9 ways to fix Outlook notifications not working

Outlook is an email client that is part of Microsoft’s Digital ecosystem. So Outlook is very handy for users due to its many features and ability to seamlessly integrate with other applications in the Digital ecosystem.

In addition, Outlook’s smart notification system notifies you of important emails sent to your Focused Inbox, helping you avoid all spam or less-priority emails.

This notification feature is extremely useful, especially if you want to avoid any distractions. However, from time to time users will encounter the problem of not receiving any email notifications from the Outlook desktop application causing them to miss important emails.

This article will show you 9 ways to fix when your Microsoft Outlook notifications are not working on Windows 10 or macOS!

Note: The steps in this guide work only on the Microsoft Outlook app or the website accessible through macOS or a Windows 10 PC.

outlook notifications not working

1. Restart the PC

If found out that you have received an email in Outlook, but have not received any notifications from Outlook. This problem could be caused by a faulty network connection.

You just need to restart the computer to fix this. Although this is quite simple, it can help you quickly fix the errors of the functions and save a lot of time.

Steps to restart your PC, depending on the operating system:

a) For Windows

  • First, click on the Windows icon in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  • From the Start menu, click the Power button.
  • Finally, select Restart.
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b) For macOS

  • The easiest way to restart your PC is to tap the Apple Menu, located in the top left corner of the screen.
  • Then, select Restart from the drop-down menu.
  • Click Restart when you receive the question “Are you sure you want to restart?”.
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2. Configure Notification Settings in Outlook App

When having issues with Outlook’s notification functionality, the first place you should check is Notification Settings in the Outlook app. Outlook offers a large number of settings to allow users to customize how email is managed. Therefore, the average user may find it a bit difficult to use with a maze of menus and submenus.

You can follow these steps to configure Outlook Desktop Notification Settings:

  • Open Outlook on your computer.
  • Click File in the upper left.
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  • Then select Options.
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  • In the pop-up window on the left side of the screen, select Mail.
  • Make sure Play a Sound and Display a Desktop Alert are checked.
  • Finally, click OK.
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3. Enable Notification Settings on PC

Another cause of Outlook notifications not working or not showing on PC is that notifications for Outlook have been disabled on the PC’s settings system. In this case, all push notifications sent by Outlook will be blocked by the PC’s push notification system due to misconfigured settings.

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You need to check the notification settings on your computer by following the steps below:

a) For Windows

  • Open the Settings app by typing “Settings” in the search bar at the bottom left corner of the screen and tapping Open.
  • Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut Windows key + i
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  • Next, select System.
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  • Go to Notifications and Actions in the left menu. Here, make sure that the Get notifications from apps and other senders option are enabled.
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  • Scroll down to the Get notifications from these senders section, find Outlook in the list of apps, and toggle the switch next to it.
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  • Finally, make sure the Notifications button is enabled for Outlook and that the appropriate notification settings such as Show notification banners, Show notifications in action center, and Play a sound when a notification arrives are also enabled.
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b) For macOS

  • Tap the apple icon in the upper left corner of the menu bar.
  • Select System Preferences.
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  • Then select Notifications.
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  • Select Outlook from the list of applications in the left column of the window.
  • Finally, make sure that the Allow Notifications from Outlook option is enabled. You can also check out additional options for notifications for further customization.
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4. Turn off Focus Assist mode

Focus Assist (also known as a quiet hour) is the new name for the Do Not Disturb feature on Windows 10. It automatically turns on to hide incoming notifications for users when they want to focus on a specific task like playing a game. , presentations, etc., or use in full-screen mode.

Here’s how to check and disable the “Do Not Disturb” feature on Windows 10 or macOS:

a) For Windows 10

You can open Action Center on the taskbar to check if the Focus Assist feature is enabled:

  • Tap the chat bubble icon in the lower right corner of the taskbar.
  • Select Expand.
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  • Make sure Focus Assist is turned off. (i.e. not highlighted in blue)
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  • You can further customize the Focus Assist feature by right-clicking Focus Assist and selecting Go to Settings.
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  • In the Settings section, make sure the Go to Settings feature is Off.
  • Also, you should choose to Show me a summary at the bottom of the menu.
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b) For macOS

Just like Windows, the Focus Assist feature on macOS is a Do Not Disturb feature, which you can access by following these steps:

  • Tap the apple icon in the upper left corner of the menu bar.
  • Select System Preferences.
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  • Next, select Notifications.
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  • Click Do Not Disturb.
  • Finally, make sure Do Not Disturb mode is turned off.
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5. Turn off battery saver mode (Battery saver)

Similar to Focus Assist, Battery saver is also a feature of Windows 10, this feature is most commonly found on laptops. You need to be careful when opening Battery saver mode as it can interfere and cause Outlook app notifications to not work.

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For desktop users, Battery saver mode may have been disabled or grayed out in the Action Center section.

This feature is mainly used to save power or battery usage on laptops by dimming the screen and reducing Resource usage of background apps. Therefore, you will not receive notifications if the Battery saver is enabled.

