Disable Annoying Outlook 3 BEEP Notification for High Importance Emails

Ungroup emails in Gmail

If you experience a strange and loud three-beep sound when receiving an urgent email through Outlook, here’s how to fix it.

The mystery began a few weeks ago. I was working away when all of a sudden, my computer (and a few around me) started beeping three times very loudly.  This was not a standard beep. This beep was an extremely loud sound. Apparently, we all received the same email in Outlook, which was marked as High Importance or Urgent. The Mystery, however, was, where did this new notification alert come from?

I began the search in my Outlook rules but quickly discovered that was not it.  I then remembered a new Outlook Add-on which was recently installed that integrated our Cisco Systems Phones/Voicemail with our Outlook client (Outlook 2003 or 2007) called Cisco Unity ViewMail. After some digging, I found it. The ViewMail Add-on for Outlook was the culprit!

So, to disable the annoying three beep notification when your Outlook Client receives a High Importance or Urgent email, follow the simple steps below:

1:   In Microsoft Outlook, click Tools, ViewMail Options

Note: All shots were taken from Vista Enterprise SP1 and Outlook 2007.

Disable ViewMail Email Notification Alert ::

2:   Click Notification Tab, uncheck Play urgent message sound, and click OK.

Disable ViewMail Email Notification Alert ::

All done! You should no longer be hearing those annoying beeps when an urgent email arrives.



  1. Bryce

    Thanks for this. I have been trying to figure this one out for a while. It really hurts your ears when you have headphones plugged into the PC/Laptop and have them on your ears. Notification now turned off.

  2. MrGroove


    Glad the article helped out! Welcome to the site Bryce! Thanks for the comment!

  3. Gene

    Anyway to disable the high importance option all together?

  4. MrGroove

    @ Gene – Welcome to the site!

    If I understand your question correct, there is no “Setting” in Outlook 2003 or 2007 to disable the “High Importance” attribute assigned to emails however, there is a simple way to easily remove the High Importance attribute to emails you receive.

    Simple create a new Outlook Rule – Click – Tools, Rules and Alerts, New Rule.
    From there create a new rule that looks like the following:

    Apply this rule after the message arrives:
    marked as “High Importance”
    mark it as “Normal Importance”

    Hope that helps!

  5. Anthony Lee

    Thanks for the groove now Mr.Groove.

  6. MrGroove

    @Anthony – Your welcome! I’m glad the article helped you out!

  7. Mrq

    Thanks a lot!!! This was really annoying, and MS Help was no help at all…

  8. Suzanne MacArthur

    I have Windows XP with Outlook 2007 where Tools/ViewMail Options is not available.
    The solution for this is configuration is:
    Tools/Options/Preferences Tab/EMail Options…/Message Handling/Advanced Email Options…/When New Items Arrive In My Inbox/Deselect “Play A Sound”.

    Hope this helps.

    • skeptikus

      Cheers Suzanne MacArthur and thks for your tip! ;)

    • Liz

      God Bless you for this tip!! The noise was driving me and my co-worker and my daughter insane!


      • MrGroove

        @Liz – I’m glad I could help your ears and your family :)

  9. flare output

    Thank you thank you thank you! That has annoyed me for so long.

  10. MIVol

    Thanks! I will pass this along.

  11. Johnny

    Thanks m8, that helped :)
    When i heard that loud annoying sound the first time i thought my battery was running low because my Lenovo low-bat alert sounds the same.

  12. Suzanne Brown

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    I was just recently upgraded at work and never had this problem with the previous version of Outlook. I had been searching and searching for the solution through all the menus but just couldn’t seem to find it.

  13. MrGroove

    @Suzanne – Excellent! I’m glad I could help out! Welcome to the site. If anything else drives you crazy, feel free to post your question in our forum –

  14. Carmen

    THANKS!!!! I was beginning to loose my hearing.

  15. Rebecca

    Thanks so much for this – I was able to fix the problem before our local IT guy. My office just got that phone “upgrade” too, which explains why we’d never noticed the sound before.

  16. Kiran

    Thanks for the wonderful tip.
    I used to get some wild stares in office whenever a new mail with High Importance would arrive. I had to act very “technically handicapped” as I couldn’t figure out how to fix this.

