Manage email messages using rules (2023)


manage and organize



Manage email messages using rules

Outlook for Microsoft 365 perspectives 2021 Outlook 2019 Outlook 2016 Outlook 2013 perspective 2010 perspective 2007More or less

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

The easiest and most common rule to create is the one that allows you to move an item from a certain sender or with certain words in the subject line to another folder. You can create this rule directly from a message that you have already received.

  1. Right-click a message in your inbox or another email folder and selectStandards.

    Manage email messages using rules (1)
  2. Select one of the options. Outlook automatically suggests creating a rule based on the sender and recipients. To see more options, selectcreate rule.

  3. Nocreate ruledialog box, select one or more of the first three check boxes.

    Manage email messages using rules (2)
  4. NoDo the followingsection, if you want the rule to move a message to a folder, check theMove element to carpetand then select the folder in theselect a folderdialog box that appears, and then clickOK.

    Manage email messages using rules (3)
  5. CliqueOKto save your rule.

    Observation:If you want to run the rule on messages you've already received, check the box in the confirmation dialog that appears and clickOK.

Create a rule using the Rule Wizard

There are three types of rules that you can create with the Rule Wizard.

  • stay organized: These rules help filter, archive, and track messages.

  • to keep up to date: These rules notify you when you receive a message that matches a specific set of criteria.

  • custom rules: These are rules that you create without a template.

The rules are almost infinitely customizable. There are a variety of options that you can configure for each type of rule that you create. Use the following steps to learn how to create a rule using the Rule Wizard.

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5

  1. SelectArchive>Manage rules and alertsto open theRules and Alertsdialog box.

  2. Noemail rulestab, selectnew rule.

  3. Select one of the templatesPaso 1. To start from a blank rule, selectApply rule on the messages I receiveoApply rule to messages I send.

  4. NoStep 2 – Edit the rule descriptionbox, click the underlined options to configure them. For example, if you selectedFlag someone's messages for follow upin Step 1, clickpeople or public groupto select the messages whose senders you want to mark, and clickfollow this momentto select a flag and a follow-up date.

  5. CliqueNext.

On the second page of the Rule Wizard, you can add additional conditions to your rule. For example, you can select messages sent by a specific person that also have specific words in the subject or body of the message.

  1. NoStep 1: Select the condition(s) box, any condition defined in the previous screen is checked. You can select various additional conditions by checking their checkboxes.

  2. NoStep 2 – Edit the rule descriptionbox, click any additional underlined conditions you just added. then clickNext.

On the third page of the Rules Wizard, you can select additional actions to perform on the message. For example, you can mark messages for follow-up and mark a message as very important.

  1. NoStep 1: Select the condition(s) box, any action defined on the first screen is checked. You can select various additional actions by checking their boxes.

  2. NoStep 2 – Edit the rule descriptionbox, click any additional underlined action you just added. then clickNext.

On the fourth page of the Rule Wizard, you can add any exception to your rule. For example, you can check except if marked as important to ensure that all messages marked with a specific level of importance are not marked for follow-up.

  1. NoStep 1: Select the condition(s) box, select any exceptions to your rule by checking their boxes.

  2. NoStep 2 – Edit the rule descriptionbox, click any additional underlined exceptions you just added. then clickNext.

  1. On the last page of the Rule Wizard, enter a name for your rule.

  2. If you want to run this rule on messages you already received, checkRun this rule now on messages that are already in the "Inbox".

  3. Default,Activate this ruleit is verified. You can uncheck this box if you don't want the rule to fire at this time.

  4. CliqueEnd upto save and activate your rule.

You can delete a rule when you no longer need it.

  1. NoArchiveguide, chooseManage rules and alerts.

  2. NoRules and Alertsdialog box, inemail rulestab, choose the rule you want to delete.

  3. ChooseErase Manage email messages using rules (4)>OK.

You can manually run one or more rules.

  1. NoArchiveguide, chooseManage rules and alerts, and notemail rulesguide, chooserun rules now.

  2. Norun rules nowbox underSelect rules to run, select the check box for each rule you want to run.

  3. NoRun on Pastebox, to select a different folder, chooseTo navigate, choose the folder and chooseOK.

    Select theinclude subpastecheck box to include all folders in the folder chosen in step 3.

  4. Noapply rules tolist, accept the default setting of all messages or change it to read or unread messages.

  5. Chooserun now.

There are two types of rules in Outlook: server-based and client-only.

  • server based rules
    When you are using aConta con Microsoft Exchange Server, some rules are server based. These rules run on your mailbox on the Exchange mail server even when Outlook isn't running.

    Server-based rules must be applied to messages when they are first delivered to yourinput boxand the rules must be able to run until completed on the server. For example, a rule that specifies a message to be printed cannot be executed until it completes on the server. If a rule can't be applied on the server, it will be applied when you start Outlook and become a client-only rule.

  • Rules only for customers
    Client-only rules are rules that run only on your computer. These are rules that run in Outlook instead of the Exchange server. Client-only rules can only be run when Outlook is running.

Advice:If your rule list contains both types of rules, the server-based rules are applied first, followed by the client-only rules.

Delivery receipts, survey responses, and autoresponders

When the rules are applied, delivery receipts, read receipts, polling responses, and auto responses (out-of-office notifications) are processed as messages. A rule that moves messages with the word "meeting" in theSubjectbox to a specific folder, for example, it also moves all delivery receipts, survey responses, or autoresponders to that same folder.

Observation:When a rule moves survey responses from theinput boxto another folder, vote tracking is affected. When an outgoing message that includes a voting button is opened, the tracking information does not include a count of replies moved by a rule. Manually moving or deleting a response does not affect tracking.

Meeting requests, task requests and documents

Meeting requests, task requests, and documents are all considered messages. If you create a rule that moves an item to a specific folder based on certain conditions (criteria) that are met (matched), all meeting requests and tasks that match those conditions will also be moved. However, keep in mind the following limitations when creating rules that affect these types of elements:

  • If an item is moved to a folder other than a mail folder, the item may not work as expected after it is moved. For example, if a message is moved to theCalendarfolder, a new appointment is not created.

  • If a meeting or task response is moved to thedeleted objectsfolder using a rule, the response is not tracked by the original item.

  • If a meeting request is automatically moved to thedeleted objectsfolder, the meeting is not added to theCalendar.

  • The rules that affect messages you send don't apply to task requests or meeting requests.

contact groups

A rule that includes a contact group can behave differently than other rules, depending on how the rule is created.

  • Move messages sent to a public group to a folder
    This rule is available only if you are using an Exchange Server account. Only messages sent to the contact group are moved to the specified folder. Messages from people who are members of the contact group are not moved to the specified folder.

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