Steps to turn off Battery saver mode on PC:

a) For Windows

Battery saver mode will automatically activate by default when the laptop is running low on battery. You can try plugging in the laptop to charge it and the feature will be disabled.

Alternatively, you can check if Battery saver is enabled via Action Center:

  • Tap the chat bubble icon in the lower right corner of the taskbar.
  • Select Expand.
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  • Finally, make sure the Battery saver is turned off. (i.e. not highlighted in blue)
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b) For macOS

  • Tap the apple icon on the Apple menu.
  • Select System Preferences.
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  • Then tap on Battery or Energy Saver.
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  • In the configuration menu, you can choose between different sets of options depending on whether your Mac is plugged in or not.

6. Update Microsoft Office Applications

When using an outdated version of Outlook, its features will be broken and not work. It is recommended that you check and update Outlook to the latest version to effectively fix the problem.

Steps to update Microsoft Office Apps with Outlook:

  • Open the Outlook application.
  • Next, click File.
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  • Select Office Account in the bottom left column of the menu.
  • Finally, click Update Options and select Update Now to start downloading updates for Microsoft Office applications.
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7. Move Important Emails to Focused Inbox

The Focused Inbox feature in the Outlook app helps users organize the amount of emails in their inbox by placing important emails in the Focused Inbox and placing less important emails in the Other inbox.

Therefore, the Focused Inbox feature determines the priority of emails by analyzing user responses to received emails. If there are too many unread emails, emails from incoming senders may automatically go to Other inboxes. This can be troublesome for some users as important emails can also be routed to Other inboxes.

If you don’t receive notifications of new emails from someone, you should make sure emails from that sender are routed to the Focused Inbox.

How to check Focused Inbox and Other inboxes:

  • Open the Outlook desktop application.
  • On the top tab, select View.
  • In Focused Inbox, always enable Show Focused Inbox.
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  • Finally, you can switch between Focused Inbox and Other inboxes via the tabs at the top of the second column.
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How to move Other inbox emails to Focused Inbox:

  • Click the Other tab at the top of the second column.
  • Select the email you want to move to Focused Inbox
  • Then right-click on that email, and select Always Move to Focused so all emails from the sender will be placed in the Focused Inbox
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8. Enable Outlook Notifications on Web Browser

You can turn on notifications for the web browser version of Outlook and receive notifications from the browser instead.

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There is a downside to this method that you cannot receive notifications if the browser is not running. Therefore, you need to open your browser and let it run in the background to use this method.

Steps to enable Outlook notifications in the browser:

  • Open the browser app for Outlook by going to outlook.office365.com.
  • In the top right corner of the web page, click the gear icon ⚙️ to bring up the Settings section.
  • Turn on Desktop Notifications.
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  • Next, you need to enable notifications from Browser settings.

For newbies, right after enabling Desktop Notifications, the browser may prompt the Outlook website to want to “Show Notifications”. Here, tap Allow. Additionally, you must enable access to the Outlook website to send browser notifications.

Here are the steps to enable access on different web browsers:

a) For Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge

  • Tap the Lock icon to the left of the website address.
  • Next, select Site Settings.
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  • Select Permissions for this site.
  • From the list of site settings, select Notifications and set it to Allow.
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b) For Mozilla Firefox

  • First, click on the Hamburger menu icon (三) in the upper right corner of the browser.
  • Click Options.
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  • Then, from the left column, click Privacy and Security.
  • Scroll down to the Permissions section and tap Notifications’ Settings.
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c) For Safari (macOS)

  • Launch Safari browser.
  • Select Safari from the menu bar and select Preferences from the drop-down menu.
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  • Then switch to the Websites tab when the options window opens.
  • Select Notifications from the left panel.
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  • Change the notification permission for Outlook to Allow.
  • Tick ​​the option – Allow websites to ask for permission to send notifications.

9. Use Outlook Rules to Create Custom Messages

Outlook rules is a powerful feature that offers huge customization potential for users. It allows users to create rules that regulate how different emails should be classified.

You can use the Outlook rules feature to specify a special notification sound for incoming emails

Steps to configure Outlook rules:

  • Open Outlook on Desktop.
  • Next, click on Rules and select Create Rule
  • outlook notifications
  • For notification function, not working problem, you just need to tick the 2 options Send to me only and Play a selected sound.
  • Finally, click OK to create the rule.
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Once the rule has been added, a notification sound will be played whenever there is a new email.


Hopefully the 9 solutions listed in this article will help you fix the problem of Outlook notifications not working on Windows 10 or macOS devices, you never have to miss an important email again.

Also, you should test your Outlook email notifications after doing the above methods by setting up a fake email account that sends emails to you to check if notifications for messages are pushed correctly.

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I am Omotunmihse Temitope (Xander), A Contents Writer, Web and Graphic designer, and A pro blogger who has a passion for blogging and has taken blogging as part of my daily activities.