  17. MrGroove

    @Carmen – Tell me about it! Before I figured this one out I would jump in my chair almost everytime I received an email marked urgent!

    @Rebecca – Anytime! Welcome to groovyPost!

    @Kiran – Hehehhe… I remember before I found this the entire Office would start beeping anytime a new Urgent email arrived. Drove us ALL crazy!

  18. MicroshaftBlows

    So f’ing annoying!!!

  19. paresh

    Could you please help me on this. I dont see “View Mail Options” in my Outlook. I use Outlook 2003.


  20. KrInc

    In Outlook 2003, choose the Tools menu item.
    Pick Options …
    You will be in the Preferences Tab, click the E-mail Options … button, then the Advanced E-mail Options … button. Then Un-check the Play a sound check-box. You will prob still get a noise for messages marked as Important.

  21. paresh

    Thanks for your comments.

    Is there any way I should get alert message for High importance emails which stays on the desktop till I close it?


    • MrGroove

      @paresh – Hmm… The closest thing you could do would be create an Outlook rule to Display a Desktop Notification Alert when a High Importance emails arrive. You can then adjust how long Desktop Alert Notification rule remains in Outlook by going to:
      1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
      2. On the Preferences tab, click E-mail Options.
      3. Click Advanced E-Mail Options.
      4. Click Desktop Alert Settings.

      I personally DON’T think it’s a good option since if your not at your desk, you might miss the email.

      Another option I would suggest is to Create an Outlook rule to FLAG the email for follow-up when it arrives. You could also setup a Rule to send a TXT Message to your Mobile phone if you wanted.

      Hope that helps. Outlook rules are VERY easy to setup and can be VERY useful. I have at least 20 setup in my inbox to handle my daily activities.

  22. paresh

    Thanks for the reply. The best way it to set the rule to get the dialog box for High importance mail which stays on the desktop until you close it. To do this create blank rule, select “marked as Importance” and set importance level to high and click next and select “display alert message on desktop” and set the alert message you would like to display.


    • MrGroove

      @paresh, Thanks for the reply and very good to know. I actually didn’t realize it until you mentioned it that the Display Alert Message on Desktop will remain on the screen until action is taken. Thanks for the head up!

  23. Justin

    Thanks much, worked perfectly.

    • MrGroove

      @Justin, Excellent! Thanks for the feedback!

  24. Anders

    Yaaaay. Finally, stupid beeping off, set mode /ignore collegues who have a habit of marking their emails as high-importance for the most minor thing.

  25. ds

    This info is nowhere else to be found.
    Beyond groovy. Thanks.

    • MrGroove

      hehehe – Thanks for the feedback. I can’t tell you how many “Thank You” emails I got at worked when I figured out the 3 beep “scare you to death” alert! :)

      • skeptikus

        Two years after and one more THKS plus a HUGE HUG! :D

  26. ThomasZ

    THANKS! This was driving me crazy.

    • MrGroove

      Tell me about it! It would half scare me to death each time the alarm went off!

      Glad it helped you out!

  27. Don

    Thank you! Had my headphones on and nearly fell out of my chair when I got an email today.

  28. brian

    Thank you so much! This beep was deafening, painful, and aggravating when wearing headphones, as many others have stated. Many of us at my work place have been trying to figure out how to disable this with no success. You really should receive some sort of prize for discovering and distributing this information. Kudos!

  29. anne

    Thank you for improving the quality of my work life. That beeping was annoying the bejeezus out of me.

    • MrGroove

      @Anne – LOL I understand totally! I was actually having the same issue at work myself so I get it! Thanks for the feedback and I’m glad I was able to make your life better!

  30. Martin

    Many thanks for this – like you we have just had CISCO phones installed which caused this bleeping to start. After many google searches I found your guide which really helped me and 10 of my colleagues!!!

    • MrGroove

      My pleasure!

      I’m amazing this hasn’t been fixed yet by Cisco. I wrote that article back in 2008 yet it’s still one of my most popular (high page view) tutorial. Glad it helped you and your team!

  31. Adrian

    Thanks a lot man, my HP MobileWorkstation horn was really pisses me off.

