The Reminders window in Outlook 2010 gives you a dropdown list of Snooze options, but you can also type your own. If I type foo, Outlook responds with 'The snooze time "foo" is invalid. Enter a valid snooze time.' But if I type 10 foos, Outlook doesn't complain and the reminder is hidden. It appears as if the reminder never comes back - it's just dismissed forever with no warning.

Since I'd like to avoid losing my reminders unpredictably... is there any way to enable stricter warnings in case I make a typo like "2 houres"? (In a case like that it would be highly non-obvious that the reminder is lost, because I wouldn't expect it to pop up again for a while anyway).

Related question: Is the list of supported formats documented anywhere? I couldn't find any online documentation for the syntax, but it definitely supports some things that are not in the dropdown list (e.g. the shorthand "min" instead of "minutes").

  • Wow. Did you test? What happaned in "2 houres" or 90 seconds? – Tyson Sep 11 '14 at 0:47
  • You tell us. Did the reminder come back after 10 minutes? This seems like you can answer it yourself easily enough – Ramhound Sep 11 '14 at 0:47
  • Ok, I've rewritten the question to be more about the part that I haven't been able to answer on my own. (As far as I can tell, the reminders really do just disappear forever, so I've stated that above now). Hope that's enough to remove the downvote... – peterflynn Sep 11 '14 at 0:55

After a ton of experimentation, the here's what I've found...

Outlook has a short list of recognized time units, though it's not documented anywhere. This includes shorthand forms of the words:

  • minute, minutes, min, mins, m = minutes (but "ms" is unrecognized)
  • hour or any other variant (see below)
  • day, days, d = days (but "ds" is unrecognized)
  • week, weeks, wk, wks, w (but "ws" is unrecognized)
  • I didn't test units longer than that :-)

The plural/singular of the word doesn't have to agree with the number you give.

If you use an unrecognized unit, most of the time Outlook will silently default to hours without saying anything. But in some cases it gets buggy -- and if you use second (no "s") the reminder is dismissed forever.

Here are some examples of what happens with unrecognized units:

  • 2 foos = 2 hours
  • 2 mi = 2 hours
  • 2 (no units at all) = 2 hours
  • 1 second = reminder dismissed!
  • 2 second = reminder dismissed!
  • 30 second (or greater) = error message
  • 2 seconds = 2 hours
  • 1 day 2 hours = 1 hour (wha?)
  • 1 day 10 minutes = ~45 seconds (!)
  • 1 hour 10 minutes = ~45 seconds

Lastly -- you can use decimals in values with any unit. For example, .5 days = 12 hours. Decimals that equate to < 1 minute tend to be inaccurate and anything < 30 seconds is rejected with an error message.

  • I have seen that "ms" typically refers to milliseconds, so having it mean minutes would be inconsistent and confusing. I suspect that milliseconds is not supported for reminders, so ...unsupported. Excellent research btw. – funkymushroom Jul 30 '15 at 13:22

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