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How to make the Outlook 2007 reminder pop-up appear in the foreground

    Question

  • We are migrating from Windows XP and Office 2003 to Windows 7 and Office 2007. One of the complaints from our pilot users is that the Outlook reminder pop-up displays under/behind other application windows. Is there a way to modify this behavior so the Outlook reminder pop-up appears in the foreground?

    Thursday, December 17, 2009 8:43 PM

Answers

  • Opened a case with Microsoft on this one, and here is the official response:

    "After consulting and performing further investigation, we confirm that it was the intended design of Outlook 2007 that the Outlook reminders do not interrupt an application which has focus. Instead, reminders will only flash in the taskbar and produce the reminder sound.

    For many the taskbar changes in Windows 7 for the reminders are not enough to grab the user's attention to the new reminder, especially if sound is not enabled on the user's computer. Often appointments are missed due to the overlooked reminder.

    Microsoft has noticed this issue and the similar cases are already recorded in the database. Please rest assured that I will forward this request of making the Outlook reminder appear in the foreground to the appropriate development and usability experts for the purpose of improving user experience in the future. We strive to capture any and all product feedback so as to ensure that we are continuously developing Microsoft products to meet and satisfy the needs of as many customers as possible."

    • Marked as answer by jeff5000 Tuesday, December 22, 2009 6:44 PM
    Tuesday, December 22, 2009 6:44 PM

All replies

  • Opened a case with Microsoft on this one, and here is the official response:

    "After consulting and performing further investigation, we confirm that it was the intended design of Outlook 2007 that the Outlook reminders do not interrupt an application which has focus. Instead, reminders will only flash in the taskbar and produce the reminder sound.

    For many the taskbar changes in Windows 7 for the reminders are not enough to grab the user's attention to the new reminder, especially if sound is not enabled on the user's computer. Often appointments are missed due to the overlooked reminder.

    Microsoft has noticed this issue and the similar cases are already recorded in the database. Please rest assured that I will forward this request of making the Outlook reminder appear in the foreground to the appropriate development and usability experts for the purpose of improving user experience in the future. We strive to capture any and all product feedback so as to ensure that we are continuously developing Microsoft products to meet and satisfy the needs of as many customers as possible."

    • Marked as answer by jeff5000 Tuesday, December 22, 2009 6:44 PM
    Tuesday, December 22, 2009 6:44 PM
  • Thanks Jeff, I thought I was missing something.

    I'm not sure what/who they used for their usability studies, but the whole point of a reminder is to "interrupt" and draw your attention to that important meeting which is coming up.  When I'm working on my computer, I live and die by my calendar, this is an essential feature.

    I really hope they fix this very soon!  So far this has been my only major complaint with Windows 7, other than that I've been fairly happy with the upgrade.
    Tuesday, January 19, 2010 2:35 PM
  • This has been the single largest complaint when rolling out Windows 7 to our users. Many things "pop-under" including the security elevation dialog. If you don't pay attention to the taskbar, it can cause a problem. There should be a choice to make alerts more intrusive.
    Friday, January 29, 2010 5:16 PM
  • I do believe it was the right decision to stop Outlook from taking focus from any other application by default, however I think that there should be more control over this reminder.  It would be nice to be able to choose the settings for the reminder.  Example -    "Bring the reminder window to focus only if my meeting is overdue." 

    Or I think this would be very beneficial to have some type of "toast" pop up from the system tray (if enabled) to remind you just like email does now. 

    Since Windows are grouped going from XP to 7 it makes it difficult for users to see that they have a reminder.  Before, even if it were not in focus, Windows XP users would have a 2nd bright orange window that says “ 1 Reminder” in it.   Just some thoughts for Office 2010 SP1, because it is not in Office 2010 Beta. ;)

     

     

     

    Thursday, March 11, 2010 8:16 PM
  • If nothing else, why can't reminders in Outlook be presented as a "toast" message that just happens to hang around until you dismiss/hide it?  It doesn't take focus but is visible on top of other applications.

    Just thinking out loud :-)
    --- Thanks, Jeff (http://devmatter.blogspot.com/)
    Thursday, March 18, 2010 1:33 PM
  • still no fix? i just recently switched to windows 7 at work and need the reminders for mtgs.
    Tuesday, May 11, 2010 7:42 PM
  • Still no fix? I keep almost missing meetings because I have my computer muted.
    Friday, May 14, 2010 6:31 PM
  • I am with you guys on this one - I am new to Windows (since NT, when I switched to Linux) in the corporate scene.  I have been having huge issues with missing meetings because I don't see the reminders.  I have been frantically searching for a way to have the reminders take focus over any showing applications, but MS seems to think this is a dirty deed.