  32. Hasu

    Thanks a lot! I thought it’s kind of motherboard issue at first then I figure out it’s high importance meager but couldn’t find settings where I can turn off or change to something more soothing. Now I changed to some more subtle sound.
    ISSUE ON THIS COMMENTS BOARD: I found issue on this comments board as well. you might have noticed that when anyone post their comment, it display twice with 7 hours interval timestamp.

    • MrGroove

      @Hasu – Awesome! Glad it worked out for ya!

      And yeah… thanks for the FYI. It looks like DISQUS screwed up my comments on the blog and duped some of the comments on various posts. Fixing it now. :)

  33. G

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! This saved me a ton of time.

    • MrGroove

      My pleasure. ;)

  34. Dave

    My ears really, really thank you, Groovy!

  35. PEDRO

    For those of you who don’t see the “ViewMail Options”, I’ve discovered an alternative. Go to Program Files>ViewMail

    Delete the “Pager.wav” file and add another wav file into this folder with the same “Pager.wav” name.

    I’ve found that the “Windows Menu Command.wav” file located in c:\windows\media is virtually non noticable. Copy>Paste that wav into the ViewMail folder and renaming it Pager.wav will bring joy to your life!!!

  36. Nick

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I was looking for days.

    • MrGroove

      Excellent! We upgraded our phone system so I didn’t know if people were still having the problem. Appears so! Glad the article pointed you in the right direction!

  37. Dawn

    Suzanne MacArthur is a life saver… they changed up the email at work and it’s been beeping needlessly all week. Freaks me out every time. THANK YOU!

  38. T Hu

    Thanks so much! I was about to lose my mind because everyone started emailing me ‘urgent’ messages and I use headphones plugged into the computer. All fixed now.

  39. SWonger

    Soooo… has anybody figured out why “ViewMail Options” doesn’t show on certain clients? I’m testing ViewMail on my Win XP Pro SP3 desktop with Cisco Unity 7.1.3. Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance.

  40. Representative Slice

    Thanks, good idea! This helps with those people who insist that every email they send is “Important”.

  41. Vivir

    Thank you, thank you! Noise was driving me batty!

  42. DMW

    My ear drums cannot thank you enough. Now, I just have to convince my cubemates to do the same.

    • Steve Krause

      Trust me – I understand :)

      At work about 80 PC’s next to me would start beeping anytime we got that urgent email hehehhe…. Glad to see this article is still helping people!

  43. Liz V

    Does anybody know how to turn off the other annoying beep that I get in my ear bud every time I adjust the volume on my PC? OUCH!!

  44. Joshua Welch

    Thanks my ears were bleeding. With headphones it was horrible.

  45. Denny Huelle

    Thanks for your blog post. A few things i would like to bring about is that computer system memory must be purchased if the computer is unable to cope with anything you do by using it. One can set up two RAM memory boards of 1GB each, in particular, but not certainly one of 1GB and one having 2GB. One should look for the car maker’s documentation for the PC to be certain what type of memory space is essential.

  46. Brian Grover

    How about annoying pop-ups on your website, Steve? How do we disable those? Do you really think I want to join your lame blog?

    • ShockerSH

      Wow, insulting a blog which helps people for no cost free. Well done.

    • Austin Krause

      Hi Brian,

      I’m sorry you feel that way. It’s very annoying to be troubled by pop-ups, particularly ones that show up in-page. Under most circumstances I would also agree with you.

      Hopefully I can reissue some confidence. The pop-up for the mailing list will only appear once regardless of whether you sign up or just exit it. You shouldn’t see it ever again, except in a few circumstances where the site won’t remember you, such as:

      1. You’re browsing in incognito/private mode
      2. You have cookies disabled
      3. You’re on a new browser/device you’ve never visited us with before
      4. You’ve recently deleted your browser’s cookies.

      So the good news is, the pop up automatically disables itself after you’ve seen it once. It’s designed to inform readers that we have a public, Free, newsletter available. There are many users out there that prefer to read their favorite websites via email or RSS (myself included) and many find this to be a convenient feature.

      I hope this alleviates some of your angst Brian, and as always, if you can think of any suggestions please email me! –

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