Disable Outlook E-mail Alerts

Outlook's e-mail alerts -- known as "toast" because of the way they pop up to let you know you have new e-mail -- is actually pretty handy. It lets you keep an eye on incoming mail without actually leaving the primary task you're doing. As long as you don't think that multitasking is a terrible idea, you probably like seeing this Outlook toast.

But there are times it would be nice to disable these notifications without quitting Outlook entirely, such as when you're projecting a presentation and don't want your e-mail appearing onscreen for all to see.

Or, I suppose, you might want to kill these alerts permanently -- particularly if you really do prefer to single-task. Here's how:
  • Click the Office button (if you have Outlook 2007) or File (Outlook 2010) and choose Options.
  • Click the Mail tab and then clear the checkbox for Display a Desktop Alert.
  • Click OK, and you won't be subjected to Outlook e-mail toast again (unless you turn it back on).