How do I turn off the sound when I get a new email?

Understanding Email Notification Sounds

Email apps often play sounds when new mail arrives to alert you. These sounds can be distracting or annoying if unwanted. You can control email notification sounds on both desktop and mobile.

A 2018 study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience found that email notification sounds can negatively impact focus and productivity, especially when the sounds are unwanted [1]. Surveys show that the average person receives over 120 emails per day [2], which can lead to a constant stream of audible alerts.

Luckily, all major email platforms allow you to control notification sounds. Whether using Gmail, Outlook, Apple Mail, or another program, you can mute email alerts as needed to minimize distractions.

Locating Sound Settings on Desktop

In desktop mail apps like Outlook or Thunderbird, look in preferences or settings to control notification sounds. For example, in Outlook you can go to File > Options > Mail > Message arrival to change the sound or turn it off completely.

Gmail’s desktop site has notification settings under the General tab that let you toggle all email notifications on or off. You can also customize the sound for new mail alerts.

On Mac, the built-in Mail app lets you choose sounds in Preferences > General. Go to the New message notifications section to pick a custom sound for new emails or disable sounds entirely.

Finding Sound Controls on Mobile

On mobile devices, users can adjust notification settings for individual email apps to turn off sounds for new emails. For iPhone users, open the Settings app and select Notifications, then scroll down to the Mail app and toggle off Sounds to disable email sounds. Android users can go into the Gmail app’s settings and turn off Notification Sounds under the Notifications section. There are also system-wide Do Not Disturb settings on iOS and Android that can mute notifications during certain times or events. Notification options may vary across different mobile operating system versions and email apps, but generally can be found in either the app or system settings.

According to The Ultimate Mobile Email Statistics Overview, mobile email clients account for 41.6% of email opens. With the majority of emails being read on mobile, adjusting notification settings on phones and tablets is important for controlling email distractions. Users should explore their device and app settings to identify preferences for muting email alerts.

Turning Off Email Sounds in Gmail

Gmail is the most widely used email service in the world, with over 1.8 billion active users as of 2023 (source). Due to its popularity, many people want to know how to disable notification sounds when receiving new Gmail messages.

To turn off email sounds in Gmail:

  1. Open Gmail and click on the Settings icon (shaped like a gear) in the top right corner.
  2. Go to the Notifications section of the settings.
  3. Uncheck the box next to “Play sound” to disable audio alerts for new emails.

You can also customize other notifications like desktop notifications in this section of Gmail’s settings. Simply uncheck or check any additional boxes as desired to configure your preferences.

With these steps, you can eliminate distracting sounds when receiving new messages in Gmail. Just be sure to scroll down and save your changes after adjusting notification settings.

Silencing Email Alerts in Outlook

Outlook is one of the most widely used email clients, with around 40% market share according to To turn off email notification sounds in Outlook, follow these steps:

1. Open Outlook and click on File > Options or Preferences. This will open the Outlook Options/Preferences window.

2. Go to the Email section and uncheck the box next to ‘Play a sound’ to disable email notification sounds. You can also adjust other notifications like show preview, desktop alerts, etc. here.

3. Click OK to save the changes. Now Outlook will stop playing sounds when new emails arrive.

Turning off the email sound in Outlook allows you to avoid audio disruptions when new messages come in. You can focus on your work without constant sound alerts. Other alternatives like visual notifications may still notify you of new emails without the audible distraction.

Disabling Sounds in Apple Mail

Apple Mail is the default email app that comes pre-installed on Mac computers. With a 58.07% market share, it is the most widely used email client in the world. If you use Apple Mail and want to turn off sounds for new email notifications, here’s how:

On Mac, open the Mail app and go to Preferences in the menu bar. In Preferences, click on the General tab. Under ‘New Message Sound’, select ‘None’ from the dropdown menu. This will disable any sound effects or audio for new incoming emails.

You can also change the settings for other alerts like banner notifications. Go to the Notifications tab in Preferences. Locate the option for ‘New Message’ and change the ‘Alert Style’ from Banners to None. Now email notifications will be silenced across Mail.

With these simple steps, you can eliminate distracting sounds when receiving new emails on Apple Mail. Just open Preferences, go to General and Notifications, and switch alert styles and sounds to None. You’ll be able to maintain focus without email interruption.

Troubleshooting Problems

If email notification sounds persist even after attempting to turn them off, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can try:

First, check your mail app and system notification settings to ensure sounds are disabled for email alerts. In app settings like Gmail or Outlook, confirm that notification sounds are turned off. At the system level in Settings, verify that email alerts do not have sound enabled.

Also check that the sound/mute slider or button is not activated. On an iPhone, make sure the side mute switch is not turned on. On an Android, ensure the volume rocker is not set to mute. And on Windows or Mac, confirm the mute button is not enabled.

If the issue continues, you may need to update your mail app or operating system. Bug fixes in newer versions can resolve notification sound glitches. Consider updating to the latest release of iOS, Android, Windows, MacOS, Gmail, Outlook, or other mail apps being used.

As a last resort, you can try uninstalling and reinstalling the email app. This can clear out any corrupted files or configurations causing sounds to keep occurring.

With persistent troubleshooting of notification settings and app updates, you should be able to fully disable email sounds that continue in error.

Using Do Not Disturb

Enabling Do Not Disturb mode on your device is an easy way to silence notifications during certain times, like when you’re sleeping or need to focus on a task. You can set quiet hours so notifications don’t interrupt you, while customizing which contacts can still get through if needed.

On an iPhone, you can enable Do Not Disturb by swiping up to access the Control Center and tapping the moon icon. This will silence calls, alerts and notifications until you turn it off manually. To schedule quiet hours, go to Settings > Do Not Disturb and set your preferred times. You can allow calls from your Favorites (Source 1).

Android devices also include a Do Not Disturb feature. You can enable it by swiping down for Quick Settings and tapping the Do Not Disturb icon. Or go to Settings > Sounds > Do Not Disturb to configure schedules and exceptions. Allow priority interruptions for contacts, repeat callers and messages (Source 2).

Using Do Not Disturb during busy times can help you stay focused. Just remember to allow important contacts to reach you in an emergency.

Trying Alternative Alerts

For important emails, you may want to use visual or tactile notifications instead of sound. Many email apps allow you to set the phone to vibrate or flash the screen when priority mail arrives. This alerts you without interrupting your environment with sound.

You can also set distinctive ringtones or vibration patterns for emails from VIPs or specific senders. That way, you will recognize that important mail has arrived without having to look at your device. Alternatively, some keyboards and phones light up when key emails come in.

Experiment with these alternative alerts to find ones that suit your needs. The right mix of visual, tactile and audio cues can notify you of significant messages without constant sounds. Just be sure to disable less useful alerts so your device only signals truly high priority emails.

Maintaining Focus

Checking email can be distracting and lead to losses in productivity. Setting boundaries around email use is important to avoid constant interruptions. Here are some tips to maintain focus:

Schedule specific times to check non-urgent messages, such as a couple times a day rather than constantly being alerted to new emails. Use features like delayed send to avoid off-hours notifications.

“Email overload can drain time and mental energy. Consider trying time blocks of 1-2 hours where you turn off email notifications to focus deeply on important work,” suggests productivity consultant Julie Morgenstern (

Use notification settings to filter priority alerts to only surface truly urgent emails. Mute non-essential email conversations. Set your status to “busy” or “do not disturb” to avoid interruptions.

By managing expectations around email responsiveness and designating set times for checking messages, you can create space to maintain attention on the task at hand.

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