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I'm locked in to Outlook 2007 at work, and I've had a pet peeve for years now.

15-minute reminders are de rigeur wherever Outlook is used, so let's say I have a 4:00pm meeting.

At 3:45, I get a pop-up saying "meeting is starting in 15 minutes". The default interaction here is "remind me 5 minutes before the start".

At 3:55, I get a pop-up saying "meeting is starting in 5 minutes". The default here is "remind me in 5 minutes".

What I'd really like is for it to remind me in four minutes, because in five minutes I'll be late, but if I leave now, I'll be four minutes early. As configurable and pluggable as Outlook 2007 seems to be, I am unfamiliar with any changes that affect snooze and make it actually useful for the 99% case of "user has to go to a meeting, and would like a reminder at the right time to stand up and leave." Are you?

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  • odd.. i've gone through just about every option in Outlook and there is no way to set this. – NoCarrier Sep 1 '09 at 16:22
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You can not change the preset snooze options but you can choose to open the item (task/appointment/flag) and you can change the reminder time manually to the number of minutes in which you want to be reminded. It isn't as elegant as using the snooze options but does allow you to set it as you wish.

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If you're ok with not getting any 15-minute reminders (the default), you can take this approach to instead always get an n-minute reminder for every meeting.

  1. Go to File > Options > Calendar.
  2. Make sure "Default reminders:" is checked.
  3. Put your cursor in the selection for Default reminders, and treating it as a textbox instead of a dropdown, type in the full value (inside the quotes) "2 minutes", or "1 minute", or "3 minutes", with whatever number of minutes you prefer. Don't worry that it doesn't autocomplete like it would with options that exist in the dropdown; it will still work correctly when you save it.
  4. Click OK to save the change.
  5. The above will modify the reminders on future acceptances of meetings and new meetings you create. For existing meetings you've already accepted/created, you'd need to open the meeting series in your calendar and in the Reminder field, type "2 minutes" or similar there, then click "Save and Close" to update your reminders for that meeting series.
  6. Enjoy your timely reminders!

Another alternative (though you'd have to type each time you wanted to snooze), would be to type directly into the snooze field's value "13 minutes" or "14 minutes" or similar when you wanted to snooze a reminder to then. You could also type "10:29" or similar if you wanted to type less characters. See https://www.msoutlook.info/question/437 for details on what will be accepted when typing directly in the field (instead of choosing a dropdown option).

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  • This is a nicely written and very helpful answer! +1 – studiohack Nov 27 '19 at 16:12
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Sorry, this is weak but best I could think of (Outlook 2003 tested):

You can set your default reminder (tools -> options) to, say, 16 minutes (over-type, don't select from the drop down). Then if you respond "Remind me in 15 minutes" you would get your 1 minute warning.

Unless of course you take 2 minutes to respond....

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  • 1
    Unfortunately even this method doesn't work in Outlook 2010 because the default snooze option is "5 minutes before start" rather than "5 minutes from now". You can of course tell it "1 minute before start", but you have to make that change ever time the reminder comes up, unless I am missing something. – Leigh Riffel Jun 25 '15 at 16:48
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Here is my goofy AutoHotkey script to solve this problem. (You're not the only one to find this problem annoying.)

Download AutoHotkey and save this in a *.ahk file in your Windows startup directory so that it always runs when you start your computer. Then just press CtrlShifts to snooze the reminder to four minutes from now.

SetTitleMatchMode 2 ; Allow for partial matches in window titles

#IfWinExist Reminder ; Hotkey will only work when a Reminders window is open
  ^+s:: ; Press Ctrl + Shift + S to activate hotkey
    WinActivate Reminder ; Activate Reminders window
    WinWaitActive Reminder ; Wait to activate
    Send +{Tab}+{Tab}+{Tab}4 mins{Enter} ; Snooze reminder by 4 mins with Ctrl + Shift + s
  return
#IfWinExist ; Clear condition for other hotkeys
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  • Obviously you can change the hotkey to suit but just a heads up that Ctrl+Shift+S is the default for 'Save All' for a lot of programs, so take care if using this that you don't accidently save over things when trying to snooze a meeting reminder. – RyanfaeScotland May 10 '18 at 8:27

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