How do I change the alert sounds in Outlook for Mac?

Copper Contributor

How do I change the alert sounds in Outlook for Mac?  When I go to Preferences, then Notifications and Sounds, the dropdown menu for Sound Set says Default.  There is no other choice of sound sets on that menu.  When I click the arrow next to the individual events (New message, Message sent, Reminder, etc.) it plays a sound for each--apparently the only sound available.


I've Googled up a few suggestions that didn't work:

I went into System Preferences > Notifications and deleted Outlook from the list of applications, then restarted Outlook.  No change in Outlook Preferences.


I added some new sound files (various formats--.wav, .mp3,  .m4a, .aiff) to user>Library>Sounds and restarted my Mac.  I still don't have any new options in Outlook Preferences.


I found instructions for creating a new sound set in an existing Outlook Sound Sets folder located in user>Library>Group Containers>UBF8T346G9.Office>Outlook>Outlook Sound Sets.  I put the same new sounds there.  I tried it with them loose in the Outlook Sound Sets folder, and also with them contained in a new folder titled "my new sound set."  I quit and restarted Outlook.  It didn't give me any new options in Outlook preferences.


I have a current Office 365 subscription on a MacBook Pro.  The Outlook version is 16.42.  I'm running Mac OS 10.14 Mojave.

16 Replies



Have you had any luck with this? I would also like to know how to change the default 'new mail' notification in outlook for mac. My wife and I both use the same app for work on our respective MacBooks, and it can get very frustrating to hear the same sound for each of our accounts. "Was that yours or mine?" We'd love to know if it can be changed to something else other than the default 'ding' sound. I'm on Catalina, she's using Mojave. Thanks

Just adding a reply that I'm seeing the same limitation and also looking for ways to change the alert sounds on the Mac.


Another Ping in this thread ... i just noticed it’s been read almost 4,000 times.


Microsoft?  Hello?


(tumble weeds blow by)




I figured out how to change the default sounds in Outlook for Mac. Basically you have to find the original sound files in Outlook via Finder and overwrite them with the ones you want. Follow the steps below.


1) Quit Outlook

2) Open Finder. Select ‘Applications’ from the left side list.

3) Find Outlook. Right-click on it and select ‘Show Package Contents’ from the list.

4) Open Contents folder and go to ‘Framework’ folder.

5) Look for ‘OutlookCore.framework’ file. Open it.

6) Go to ‘Resources’ folder and look for the mailerror, mailsent, newmail, nomail, reminder, and welcome .wav audio files 

7) Rename your custom sounds to match these names and replace the files in the 'Resources' folder.  (Your custom sounds must be in .wav format)

8) Start up Outlook and enjoy your new sounds.



Thank you, JonnyTime! I may have to install Outlook for Mac to do this - I use the online web interface, which uses the same sound as the application. So I don't have an application to modify this way. 


Microsoft really needs to make this a customizable setting on all of their platforms.



Happy to help xeric77. I believe you will have to install Outlook for Mac to get my solution to work. I was also using Outlook web interface as well and just ended up downloading it.



A friend, far more computer savvy than I, changed the default sounds for 'newmail' & 'mailsent' in a new iMac (have had them on an old desktop for years and wanted them on the new one. The new BigSur sounds are too subtle for my partially deaf ears!). It worked fine until I did a full back-up with SuperDuper! a couple days ago. Now the sounds for 'newmail' & 'mailsent' have defaulted back to the BigSur sounds for those.


What to do now, so a back-up doesn't cause a revert to default BigSur v 11.6 sound alerts in Outlook for Mac 2019?

I want to add different sounds to the Sound Sets folder of my Outlook for Mac.  In what format should I save these sound files?  The Mac alert sounds are in aiff, but Outlook does not acknowledge them in my Sound Sets folder.  Should I save the sound files in a different format?  


Thank you so much for posting this information. I have missed too many event alerts and needed to find something to get my attention!

Hi @dovoodoo,


I apologize for the late reply here.  I had my notifications turned off.  One thing I noticed since I have been using custom sounds for Outlook on my mac is that every time Outlook has a software update, it reverts the sounds back to the default tones.  I have a feeling that your issue is similar and I have a work around that I have been using.  It involves creating a shortcut to the folder where the Outlook default sounds are located so you have easy access, and then overriding the sounds anytime they revert back.


