possible. To create a permanent alert, select the action; display a specific message in the New Item Alert window. Another way to create a permanent alert is to configure the New Mail Desktop Alert to stay longer than 30 seconds.

Note 2: Another method to keep track of recently received emails is by using my previous tip of creating a “Today’s Unread Mail” Search Folder.

New mail alert rule for IMAP accounts
The final rule creation dialog for creating a new mail alert for IMAP accounts.

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