Outlook 2013, be it on Windows 8 or 8.1, and even on Windows 10, comes with a bug that won’t let you set a custom notification when you have new mail. Even though you might not think of it in the beginning, this is due to your custom notification’s format. Outlook refuses to play a notification sound with a format different than its default.
This happens with whichever .wav file you’re trying to use, and the main reason behind it is that the Outlook engineers didn’t incorporate the format compatibility that is native for Windows, and you will therefore be able to play the file, but not set it as a notification. The only way to set a custom sound is to give it the exact same parameters as the default one, so read on to see how you can do this.
You will need to use a .wav editor software for this, some recommended ones would be Audacity or Wavosaur. Download any one of them, and install them.
- Find the .wav file you would like to use as a notification sound, and open it in the .wav editor.
- The parameter that usually doesn’t work is the bit depth, and that is what you need to change, set the bit-depth to 16-bit PCM.
- Press and Hold the CTRL + P key to open Preferences and choose Quality. From the Quality, tab change the Default Sample format to 16-bit.
- Save the file, and put it in C:\Windows\Media. Note that if your operating system isn’t installed in the C: drive/partition, you will need to replace that with the appropriate letter.
- Try changing the notification sounds now.
This solution may also work on other versions of Outlook.
Every user who has dealt with this issue will agree that it is a rather bizarre thing on Microsoft’s end. Windows has complete compatibility with .wav files, and its fairly unclear why Outlook doesn’t have the same compatibility. Nevertheless, if you simply follow the steps above, you will have your custom notification sounds playing.