How do you like your toast?


Those happy folks at Outlook Tips recently sent out a little gem showing how you can change how long Outlook 2003’s desktop alert (also known as a ‘toast’) displays each time a new email arrives. The simplest way is by tunnelling deep into Outlook’s Options like this:



  1. Tools
  2. Options
  3. Email options (in preferences tab)
  4. Advanced E-mail Options
  5. Desktop Alert Settings

(Boy, we did a good job of hiding that option!)


Then tweak the settings as you wish.


But the clever folks at Outlook Tips always take their tips to a higher level so they point out that the maximum display time is 30 seconds. But what if you’re a r-e-a-l-l-y—s-l-o-w—-r—e—a—–d——-e——–r and you want a longer duration? A bit of registry tweaking is all you need:



  1. Start
  2. Run
  3. Type Regedit, press enter
  4. Navigate to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Common\DesktopAlerts
  5. Now add a TimeOn DWORD key (if there’s not one there already)
  6. Now enter a value in milliseconds, anything up to 4 billion (which is about 50 days!)

And now Outlook will always do your toast exactly as you like it. Now where did I put the jam?

Comments (2)

  1. Anonymous says:

    More on the tasty topic of toast…

    My advice is to switch off desktop alerts (‘toasts’) for all but…

  2. Anonymous says:

    More on the tasty topic of toast…

    My advice is to switch off desktop alerts (‘toasts’) for all but…