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Managing mailbox rules in Outlook

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Rules allow you to move, flag, and respond to email messages automatically. You can also use rules to play sounds, move messages to folders to folders, or display new item alerts.

Manage rules in Outlook desktop app

How to create rules from a folder

  1. Select a message from your inbox or from another folder then right-click the message.
  1. Select Rules.
  1. Choose from of the options. Outlook automatically suggests creating a rule based on the sender and the recipients. To get more option, click Create Rule.
create rules in outlook
  1. In the Create Rule dialog box, select one or more of the first three checkboxes.
  1. Under the Do the following section, if you want the rule to move a message to a folder, then tick the Move the item to folder check box.
create rule
  1. Select Folder dialog box will pop up. Choose a folder where you want the message to be moved, then click OK to save your rule.
rules and alerts checkboxes

How to create a rule using Rules Wizard

If you want to be more specific in creating rules or want to add more options, open the Rules Wizard to apply more rules.

Step 1

  1. Select File > Manage Rules & Alerts to open the Rules and Alerts dialog box.
microsoft office account information &setting
  1. Under Email Rules tab, click New Rule.
rules and alerts overview of windows setting
  1. To start from a blank rule, select Apply rule on messages I receive or Apply rule on messages I send. In this example, we will select Apply rule on messages I receive, then click Next.
rules wizard move message

Step 2

On the second page, you can add more conditions to your rule.

  1. In the Step 1: Select condition(s) box, tick the checkboxes of the condition that you want to apply. In this example, we selected from people or public group and where my name is in the Cc box condition.
  1. Under Step 2: Edit the rule description box, click on the underlined conditions you just added. Since we selected from people or public group, we have to click the underlined condition and select names of people or group from the Address book, then click Next.
rules wizard overview

Step 3

On the third page of the Rules Wizard, you can select additional actions to take on the message.

  1. Tick the checkbox of the action you want to set under Step 1: Select action(s). In this example, we selected assign it to the category category and mark it as importance.
  1. Just like on Step 2, click the underlined value then click Next.
rules wizard

Step 4

In this page, you can add any exceptions to your rule. For example, you can check except if it is marked as importance to ensure that any messages marked with a specific importance level aren’t flagged for follow up.

We did not apply any exceptions in this example.

rules wizard

Step 5

  1. On the last page of the Rules Wizard, enter a name for your rule.
  1. If you want to run this rule on messages you’ve already received, check Run this rule now on messages already in “Inbox.”
  1. By default, Turn on this rule is checked. You can uncheck this box if you don’t want the rule to be applied at this time.
  1. Click Finish to save and turn on your rule.
rules wizard managers

How to delete a rule

Delete a rule if it’s no longer applicable by following these steps:

  1. On the File tab, choose Manage Rules & Alerts.
outlook account information
  1. Rules & Alerts dialog box will pop up. Under Email Rules tab, select the rule you want to delete.
rules and alert - set only me
  1. Click Delete then select Yes.
email rules

Manage rules in Outlook.com

How to create a rule

  1. Select a message from inbox or from any other folder, then right-click the message.
  1. Choose Advanced actions > Create rule.
outlook advanced actions
  1. Under Create a rule dialog box, you will be asked to move messages you receive to a specific folder.

If you want to do more than moving a message received to a different folder, then select More options or follow these steps:

  1. Click Settings (gear icon) then select View all Outlook settings.
outlook settings
  1. To the right of Mail, select Rules.
  1. Click Add new rule.
setting,mail, rules
  1. Enter a name for this rule then select a condition under Add a condition (or Step 2). You can add more condition after selecting one under the And drop down option.
outlook mail rules settings
outlook mail, rules setting
outlook mail settings
  1. On Step 3, you will be asked to Add an exception. After selecting one exception, another clickable option to add an exception will appear.
  1. When you click Add an exception on Step 3, Step 4 will be available. You can choose to add additional exception or save your selected conditions under Steps 1 to 3. Save button will be available after doing Step 3.
outlook mail rules setting
  1. Click Save to create your rule or Discard to cancel rule creation.

How to edit rules

  1. Click Settings > View all Outlook settings.
outlook setting view
  1. Select Mail > Rules.
  1. Choose a rule that you want to edit then click Edit.
outlook rules setting
  1. Select Save to save your edited rule.
outlook mail rules

How to delete an inbox rule

  1. Click Settings > View all Outlook settings.
outlook setting
  1. Select Mail > Rules.
  1. Choose a rule that you want to edit then click Delete.
outlook setting - delete rule

Sources:

Manage email messages by using rules
Use inbox rules in Outlook.com

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