Outlook 2010's New Mail icon

Last reviewed on April 1, 2013

The April 26 2011 update fixes a problem with IMAP accounts where the new mail icon is not visible. Outlook 2010′s April 26, 2011 hotfix

In previous versions of Outlook, there was a “new mail” icon placed in Window’s notification tray, alerting users to new messages. In Outlook 2010 on Windows 7 or Windows 8, an envelope icon is placed in the notification area of the tray as well as on the large icon in the taskbar.

The Outlook icon on the task bar changes if there are new messages. This change is, in part, because of changes to the notification tray itself.

No new mailNew MailSmall taskbar icon
Outlook 2010's taskbar iconOutlook 2010 new mail iconSmall Outlook 2010 icon

When you use the standard “large” icons, you’ll see the New Mail icon, if you use small icons, you won’t get the envelope on the icon.

Note: Outlook 2013′s Taskbar icon also displays the new mail envelope on the large taskbar icon.
New mail icon in Outlook 2013

Notification Area

The new mail envelope is also added to the notification area. However, because many of the icons in the notification tray are hidden, you may not see it.

Task bar new mail envelope in overflow area

You can change the settings so the new mail envelope is always visible in the notification area (system tray).

  1. Click the Customize link in the overflow (or Right click on the Taskbar and choose Properties, then Customize button)
  2. Locate the two Outlook icons – one is for the program and uses the Outlook icon that is displayed in the Taskbar (and in the icon screenshot above).  The second one is the envelope icon.
  3. On the envelope icon’s entry, choose Show icon and notifications from the Behaviours to the right of the icon and program name.

Change notification settings

Desktop Alert

Desktop alert aka "blue toast"

New Mail icon with IMAP accounts

When using the RTM version of Outlook, IMAP accounts do not display a new mail icon. The fix for this is included in Outlook 2010 SP1.

When using IMAP accounts, you’ll get the new mail envelope (when SP1 is installed) but will not see the blue Desktop Alert. This is expected behavior and is unlikely to change in current versions.

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.

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