Outlook is a much bigger and versatile software than just an email client. In fact, it is now called as an information manager, rather than an email client. This is because you can use it for other purposes than just sending and retrieving emails from your email accounts and servers. Such as for contacts management, setting up a schedule in calendar, to-do lists, and even for notes and journaling. Today we are talking about a very crucial feature in the Calendar section of Outlook and that is about reminders.
The thing about setting up appointments and events in your calendar is that they are not of much use unless you have Outlook opened all the time in front of you, or you add reminders to remind you about those upcoming events.
Reminders In Outlook
Today we will see how can you add reminders in Outlook, what kind of reminders you can add, and what you can do once the reminder shows up. But also, we will tackle a very common issue that is also very annoying – reminders keep showing up even after you dismissed or taken action for the event. This happens when there is some kind of internal issue with Outlook, such as corruption of the list of reminders. As with all kinds of information, reminders too are stored somewhere in Outlook. Although, there is no one specific file that you can find inside the Outlook’s Profile directory, there is an internal list that Outlook works with that relates to all the reminders that you have added to the calendar entries.
We will find out about a quick fix about that annoying issue.
But first, how to set up reminders in Outlook:
When you add an event, appointment, or a meeting, you have the option to add a reminder about that particular entry. This is how to do it:
- When you click on add new item and then choose one of the things like events or meetings, you see a new window to compose and customize this event. If you want to add a reminder for an entry that you have already added before, double click on the entry in your Outlook calendar to open it.
- Once the windows for the new entry in calendar is opened up, go to the “Options” section at the top of the ribbon.
- Here you will see multiple options, like: showing it as free, busy, or out of office (mainly for shared calendar), recurrence for the item, time zones, and also reminders.
- Simply click on the reminders drop down list to select how soon do you want Outlook to remind you of this event before it starts.
And that’s it. After choosing the time for the reminder, you can save and close this window.
Few more points you might find useful:
- At the bottom of the dropdown list of the reminders time-window, you see an option to “sound” where you can specify the exact audio to play as a reminder. You can browse for any .mp3 file or .wav file and select it.
- The default reminder is set for 10 minutes before the starting time. Which means every time you add a new appointment or meeting, Outlook is automatically set to remind about it 10 minutes before it starts. You can change this default value by going to “File -> Options -> Calendar” and then inside “calendar options.” You can also turn it off.
How Reminders are Shown to you?
When it is time for the reminder, Outlook will automatically open a new “reminder” dialog box with the specific sound. This reminder dialog box has several options: you can either snooze the reminder for the desire number of minutes before the start of the meeting or dismiss it permanently.
Note that depending on your system’s settings (such as Windows notifications), you might also get notifications in other ways.
Error Where the “dismiss” option doesn’t work and how to solve it!
Due to a unique corruption issue in Outlook, the list of reminders save internally in Outlook can cause issues with the reminders, most commonly as repeated reminders even after you have dismissed them.
There are two ways to fix this problem:
- Either repair the files using SCANPST.exe program offered by default with Outlook. You can find this program inside the installed directory, which is often by default: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office 2016. This location might differ slightly depending on the version of your installed Outlook and on 32/64 bit Windows. Using scanpst.exe will take some time to scan the PST files and fix any corruption if possible.
- If your Calendar is with Microsoft Exchange, the data will be stored in the cached exchange mode called OST file. ScanPST.exe doesn’t apply to OST files. But what you can do is delete or backup your OST file associated with the calendar in question and let Outlook recreate it when it connects to the exchange again. Note that whatever data was in your OST files will be re-downloaded again, including mails and contacts if any.
- Use “cleanreminders” command to reset the reminders. This is the best and quickest way to solve the issue of reminders that keep showing up even after you have dismissed them. If there was corrupt files in the profile that damaged more than just internal reminders, you will have to try the 1st or 2nd step outlined above to completely fix the corruption. But if the issue was only with the list of reminders, the command “cleanreminders” is the most convenient way to get rid of the problem.
The way to use this command is to either add “-cleanreminders” (with the hyphen and without the quotes) in the location path of the Outlook shortcut from which you launch Outlook, as shown below in the screenshot.
The another way you can execute the “clean reminders” command is by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard or clicking on “Start” Windows button and then typing – outlook.exe /cleanreminders, as shown in the screenshot below:
Opening Outlook with this command will automatically and instantly clean and reset the reminders, which will likely fix the recurring issue of seeing the reminders that you have dismissed already.
We hope the article has been helpful to you in understanding the reminders in Outlook, how to add them, and how to clean/reset the reminders when the internal list of reminders is corrupt.