    Has anyone gotten any resolution on this?  I desperately need Outlook 2007's reminders to hit me in the face or else I miss meetings.  I've been toying with the idea of programming my own solution that will kick of a basic control transfer to a USB device - which in turn will rotate a step motor to pull the trigger on a small squirt gun.  Thus, Outlook will squirt me in the face when I have meetings.

    Monday, May 24, 2010 8:00 PM
  • Interesting, why not give the user a choice as to pop up reminders one way or another?  Wouldnt an option be better than just deciding for the buyers of your product?
    Tuesday, June 22, 2010 7:04 PM
  • Agreed - we are having similar problems with Outlook reminders getting missed, Communicator chats not being responded to. The task bar indication is far too subtle especially in a dual screen environment. It needs movement not just a low frequency color change.  The Mac guys got this one right, the icon moves up and down when it wants your attention.
    Friday, July 30, 2010 2:53 PM
  • December 10, 2010.  Is there a fix for this problem yet?  I am missing appointments because my reminders do not pop up, I don't see any flashing icon, and I don't hear any alert tone.   Please help...  and thank you to all.

    Well, I think I found a solution right after I posted this question.  See

    http://www.ehow.com/how_6389912_fix-outlook-reminders.html

    • Proposed as answer by momkat Friday, December 10, 2010 3:53 PM
    Friday, December 10, 2010 3:21 PM
  • That would fix the issue of reminders not working AT ALL. This thread is discussing the fact that they "pop-under", and are not able toget the attention of the operator. We would welcome a fix or setting that would reinstate the "pop-over" behavior.
    Thursday, March 17, 2011 8:51 PM
  • add my vote.

    I WANT to be interrupted!  When i work, i concentrate on what I am doing.

    I keep missing/being late for meetings.

    Wednesday, April 27, 2011 4:21 PM
  • I NEED TO BE INTERRUPTED! I DON'T EVEN KJNOW WHEN I HAVE TO GO TO THE NEXT MEETING!!!!!!!!!!!!! PLEASE ALLOW THE REMINDERS ONLY TO ALWAYS BE IN THE FOREGROUND REGARDLESS OF ANY OTHER APPLICATIONS RUNNING.
    Friday, May 06, 2011 6:30 PM
  • Thanks for clearing this up. I really love most of the features of the newer software, but it would be nice to be able to make reminders really jump at me sometimes -- an easy toggle on off would be ideal.
    Sunday, May 08, 2011 7:33 PM
  • Today, I got a phone call from my boss... "You coming to the meeting?"  AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHH.  This is the second meeting this week I've missed while sitting at my desk and not noticing the hidden reminder.  Microsoft, please fix this issue before you ruin my economy.  I work in an office, not a media center, so my system sound is muted.  I understand why some users want the current behavior.  But I want it to be different and can't get it to work in a way that works for me.  I want the reminders to be system modal, always on top, whatever you want to call it, regardless of any other application running or the minimized/backgrounded state of Outlook.  I'm begging you, for the love of all that is sacred.

    Thanks in advance (I hope).

    Thursday, May 26, 2011 9:14 PM
  • Hi,

    it took me hours to find solution. I use FileBox eXtender (64bit compatible) to force reminder window stay always on top. just install the software, open outlook reminder and click "pin" icon on the top of its window. next time the window opens, it will be on top.

    Tom

     

    • Proposed as answer by Jeff Fischer Wednesday, June 06, 2012 6:32 PM
    Friday, July 15, 2011 11:37 AM
  •  

    RE:  Filebox eXtender that avgtk recommends:

     

    This works great!  Perfect solution and suggestion!  I thank you!

     

    I strongly recommend this for anyone as frustrated as I was.  It works so well in fact, that I just had an appointment reminder pop up on me as I was typing this and it's still up and "in my face" (which is how I want them).

    The link I found for the downloads is here: http://www.hyperionics.com/files/downloads.asp
    Wednesday, August 03, 2011 7:36 PM
  • DeskPins works as well and that is the only thing it does so is simpler to use.

    http://users.forthnet.gr/pat/efotinis/programs/deskpins.html

     


    • Edited by Dklepp Thursday, November 17, 2011 12:12 AM
    Thursday, November 17, 2011 12:11 AM
  • You should really appease your users here. a lot of people are complaining in my organization.

    When i say a lot, i work at a very big organization.

     

    Fix should be:

    Make a check box in options called "ALERT INTERRUPT" (for reminders, tasks, dtop alerts associated with outlook) that is not checked by default (to keep whoever you tested with happy)

    function:

    when checked it makes it focus on top

    when unchecked it works as you have it now by staying out of focus.

     

    Real world functionality comes down to this, a reminder should be in your face, so should any alert that is set up by the user, to be honest, that is why they set it up to remind them, not stay in the shadows. 

