How to Change Outlook 2016 for Mac Sounds

Note: Although this technique worked in the preview versions of Outlook 2016, a reader pointed out that this will crash the latest version of Outlook. I’ll update this post if I find a resolution.

Update (12/23): It’s no longer crashing for me – perhaps a Microsoft Update fixed the issue. Running on Outlook for Mac 15.16 (151105)

Office 2016 is here!

Several weeks ago, Microsoft finally released a fresh new edition of Office for Mac. It was the first major release of the Office Suite for Mac computers in over four years, and it has finally been released to the public. Right now, it’s available for subscribers of Office 365. If you’re still on Office for Mac 2011, I’d highly recommend for you to upgrade as soon as possible. Many institutions (including Purdue University) can provide you a free download of Office. Get your copy here!

 

Something doesn’t sound right…

I’m slightly picky when it comes to UI/UX design of software; being a visual person, I find it easier for me to develop software once I have a design picked out. It’s backwards from the conventional developer, but that’s how I tend to work. One thing I noticed is despite giving Outlook 2016 a fresh look and improved performance with Microsoft Exchange, it still has the same, boring sounds that go back to the “Windows Notify” era of Windows 2000. If you’re looking to change the sound of the “New Mail” alert in Outlook for Mac, look no further!

      1. Make sure you have closed and quit all instances of Outlook
      2. Navigate to the folder where Outlook is installed. Typically, it’s in the Applications folder
      3. Right-Click on Microsoft Outlook and click Show Package Contents
      4. Navigate to Contents -> Frameworks
      5. Find the OutlookCore.framework file and expand the tree.
      6. Open the Resources folder
        outlookcore_location
      7. Backup your newmail.wav file into a local path just in case something goes wrong
      8. Replace the newmail.wav file with any wave file of your choice (or if you want it to sound like the alert from Windows 8 or 10, download those files below)
        Note: You may have to authenticate/enter your administrator password to replace the file.
      9. Start Outlook and try it out!

You can also edit any of the .wav files in the path to change up the UX sounds to however you like.

Download Audio Files:

If you’re looking to use the sounds on Office 2013 for Windows 8 or 10, unzip the audio file from the ZIP and replace the file in the path above

 

Note: You’ll have to apply these steps every time that Outlook updates until Microsoft creates new fitting audio files.

 

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PJS
PJS
5 years ago

I was able to do this in the pre-release versions, but not since the final versions have been released… If I change the sound, Outlook will crash every time… Suggestions?

Aharon Hannan
Aharon Hannan
Reply to  PJS
5 years ago

Good to know. I’ll take a look and update the post if I find a resolution. I just tried it and it’s crashing on me too

Aharon Hannan
Aharon Hannan
Reply to  PJS
5 years ago

Just tried it again last night, and it’s no longer crashing for me. Perhaps the issue was fixed in an update

Eugene Pavlov
4 years ago

Works! Thanks!

Rick Cosby
Rick Cosby
4 years ago

And now it seems to be different. There are no longer sound files in resources. Here are the new instructions: Change the sound set Make sure that the Outlook Preferences dialog box is closed. Copy a new sound set folder to /Users/username/Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/Outlook/Outlook Sounds Sets. On the Outlook menu, click Preferences. Under Personal Settings, click Notifications & Sounds. Under Sounds, click the Sound set menu, and then select a sound set. It also says, “Outlook uses a default set of sounds, but additional sound sets are available from third parties on the Internet. A sound set for Outlook is a… Read more »

sfemet
sfemet
Reply to  Rick Cosby
3 years ago

I just copied my sound set folders from Outlook 2011 (Documents>Microsoft User Data>Outlook Sound Sets) using this method. They are AIF files (I know!) and they work brilliantly. The plist file migrated the sound mapping.

Gary Davison
Gary Davison
3 years ago

Aharon, How to Change Outlook 2016 for Mac Sounds works great.

Thanks

Neil Gaetano Lindberg
Neil Gaetano Lindberg
3 years ago

I have to thank you for this! While I think my workmates/team got tired of Bevis and Butthead fairly quickly I think the set of Star Wars sounds I replaced those with will do for quite some time. Thanks!

PWade
PWade
2 years ago

What’s the word on this? The files at the bottom are dead and when I replace those files in the resources folder, the sounds work when I have the edit rule window open but when an email comes in, it does not actually play a sound.

Aharon Hannan
Aharon Hannan
Reply to  PWade
2 years ago

Thanks for letting me know – I’ve fixed the broken links! Can you try again with the files provided? It seems like the files may not be playing because the files were not in the proper format (AIFF instead of WAV). I haven’t tested this in a couple of years though so there’s a good chance this article is outdated.