Envelope Missing in Notification Area

New Unread Email buttonMissing little things can be a big pain as well; like missing the new mail envelope in the Notification Area (also known as the System Tray).

This guide explains when to expect an envelope and what to do if it does not show.


When should the envelope show itself?

The behavior of the new mail envelope has changed a bit in the last couple of versions of Outlook. Below you’ll find an overview of when you can expect the new mail envelope to be shown in the Notification Area.

  • Outlook XP/2002 or previous
    The envelope should show for every message that comes in; even when moved by a rule.
  • Outlook 2003
    The envelope will show for messages that are delivered to the default Inbox only. When a message is caught by the Junk E-mail filter or moved by a rule, the envelope icon is not shown.
  • Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010, Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2016
    The envelope will show for messages that are delivered to the default Inbox for each account. When a message is caught by the Junk E-mail filter or moved by a rule, the envelope icon is not shown. The icon is also not shown for additional mailboxes which have been configured from a single Exchange account.

Note:
For manual Send/Receive actions and the first Send/Receive action after starting Outlook, the envelope icon is often not shown either.

 

Tip!
If you want a new mail alert for messages that have been moved by a rule, you can create a New Mail Alert rule.

Make sure the option is still selected

If the envelope icon is not shown when you expected it to be shown, the first thing is to check if the option is still enabled;

  • Outlook 2007 and previous
    Tools-> Options…-> tab Preferences-> button E-mail Options…-> button Advanced E-mail Options…-> option: Show an envelope in the notification area
  • Outlook 2010, Outlook 2013 and Outlook 2016
    File-> Options-> section Mail-> option group: Message arrival-> option: Show an envelope icon in the taskbar

Note:
A common cause of how this option can become disabled is when you have previously right-clicked on the envelope icon in the Notification Area and then selected: Hide Envelope.

The proper way to temporarily hide the envelope is to mark a message as read in Outlook or to select an already read message and press CTRL+ENTER

Hide envelope
Hiding the envelope via a right click disables the option entirely.

Make sure the envelope isn’t hidden in the Notification Area

Since Windows XP, unused and inactive icons in the Notification Area are automatically hidden. In Windows 7 and later, this hiding occurs a lot faster than in Windows XP and Windows Vista.

To view hidden icons, you can either expand the Notification Area to see the unused icons or configure the Notification Area to always show the envelope.

Customize your notifications in Windows 7
Customize your notifications in Windows 7

Windows XP
To customize the Notification area icon in Windows XP use;

  1. Start-> Control Panel-> Taskbar and Start Menu-> button Customize…
  2. Find the envelope icon and click on the dropdown list and configure it from “Hide when inactive” to “Always show”
  3. Press OK twice to close the open windows.

Windows Vista
To customize the Notification area icon in Windows Vista use;

  1. Start-> Control Panel-> Appearance and Personalization-> Taskbar and Start Menu-> tab Notification Area-> button Customize…
  2. Find the envelope and click on the dropdown list and configure it from “Hide when inactive” to “Show”
  3. Press OK twice to close the open windows.

Windows 7
To customize the Notification area icon in Windows 7 use;

  1. Start-> Control Panel-> Appearance and Personalization-> Taskbar and Start Menu-> button Customize…
  2. Find the envelope and click on the dropdown list and configure it from “Only show notifications” to “Show icon and notifications”
  3. Press OK twice to close the open windows.

Windows 8
To customize the Notification area icon in Windows 8 use;

  1. Right click on the Start Menu button-> Control Panel-> Appearance and Personalization-> Taskbar and Navigation-> button Customize…
  2. Find the envelope and click on the dropdown list and configure it from “Only show notifications” to “Show icon and notifications”
  3. Press OK twice to close the open windows.

Windows 10
To customize the Notification area icon in Windows 10 use;

  1. Start-> Personalization-> Taskbar-> Select which icons appear on the taskbar
  2. Locate the entry for Microsoft Outlook that has the envelope icon.
  3. Click on the “Off”  toggle button to set it to “On” so that the icon won’t get hidden automatically anymore.

Select which icons appear on the taksbar - Microsoft Outlook - You have new unread email messages - On
Set the Taskbar to always the New Mail Envelope in the Notification Area.

Note:
When using Outlook 2010 or later on Windows 7 or later, the icon is also shown on the Outlook icon itself unless you’ve set your Windows Taskbar to show small icons. This acts independently from the Notification Area setting.

Outlook 2010 icon on Windows 7New mail Outlook 2010 icon on Windows 7Small Outlook 2010 icon on Windows 7
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