Outlook Tips--Customizing the Envelope System Tray Icon

Can I create a rule in the Rules Wizard that turns on the envelope system tray icon only when I receive "real" mail, not junk mail or discussion-list items?

Many people depend on the envelope icon that Outlook displays in the Windows system tray to tell them whether they have new mail. When a certain percentage of the incoming items are junk mail, discussion-list items moved by a rule to a special folder, or—in a non—Exchange environment—Net Folders messages, it can be frustrating to see the icon and yet find no legitimate messages in your Inbox.

Outlook provides no way to control which messages trigger the icon. Even if you apply a rule to mark messages as read when you receive them, the icon still appears.

Outlook 2002 addresses this nuisance by letting you turn off the system tray icon completely. Choose Tools, Options, E-mail Options, Advanced E-mail Options and clear the Show an envelope icon in the system tray check box. You can then use the Rules Wizard to design your new mail notifications by using the notify me with a specific message or play a sound actions so that you receive a notification only for mail that you're interested in.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.