Outlook Tip: Bring Back the Reminder Bell in Calendar

In Outlook 2003 if you set up appointments in the Calendar, you’d get a reminder and bell a bell icon displayed by default. Here’s a tip on getting it back.

Remember back in Outlook 2003, when you had a scheduled appointment in your calendar, a reminder bell icon would be displayed and flash when it was time for your meeting? Well, Microsoft hasn’t had the bell enabled by default for several versions. Here’s how to get it back and get that “old school” feel back in Outlook 2010 and 2013.

Bring Back the Reminder Bell in Calendar

Outlook 2003

A reminder in Outlook 2003 would also pop up notifying you of the appointment by default.

XP Bell Reminder

You still will get a reminder pop-up when a meeting is ready in 2010 and 20013, but the bell icon doesn’t display on the Calendar.

Reminder Pop Up

Turn on the Calendar Reminder Bell

In either 2010 or 2013 go to File > Options > Calendar. Then scroll down to the Calendar Options section and check the box “Show bell icon on the calendar for appointments and meetings with reminders,” then remember to click OK to save the setting.

calendar options

There you go! Now when you get a reminder from your calendar, you’ll see the familiar bell icon.

Bell icon for Reminders Week View

If you have an appointment-laden busy Outlook calendar, the bell icon helps you keep things organized at a glance.

Also, make sure to check out how to enable the Calendar Reminder sounds if those help you out too.



  1. Ziggy

    Thanks Brian. Just what i was looking for. Three Golden Dongs for a timely article such as this. Keep up the great work…

    • Brian Burgess

      Thanks Ziggy! Yeah, sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference. In fact, I want to write an in-depth article on how to make Outlook 2013 more like 2003 or 2007 and could use your input if you have any?

      What bugs you about the new versions? Outlook — 2010 or 2013 that you miss from years of using 2003?

      Not a whole lot can be done about the Ribbon other than hide it. There are some utilities that will give you a menu bar more like 2003 — anyway, if you or of our readers have suggestions, please leave a comment or send me a direct email.

  2. Ziggy

    Brian/readers, you might want to check out this site for an interactive guide to Microsoft products:

    • Brian Burgess

      Nice find Ziggy! There’s a lot of cool Office learning resources on MS sites, but a lot of times they are too basic, OR too complicated — like the stuff on MSDN or TechNet.

      Which is fine with us…keeps gP in business :)

      I will definitely check these out though, thanks man!

  3. Eyal Yarkony

    Thank you so much!
    so simple, yet so needed and so well putted here.

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