Alarm Message Window

When an alarm message is due, it is displayed on each desktop and cannot be covered by ordinary windows, to ensure that you see it. The message window shows the time for which the alarm was scheduled, so that you can see when it popped up if you were away from the computer at the time. If the alarm's scheduled time is in a different time zone from your local computer's setting, its time zone will also be displayed. (For reminder messages, the date/time shown is that for the main alarm or its recurrence, not the reminder message time, and the window title is Reminder.)

Alarm message windows remain visible until you acknowledge them, unless Auto-close window after late-cancelation time was checked in the Alarm Edit dialog. In the case of a recurring alarm, if an unacknowledged message window remains from a previous occurrence of the alarm, the existing window is simply popped up when the alarm recurs. This avoids having to acknowledge multiple copies of the same message should you not wish, or be unable, to acknowledge a message at the time it appears.

The alarm message window provides whichever of the following options are applicable to the displayed alarm:

  • Acknowledge the alarm by clicking the Close button. This closes the window (after a prompt for confirmation, if you selected Confirm acknowledgment).

  • Edit the alarm by clicking the Edit... button. This displays the Alarm Edit dialog.

  • Display options to defer the alarm until later by clicking the Defer... button. Then select Defer to date/time to enter the date and time when the message is to be redisplayed, or select Defer for time interval to enter how long after now (in hours and minutes) the message should be redisplayed. Then click OK to defer the alarm message and close its window.


    The time the alarm is deferred to must be earlier than its next scheduled occurrence or next advance reminder. For this reason, the Defer... button in the alarm message window and the OK button in the Deferral dialog are disabled one minute before the next occurrence or advance reminder.

    Note that if a reminder is configured after the alarm, you can defer the alarm past its reminder time. In this case, the reminder will be suppressed.


    The Defer... button is not available for alarms which are displayed at login due to the Repeat at login option having been selected.

  • Stop playing the alarm's sound file by clicking the button showing the stop playing symbol.

  • If the alarm message was created by dragging an email from KMail, you can directly access the email in KMail by clicking the button showing the KMail icon. This will select and highlight the email in KMail's folder list.


    If KMail's indexes are regenerated, the link to the email in KMail will be lost.

  • The button showing the KAlarm icon provides a convenient way to activate KAlarm.

You can choose in the Configuration dialog which of two different modes should be used to display alarm message windows:

  • As a normal window. In this mode, the keyboard focus is taken by the alarm message window when it appears, so if you are typing at the time your keystrokes will be diverted to it rather than your original application.

  • As a non-modal window. In this mode, the keyboard focus is unaffected when the alarm message window appears, so it will not interfere with your typing. However in this mode the window has no titlebar or frame, so you cannot move it or resize it.


When an alarm is displayed on top of a full screen application, it is shown as a non-modal window regardless of this configuration setting. This is due to a limitation of the window system.

Positioning of Message Windows

You can choose in the Configuration dialog which of two schemes should be used to position alarm message windows:

  • The windows are displayed as far away from the current mouse cursor as possible. This minimizes disruption to your work flow and minimizes the possibility of accidentally acknowledging the alarm.

  • The windows are displayed in the center of the screen. To reduce the chance of accidentally acknowledging the alarm, the buttons on the window are initially disabled, becoming active only after a configurable delay.

If you have several alarm message windows, or error messages, displayed, you can spread the windows out across the screen to make them all visible, or group them all together again in the top left corner of the screen, by means of the ViewSpread Windows menu option. If you wish, you can set up a global shortcut key for this action.