1)  Create a new folder and save it somewhere convenient for you


2)  Name the folder something like 'Outlook Replacement Sounds' (that's what I did, but you can name it whatever you want)


3) Save all of the replacement sounds you want to use in this folder and make sure they are named after the default Outlook sounds.  I think there are 7 in total, I've listed them below.  

  • goodbye.wav
  • mailerror.wav
  • mailsent.wav
  • newmail.wav
  • nomail.wav
  • reminder.wav
  • welcome.wav

(Note that I do not think the goodbye.wav, welcome.wav or nomail.wav sounds get utilized by Outlook, but I added custom ones to them anyway)


4) Create a shortcut to the folder where the default Outlook sound files are located.  It should be called 'Resources'.  You can find its location from my original post on how to change the sounds, but I've included the steps below just in case.

  • Open Finder. Select ‘Applications’ from the left side list

  • Find Outlook. Right-click on it and select ‘Show Package Contents’ from the list

  • Open Contents folder and go to ‘Framework’ folder

  • Look for ‘OutlookCore.framework’ folder. Open it.

  • Find the ‘Resources’ folder

  • Hold the option and command key and then click and drag the 'Resources' folder to the 'Outlook Replacement Sounds' folder from step 2.  This will create a shortcut to the Outlook 'Resources' folder.

5) You should now have your custom replacement sound files and a shortcut to the Outlook 'Resources' folder in you 'Outlook Replacement Sounds' folder from step 2.  You can utilize this shortcut to easily copy and paste/override the custom sounds back into the Outlook 'Resources' folder since all the files are in one place.


6)  When your Outlook sounds revert back to default for whatever reason, quit Outlook, open your 'Outlook Replacement Sounds' folder, select and copy all of your custom sounds and paste them into the 'Resources' shortcut folder to overwrite the defaults.  See attached image for what my final 'Outlook Replacement Sounds' folder looks like.


I know this was a long post and hopefully it all makes sense.  There are probably better ways to do this automatically with a script or something, but I haven't bothered trying to figure it out.  Best of luck!



I don't think adding different sounds to the Sound Sets folder works, at least it did not for me. You will need to follow the steps from my two posts above to overwrite the default Outlook sounds. These sound files are in .wav format.
No problem! Keep in mind that anytime Outlook for Mac updates, it will revert your custom sounds back to their default. See my reply to @dovoodoo for what I do to easily change them back.



This is how to change the alert sounds when using "New Outlook" for Mac:

  1. First, you will need a sound set to install. Here is one on GitHub from the old Entourage days:
    Classic Microsoft Soundset
  2. Unzip the File. It will look like a folder ending in .eragesoundset — keep this folder intact and do not change the file extension or edit any of the files inside of this folder!
  3. Next, you will need to locate the Sound Sets folder. It is located at:
    ~/Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/Outlook/Outlook Sound Sets
  4. Drag the 'Microsoft Sound Set.eragesoundset' folder into the "Outlook Sound Sets folder"
  5. Now, switch to Outlook and go to the Help menu in the menu bar and click on it.
  6. Select 'Revert to Legacy Outlook' from Outlook's Help menu — you will get a short survey as to why you are reverting to Legacy Outlook, if you want to tell them it's because you're trying to change the sound set… this is your chance to tell Microsoft.
  7. Open up Legacy Outlook's preferences from the Outlook menu in the menu bar.
  8. Click on "Notifications and Sounds".
  9. Click on the "Sound set" pulldown menu, and you should now be able to choose the "Microsoft Sound Set" as an option. 
  10. Finally, from the Outlook menu inside of the menu bar, select 'New Outlook' — the sound set you selected in step 9 will now be your soundset inside of New Outlook. I hope that helps!

CleanShot 2023-03-08 at 12.44.35.png

Confirming that this solution works. I downloaded the Classic Microsoft Soundset you posted and overwrote the sound files in the folder to the ones I wanted with no issues.


I've attached a zip file of the soundset I created.  It changes the Outlook sounds to old video game sound effects.  Sound effects are included from Metal Gear Solid, Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Mario Bros. 3, Mario64, Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.  Enjoy :)


If you want to customize the sounds, just overwrite each .aif sound file in the folder with what you want them to be.  Make sure your new sound files are named the same as the original sound files in the folder, are in .aif format, and do not modify or delete the soundset.plist file.

After following this advice, which worked perfectly, I when duplicated the folder, rename the "microsoft" element of the title with a meaningful name (to me), then added the .aif files renamed to replace the originals, and I have a customised set of sounds.