    But you should give the choice and let your users find it. This move was quite odd and definitely not enterprise like. 

    ____

    Same with taking away select all by default, I can't tell you how many people are complaining about that one, and once we found it, it's a button now and the keyboard shortcuts dont work. who is smoke'n what on that one?

    • Proposed as answer by quaid12345 Thursday, December 29, 2011 7:07 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by David Wolters Friday, December 30, 2011 3:45 PM
    Thursday, December 29, 2011 7:05 PM
  • deskpins does NOT work as expected.
    I recommend growl, this works much better.

    http://www.growlforwindows.com/gfw/default.aspx

    http://www.growlforwindows.com/gfw/plugins/outlook

    TD

    • Edited by tdidymas Thursday, January 05, 2012 8:50 PM
    Thursday, January 05, 2012 8:23 PM
  • This ehow link is only a solution for reminders disabled.  It is not a solution for the problem with Win7/Outlook2007 that reminders come up underneath Outlook windows (instead of on top), and you have to search for it.  Haven't found a solution yet.

     

    Thursday, January 05, 2012 8:36 PM
  • Filebox Extender does NOT work as expected.
    I recommend growl, this works much better.
    Thursday, January 05, 2012 8:58 PM
  • It doesn't look as if Growl is compatible with Office 2010 yet :(

     

    Friday, January 06, 2012 2:35 PM
  • The irony is that every application that I don't want to pop up does and the one that I absolutely want to pop up always, doesn't.

    File extender worked for me.

    Wednesday, June 06, 2012 6:20 PM
  • The irony is that every application that I don't want to pop up does and the one that I absolutely want to pop up always, doesn't.

    Precisely! And, completely aggravating. There is no option, and no plan for an option, for notification icons to be "icon only" because "that's the design of the notification area" (per Microsoft) while at the same time, the popup reminder for meetings doesn't pop up... again, same answer "it's by design". At this point, I have to call BS because the design is "by design" doing two completely opposite things, and above all this - the design should include ways for the user to customise!! !!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

    Tuesday, November 06, 2012 4:33 PM
  • We are on Outlook 2010 and having exact same issue with reminders not popping up. Driving us crazy as people keep missing appointments at work.

    We found an addin called ShowReminders that seems to solve this problem by bringing the reminder window on top of the other windows. We are testing it out at our company. Here is the URL: http://www.sagelamp.com/Pages/SHowReminders.aspx.


    • Proposed as answer by James.Robbins Tuesday, July 23, 2013 3:05 PM
    Friday, February 22, 2013 4:05 AM
  • Hi Eric,

    Just wanted to let you know that I also downloaded Showreminders. It is working out great for me. The Outlook reminder window is brought to the foreground so I don't miss my reminders!!!!!!! Thanks!!

    Thursday, March 07, 2013 4:56 AM
  • adding myself to the list of extremely frustrated users missing reminders for MY BOSS.  i am an execuitve assistant and i have to rmeind her to go to her meetings, and when i don't, she forgets.  will be checking out the suggested workarounds.  thanks for the help!
    Tuesday, March 12, 2013 8:24 PM
  • James,

    Thanks for letting me know.  We have also decided to buy multiple licenses of Showreminders for our company. 

    -Eric


    Monday, March 18, 2013 3:24 AM
  • Why does Microsoft do this?  Why not allow it to be enabled with checkbox in their myriad of other options, leaving it disabled by default.
    Tuesday, August 27, 2013 2:56 PM
  • I continue to have this same problem.  Have had issues with missed meeting times, and activities because the reminder those not pop up and has no sound.  I like the old version of Outlook so much better.
    Tuesday, September 17, 2013 8:42 PM
  • Add one more vote in favor of Microsoft simply fixing this issue.

    It's mind-boggling to see how many suggestions have been posted to work around a fundamental problem with Outlook, given how easy it would be to fix this.

    As suggested, all Outlook needs is an option to either enable, or disable, reminder windows popping up in the foreground, or not.

    Friday, November 08, 2013 7:32 PM
  • As I read this thread, I wonder  - does anyone use Microsoft products because they want to?  I use them only because I have to, in spite of large quantities of better software out there.  After all the razz-matazz about Microsoft listening to customers, they continue to insist that an incredibly stupid design choice will be perpetuated because THEY KNOW BETTER.  Hint, hint, software developers are the worst possible people to make decisions like this.  I should know, I am one.

    A notification is a notification.  It is important, or you wouldn't need a notification.  Your design choice is tantamount to the tax assessor writing me a notice and storing it under someone's desk.  The reason there are all of these third-party products to fix this is because you guys screwed-up again.   Give people the choice to get their notifications the way they want to.  Has anyone said they like this change?

    Thursday, January 23, 2014 6:55 PM