Set or remove reminders

Let Outlook be your personal alarm clock. Set reminders to let you know when a meeting or appointment is coming up. You can also use reminders for a variety of other to-do items, such as devoting time to an email or task.

Note: If you aren’t actively working in Outlook, the reminder box appears behind the program that you are using so you don't lose focus on your work. Instead, watch for the Outlook icon flashing in the taskbar and listen for a reminder sound. If you work in a loud area, try turning up your speaker volume or changing the reminder sound to something unique.

Add or remove reminders for appointments

Set reminders for all new appointments or meetings

  1. Click File > Options > Calendar.

  2. Under Calendar options, select or clear Default reminders.

    Set the Default reminders
    Set the default reminders for new calendar items.

Set a reminder for an existing appointment or meeting

  1. At the bottom of the screen, click Calendar.

    Outlook 2016 Calendar Navigation

  2. Open the appointment or meeting.

    Notes:  If the Open Recurring Item dialog box appears, do one of the following:

    • To set the reminder for just one appointment or meeting in a series, select Just this one.

    • To set the reminder for all the appointments or meetings in a series, select The entire series.

  3. On the Appointment Occurrence or Meeting Occurrence tab, in the Options group, click the Reminder arrow and select how long before the appointment or meeting you want to get a reminder. To turn a reminder off, select None.

    Reminder Options
    Set the default reminders for new calendar items.

    Note:  For all-day events, the default reminder time is 18 hours. You can change the reminder time for each event, but you can’t change the default time for all of them at once.

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Set reminders for email messages

  1. At the bottom of the screen click Mail.

    Outlook 2016 Navigation Mail

  2. Select an email message.

  3. Click Home > Follow Up > Add Reminder.

    Tip:  You can quickly turn email messages into to-do items by right-clicking the Flag Status column in the message list.

  4. In the Custom dialog box, check or uncheck Reminder.

Set reminders for tasks

  1. At the bottom of the screen, click Tasks.

    Outlook 2016 Navigation Tasks

  2. To view the tasks, click Home >To-Do List.

    Click To-Do List

  3. Click a task in the list.

  4. Do one of the following:

    • To add a task reminder to your To-Do list, in the Follow-up group, choose a time frame to meet your deadline.

    • To remove a task reminder from your To-Do list, in the Manage Task group, click Remove from List.

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Note: If you aren’t actively working in Outlook, the reminder box appears behind the program that you are using so you don't lose focus on your work. Instead, watch for the Outlook icon flashing in the taskbar and listen for a reminder sound. If you work in a loud area, try turning up your speaker volume or changing the reminder sound to something unique.

Calendar appointments and meetings

For all new appointments or meetings

  1. Click File > Options > Calendar.

  2. To turn default reminders on or off for all new appointments or meetings, under Calendar options, select or clear the Default reminders check box.

  3. If you select the check box, enter how long before the appointment or meeting when you want the reminder to appear.

For existing appointments or meetings

  1. Open the appointment or meeting.

    Note: If the Open Recurring Item dialog box appears, click Open this occurrence or Open the series, and then click OK.

  2. On the Appointment tab, in the Options group, in the Reminder drop-down list, select how long before the appointment or meeting when you want the reminder to appear. To turn a reminder off, select None.

Note: For all-day events, the default reminder time is 18 hours in advance. Although you can't change the default for all of the all-day events that you create, you can change the reminder time on each appointment.

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Email messages, contacts, and tasks

  1. On the Home tab, in the Tags group, click Follow Up, and then click Add Reminder.

    Add a reminder command on the ribbon

    Tip: You can quickly flag email messages as to-do items by using reminders. Right-click the Flag Status column in the message list. Or if you have the message open, on the Message tab, in the Tracking group, click Follow Up, and then click Add Reminder.

  2. In the Custom dialog box, select or clear the Reminder check box. If you select the check box, enter the date and time when you want the reminder to appear.

  3. Click OK.

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Let Outlook be your personal alarm clock. Set reminders to let you know when a meeting or appointment is coming up. You can also use reminders for a variety of other to-do items, such as devoting time to an email or task.

Calendar appointments and meetings

For all new appointments or meetings

  1. On the Tools menu which is on the menu bar at the top of the Outlook main screen—the one that shows all your mail—click Options. Note that you won't see the Tools menu if you're in an email message.

  2. To have a reminder automatically turned on or off for new appointments or meetings, on the Preferences tab, in the Calendar group, select or clear the Default reminder check box.

  3. If you select the check box, enter the amount of time before the appointment or meeting when you want the reminder to appear.

For existing appointments or meetings

  1. Open the appointment or meeting.

    Note: If the Open Recurring Item dialog box is displayed, you must decide whether to change the reminder for the occurrence that you opened or for the entire series. Click either Open this occurrence or Open the series, and then click OK.

  2. On the Appointment tab, in the Options group, in the Reminder list, select the amount of time before the appointment or meeting when you want the reminder to appear. To turn off a reminder, select None.

    Note: For all-day events, the default reminder time is 18 hours in advance. Although you can't change the default for all of the all-day events you create, you can change the reminder time individually on each appointment.

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Email messages, contacts, and tasks

  1. To set or remove reminders, select the email message, contact, or task.

  2. On the Standard toolbar, click Button image Follow Up, and then click Add Reminder.

    Tip: You can quickly flag email messages as to-do items by using reminders. Right-click the Flag Status column in the message list. Or if you have the message open, on the Message tab, in the Tracking group, click Button image Follow Up, and then click Add Reminder.

  3. In the Custom dialog box, select or clear the Reminder check box. If you select the check box, enter the date and time when you want the reminder to appear.

    Flag for Specific Date dialog box

  4. Tip: If Outlook is closed, reminders won’t pop up on the screen. Outlook has to be kept open or minimized to your taskbar.

    Click OK.

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