Outlook's envelope notification

26th March 2008 – 2.34 pm

A little while back I received an e-mail at work that I didn't care to read right away, but also didn't want to delete. However, I wanted to reset the new mail envelope notification in the systray so that I would be aware of further new mail when it arrived. I could have opened and closed the new e-mail, marking it then as unread, but that seemed kludgy. Instead I right-clicked on the systray envelope and selected 'hide' from the menu that came up.

Oh, silly mistake. It didn't hide that instance of the notification, it hid the notification completely. I then couldn't find a way to get it back, reducing the utility of e-mail by having to check whether I got new e-mail manually, which wasted time too often. I tried looking in as many options within Outlook as I could, with the only success being finding a way to display a notification on the desktop. As this desktop notification was brief it relied on my being at my computer to know if any e-mail arrived, which didn't help when coming back from getting a drink, going to the toilet, or working for however long in the lab.

I imagine it was my unfamiliarity with Windows terminology coupled with not knowing where or what option to look for that stymied my efforts in getting the envelope notification back. But don't ask me why I didn't simply hit the search engines to find the answer. Maybe it was just my being stubborn, refusing to accept that I didn't know my way around a Windows box, but it was pretty dumb in retrospect. A quick search, and a couple of refinements to the original terms, brought up a result that details how to get the new mail envelope notification to display again. In a burst of common sense I even sent myself a test e-mail to test that the option is once again on, instead of waiting for it to show or not, and this let me also see that I needed to change the option for it to be 'always shown' instead of hidden. Arr, it's working again. Splendid!

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