Solution for: #104: Restore Entourage 2008 Sound Set to Outlook in Office 2011

Restoring Entourage 2008 Soundset to Outlook takes two steps

The first step is to find the old sound set. This only works if you haven't uninstalled Entourage 2008. If you have, you'll have to find a copy of it somewhere (probably from your backups).

After some annoying filesystem forensics with fs_usage, I found the old Entourage 2008 sounds. They are located in "/Applications/Microsoft Office 2008/Office/EntourageCore.framework/Versions/12/Resources/", and consists of six .wav files like mailerror.wav, mailsent.wav and so forth. These are not part of a sound set.

The next step is to create a new soundset for Outlook 2011. The old method of creating soundsets still work. Check the reference for details. Basically:

  • Create a new folder called Entourage 2008.eragesoundset
  • Copy all six .wav files from the aforementioned Applications/Microsoft Office 2008/Office/EntourageCore.framework/Versions/12/Resources/ directory
  • Create a text file called soundset.plist within the Entourage 2008.eragesoundset directory.
  • In this file, you need to point the appropriate keys to the right sound files, such as:
    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" ""> <plist version="1.0"> <dict> <key>SoundSetFileFormatVersion</key> <integer>0</integer> <key>SoundSetUserString</key> <string>Microsoft Sound Set</string> <key>SoundSetURL</key> <string></string> <key>SoundFile_MailError</key> <string>mailerror.wav</string> <key>SoundFile_MailSent</key> <string>mailsent.wav</string> <key>SoundFile_NewMail</key> <string>newmail.wav</string> <key>SoundFile_NoMail</key> <string>nomail.wav</string> <key>SoundFile_Reminder</key> <string>reminder.wav</string> <key>SoundFile_Welcome</key> <string>welcome.wav</string> </dict> </plist>
  • Drop the .eragesoundset folder (not just its contents) into ~/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Outlook Sound Sets
  • In Outlook preferences, set the sound set to Entourage 2008.

And that should restore the less muted sounds from Entourage 2008 to Outlook 2011.

BTW, If you're looking for the Default soundset to Outlook 2011 for some reason, they are in /Applications/Microsoft Office 2011/Office/OutlookCore.framework/Versions/14


  1. Thanks so much for posting this. I followed your directions and it worked perfectly.

    I can never understand why Microsoft makes things so hard.

    Every time I go through something like this I appreciate my Mac even more.

    MaggieMZ on February 09, 2011, 06:34 AM UTC
  2. May have found an easier fix for this problem. If you navigate to the Applications Folder---> Microsoft Office 2008--->Office (right click the column on the right on the equals sign and select Right Size this Column so you can see all the names in full)--->Click on EntourageCore.Framework and select Show Package Contents from the Right Click Menu.

    Copy the sounds you want to re-establish in Outlook 2011 and navigate to the same folder as above for Outlook (Applications-->Microsoft Office 2011-->this time select OutlookCore.Framework and right click to Show Package Contents.

    Copy the old files into the OutlookCore.Framework file and rename the Outlook ones in a way that you can distinguish them. Then with the "old" Entourage files, e.g., newmail.wav, make sure the name is the same as what Outlook was calling it (newmail.wav), and restart Outlook.

    The old sounds should be there for example when you log onto Outlook, receive new email or get reminders. For us non scripter types, this seems easier. Hope it works. Worked for me.

    Darren on March 17, 2011, 04:25 PM UTC
  3. You generally want to avoid editing inside application and framework bundles, because Apple enforces code-signing these days. If you edit a bundle in any way, the code signature will break, and weird things can happen. I don't know if Microsoft participates in code-signing, but should be safe than sorry.

    Anon on March 18, 2011, 09:33 PM UTC
  4. Sounds never worked in Entourage 2008 for me. I hear this is a common complaint. I was really looking forward to getting alert sounds back when I upgraded to Office/Outlook 2011. Got it immediately after it was released. I was really disappointed when I discovered Outlook 2011 was a mute as Entourage 2008!

    I still have Office 2008 installed. I'm wondering if some bit of code in that is interfering with audio output in Entourage 2011? Anyone else have problems with no alert sounds in Outlook 2011? Is there a way to get them working? Thanks!

    Craig on April 12, 2011, 08:47 PM UTC
  5. Craig
    I had the same problem and found my solution:
    Preferences Panes
    Sound Effects Tab
    Alert Volume (mine was turned to minimum)

    Problem solved!


    Paul on May 01, 2011, 03:31 PM UTC
  6. I tried this on Outlook Mac 2011 and got as far as Outlook showing the sound set directory in the drop down of the Alerts tab in Outlook preferences. However when I click on that item it says "unable to open sound set." Do I need to somehow change the plist for v14?

    Wes on May 09, 2013, 09:29 PM UTC
  7. Darren's solution worked a treat. I k now this is old thread but I just upgraded to OS Sierra and Office 2011 from Snow Leopard. you will have to select target folder from a few of the aliases but once you have the two folders open, just drag dnd replace the sounds. They are the same names! I made a copy just in case but didn't need it. NOTE: You have to restart your computer for it to work. Don't know why but you do,

    Nick Cee on November 15, 2016, 08:53 PM UTC