Rules in Outlook

Your Outlook inbox can get chaotic at times. Maybe you stepped into a meeting, and by the time you get check your email, your inbox has been flooded with emails.

Did you know that thanks to the rules feature in Outlook, you can automatically file or delete incoming and outgoing messages? Based on parameters that you determine, rules will be triggered as emails come in.

For example, maybe you get weekly report emails. You can create a rule that moves all messages with “report” in the subject straight to your Reports Folder in your inbox.

Laying Down the Rules

Step 1: Choosing a Rule Template

  • Select Rules > Manage Rules & Alerts from the ribbon or choose the File tab and then choose Manage Rules & Alerts.Rules Wizard Step 1
  • In the Rules and Alerts dialog box, on the E-mail Rules tab, choose New Rule.Rules Wizard Step 2
  • In the Rules Wizard, under Step 1: Select a template, pick one of the default templates under Stay Organized, Stay Up to Date, or, Start from a blank rule.
  • Rules Wizard Step 3

Step 2: Creating your Rule Description

Each rule templates have different options when it comes to editing the rule description. When the rule description requires you to make a choice, the option will be underlined.

Move messages with specific words in the subject to a folder

We’re going to walk you through one of the most popular rules, moving messages from a specific sender to a designated folder.

  • Select people or public group in the edit description box to display your address book. Choose a name from your address book or type the person’s address in the From box, then choose OK.
  • Select specified to display a list of your folders. You can choose an existing folder or choose New to create a new folder. When you’ve selected the appropriate folder, choose OK.
  • Choose Next and go to Step 3: Set conditions for a rule.

There If you want to explore advanced options for the rule, choose Next and then skip to Advanced Rule Options, below. Otherwise, choose Finish. This returns you to the Rules and Alerts window. From here, you can create another rule or choose OK to save your changes.

Move messages with specific words in the subject to a folder

You can follow the same steps if you’d like to move messages with specific words in the subject to a designated folder.

  • Select specific words in the edit description box.
  • In the Search Text dialog box, in the Specify words or phrases to search for in the subject box, type a word or phrase to be searched for. Choose to Add to add your entry to the Search list pane, and then choose OK.
  • Select specified to display a list of your folders. You can choose an existing folder or choose New to create a new folder. When you’ve selected the appropriate folder, choose OK.
  • Choose Next and go to Step 3: Set conditions for a rule.

Step 3: Creating your rule conditions

After completing Steps 1 and 2, you now have the opportunity to specify conditions for the descriptions in Step 2. The options available for editing will vary based on the previously selected conditions.

  • Under Step 1: Select condition(s), select the checkbox for the condition you want to add. (You can select more than one checkbox)
  • Under Step 2: Edit the rule description (click an underlined value), select a link and complete the required actions; when done select OK.
  • Select the next link and complete the required actions; when done select OK.
  • If there are any other links available, select it and complete the required actions.
  • Select Finish when done.

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