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No desktop alerts (toast notifications) if the Outlook Start menu shortcut is missing

Original KB number:   3014833


If you have Microsoft Outlook 2013, Outlook 2016, Outlook 2019, or Outlook for Microsoft 365 running on Windows Server 2012 or Windows 8, you no longer receive new email desktop alerts (toast notifications). Additionally, Outlook is no longer listed under Search and Apps Notifications.


This issue may occur for one of the following reasons:

  • The Outlook shortcut is missing from the following location, depending on your version of Outlook:

    Outlook 2013: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Microsoft Office 2013

    Outlook 2016, Outlook 2019 or Outlook for Microsoft 365: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\

    Desktop applications that send toast notifications must have a shortcut installed to the Start screen or in the Apps view.

  • The Remove common program groups from Start Menu Group Policy setting is enabled.


To fix this issue, first you must determine whether the Remove common program groups from Start Menu Group Policy setting is enabled. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Exit Outlook.

  2. Start Registry Editor. To do this, press Windows Key+R to open the Run dialog box. Type regedit.exe, and then press OK.

  3. In Registry Editor, locate and then select the following subkey:


  4. Locate the NoCommonGroups value, and view its data.

  5. If this registry value is set to 1, the Group Policy setting is enabled. If this value does not exist or is set to a value other than 1, the Group Policy setting is not enabled.

  6. Exit Registry Editor.

If the Remove common program groups from Start Menu setting is enabled, disable it.

The Remove common program groups from Start Menu setting is located under User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar, as shown in the following screenshot:

Screenshot shows the location of the Remove common program groups from Start Menu setting.

If the Remove common program groups from Start Menu setting is not enabled, you can fix this by running a repair of your installation of Microsoft Office.


To complete the repair process, you will have to restart Outlook, and you may also have to restart Windows.

To determine what type of Office installation you have, start Outlook, and then on the File menu, select Office Account. Compare the image that this generates to the following screenshots to determine the installation type of your Office suite. Notice that the MSI installation type doesn't have the Update Options button, whereas the Click-To-Run installation type does have the Update Options button.

The MSI installer displays the following:

Screenshot of the Information window for MSI install.

The Click-To-Run installer displays the following (notice the Update Options button):

Screenshot of Information window for Click-to-Run install.

For information about deploying Microsoft 365 Apps, which uses Click-to-Run, see Deployment guide for Microsoft 365 Apps.

Now, to repair your installation of Office, follow these steps:

  1. Open Control Panel. To do this, select Start or press the Windows key. Type control panel, and then select Control Panel in the search results.
  2. Select Programs, and then select Programs and Features.
  3. Select your version of Microsoft Office, and then select Change.
  4. Select the appropriate option for your Office installation type, as follows:
    • For an Office MSI installation, select Repair, and then select Continue.
    • For an Office Click-to-Run installation, select Quick Repair, and then select Repair.

More information

For more information about toast notifications, see Toast notification overview (Windows Runtime apps).

For more information about the Remove common program groups from Start Menu setting and the corresponding NoCommonGroups registry value, see NoCommonGroups.