Calendar Reminders are missing in Outlook 2013

Last reviewed on January 13, 2014   —  10 comments

If keeping up with Outlook’s idiosyncrasies doesn’t drive you batty, you haven’t opened appointment forms using every method available and ticked the All Day Event box off and on to check the reminder settings.

The problem? Opening an appointment by double clicking on the monthly calendar or using click & type creates a new appointment with the reminder turned off. Using the New Appointment command to open an appointment then toggling All Day Event on and off results in 15 minute reminders or 0.5 days reminders.

A lot of users live in the Monthly calendar view. They double click on a date to open a new appointment form, untick All Day Event and create an appointment. While it may not be the most efficient method, it works and a lot of people do it.

Double-click on a date in the month view in older versions of Outlook, and the appointment form opens with an 18 hour reminder. Unticking All Day Event changes the reminder from 18 hours to your default reminder for timed events, then back to 18 hours when you tick All Day Event again. However… this does not work as expected in Outlook 2013. When you open a new appointment form by double clicking on a date in the calendar, the reminder is not set by default for All Day Events. Unticking All Day Event converts the event to an appointment but it does not set a reminder for timed events using this method.

Right click on the monthly calendar and choose New All Day Event (or use New Items > All Day Event), and the reminder is 18 hours. Untick all day event and the reminder is your default for timed events. Tick it again and the reminder is 0.5 days (12 hours). Twelve hours is the new default reminder for all day events, but dang, changing it to 12 hours everywhere would have been nice.

All Day Event

Using the “click & type” feature in Outlook 2010’s monthly view sets a reminder on All Day Events. Using click & type in Outlook 2013’s monthly view does not set a reminder. (Click & Type is the feature where you can type in on a date or time period to create a quick appointment without opening an appointment form.)

Use a macro to set a reminder

You can use this macro to set the reminder. This will cause the All Day Event to use an 18 hour reminder. Unticking All Day Event will keep the default reminder but clicking in All Day Event again will change it to the new all day default of 12 hours.

This macro works on “click & type” as well as double-clicking on a date or using the New button or keyboard shortcut.

To use:

  1. Set macro security to low in File, Options, Trust Center, Macro Security. You can sign the macro using selfcert after you test the macro.
  2. Open the VBA Editor using Alt+F11.
  3. Expand Project1 and double click on ThisOutlookSession.
  4. Copy the code below and paste it in to ThisOutlookSession.
  5. Click in the Application_Startup macro and click the Run button or press F8 to test it without restarting Outlook.

See How to use Outlook’s VBA Editor for screenshots and more information.

Test it by double clicking on a date in month view. This also set the reminder for appointments created using click & type.

Private WithEvents m_Inspectors As Outlook.Inspectors
Private WithEvents m_Inspector As Outlook.Inspector

Private Sub Application_Startup()
  Set m_Inspectors = Application.Inspectors
End Sub

Private Sub m_Inspectors_NewInspector(ByVal Inspector As Outlook.Inspector)
  Set m_Inspector = Inspector
End Sub
Private Sub m_Inspector_Activate()
 If TypeName(m_Inspector.CurrentItem) <> "AppointmentItem" Then
  Exit Sub
 End If
If m_Inspector.CurrentItem.AllDayEvent Then
    m_Inspector.CurrentItem.ReminderSet = True
End If
  Set m_Inspector = Nothing
End Sub

More Information

The macro samples on the pages listed below add, change, or remove reminders when the event is added to the calendar, unlike the macro above that enables the reminder when the new form is opened.

Add a reminder to Birthday Events
How to Remove Reminders on All Day Events
Adding Birthdays and Anniversaries to Outlook’s Calendar

Written by

Diane Poremsky
A Microsoft Outlook Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999, Diane is the author of several books, including Outlook 2013 Absolute Beginners Book. She also created video training CDs and online training classes for Microsoft Outlook. You can find her helping people online in Outlook Forums as well as in the Microsoft Answers and TechNet forums.

Please post long or more complicated questions at Outlookforums.

10 responses to “Calendar Reminders are missing in Outlook 2013”

  1. Susan Masiak

    Hi, Diane --- I'm no expert, but can usually work my way through instructions. I have Hotmail, and now of course Outlook. I want to change the default for my reminders ---- ALL reminders -- to 12 hours. This way, I'll see all the reminders for the day when I open my computer at 6am. My screen doesn't look like the one above --- it's just the calendar. Right clicking on anything brings the screen with stuff like "inspect element". Would very much apprechiate any help.

  2. Neil

    Hi Diane - Thanks for the above work around, but I have an issue with it if you can help. I have completed the steps above even set a SelfCert to it. The procedure works until I click on New Email (or work with emails), I receive an error:

    Run-Time Error "438"
    Object doesn't support this property or method.

    I then get the option to (End, Debug or Help). If I select the Debug the following lines are highlighted in Yellow.

    m_Inspector.CurrentItem) = "AppointmentItem" And _
    m_Inspector.CurrentItem.AllDayEvent Then

    After this the method doesn't work again until I open Outlook again and go straight into Calendars.

    Any help would be appreciated.


  3. Jon

    Diane, your VBA work-around works great, although it has the unfortunate side-effect of bringing up a "Want to save your changes?" dialog if you change your mind and try to close the Event dialog. Any fix for that?

    Also, have you reported this bug to MS? I consider it a bug because creating an "All Day Event" using the ribbon menu already defaults to an 18 hour reminder. The behavior is inconsistent.

  4. Lisa

    Diane, you are a goddess. I haven't tried this yet--will report back if there are any issues, but THANK YOU!!! Can't tell you how much this is appreciated. I posted to you on another thread that the WORST characteristic of MS is that it changes features from version to version. To put it bluntly, this just sucks. They need to keep consistency--adding new features is great, but they HAVE to leave the old options available--or give some custom turnaround so they can be changed by the user thru options. Thank you for this fix.

    1. Lisa

      Hi Again,
      I am not a programmer, but I can usually make my way thru what is being explained.
      First, I set set macro security via File, Options, Trust Center, Trust Center Settings, Macro Settings, to Enable all macros (because I couldn't get the macro window to open so I could paste your macro into it when I clicked something less than this--like digitally signed.)

      Next, when i go into Expand Project1 and double click on ThisOutlookSession.
      Copy the code below and paste it in to ThisOutlookSession.and from this page hit F8,
      the line Private Sub m_Inspector_Activate() becomes highlighted in yellow.
      I hit F8 again, and the program highlights the next line
      If TypeName(m_Inspector.CurrentItem) "AppointmentItem"
      Then I hit F8 again and the program says
      Run-time error '91:
      Object variable or With block variable not set


      Also, just for reference, where do I find Click in the Application_Startup macro?

      And, once I get this to work, what setting should I set for Macro Security> Notification for all digitally signed macros, disable all others? Or another one?

      Thank you.

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