Office 365 (Outlook 2011) - Create a rule

A rule is an action that is performed automatically on incoming or outgoing messages, based on conditions that you specify. You can create rules to help you stay organized. For example, you can create rules to automatically file messages into folders or assign messages to categories.

Do any of the following:

- Quickly create a rule based upon a message's sender or recipient

A common type of rule directs Outlook to move messages to a folder based on the sender or recipient. For example, you can create a rule that moves all messages from "Toni Poe" to a folder called "Mail from Toni". Outlook has a shortcut to create these types of rules from an existing message.

 Tip   If you receive messages from a contact group (also known as a distribution list), you can create a rule that automatically moves messages that are sent to the group into a folder.

  1. In the message list, click a message with the sender or recipient that you want to create a rule for.
  2. On the Home tab, click Rules, and then click Move Messages from (sender's name) or Move Messages to (recipient's name).
  3. In the folder search box, start typing the name of the folder that you want to move messages to.
  4. When the folder you want appears, click the folder name, click Choose, and then click OK.

     Note   

    • If you create multiple rules, Outlook runs the rules in the order in which they are listed in the Rules window. For information about changing the order, see Edit a rule.
    • Before it runs rules on messages, Outlook first applies the Mailing List Manager rules and then the junk e-mail protection rules. Regular rules are applied last. However, they are applied to messages even if they are in the Junk category. For more information about Mailing List Manager rules, see Organize mailing list messages.

- Create a rule based on an existing message

When you create a rule from an existing message, the sender, recipient, and subject are automatically pre-populated in the rules instructions.

  1. In the message list, click the message from which you want to create a rule.
  2. On the Home tab, click Rules, and then click Create Rule.
  3. Under When a new message arrives, edit the criteria to suit your needs. To remove one of the criteria, click the "-" button. To add additional criteria, click "+" button.
  4. Under Do the following, specify the actions that you want to be performed.

     Note   

    • If you create multiple rules, Outlook runs the rules in the order in which they are listed in the Rules window. For information about changing the order, see Edit a rule.
    • Before it runs rules on messages, Outlook first applies the Mailing List Manager rules and then the junk e-mail protection rules. Regular rules are applied last. However, they are applied to messages even if they are in the Junk category. For more information about Mailing List Manager rules, see Organize mailing list messages.
  5. Click OK.

- Create a custom rule

Instead of creating a rule from an existing message, you create a custom rule based on any criteria you want. Creating a custom rule is necessary if you have an account managed by Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 or later and you want to save the rule on your computer. (If you create the rule based on an existing message, rules for an account managed by Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 or later are saved on the Exchange server, not on your computer.)

  1. On the Tools menu, click Rules.
  2. In the left pane of the Rules dialog box, make sure your account is selected under "Exchange Server" or your name.
  3. Click Add "+" button.
  4. In the Rule name field, type a name for the rule.
  5. Under When a new message arrives, on the leftmost pop-up menu, click the type of information that you want to identify.

    For most criteria, you move from left to right to use more pop-up menus or text boxes. For example, to identify all messages sent from coworkers, the criterion could be "From" "Contains" "@alpineskihouse.com".

    - If you want to have multiple criteria separated by "or"

    For rules saved on the Exchange server, follow this procedure:

    1. In the leftmost pop-up menu of the criteria, select a field that contains text, such as From, Recipients, or Subject.
    2. Moving to the right, in the second pop-up menu, select Contains.
    3. Click Add search terms, and then in the search list, click Add "+" button for each term that you want to add.

     Note   For rules saved on your computer, you can use the pop-up menu above the criteria to select If Any Criteria Are Met or other options.

  6. To remove one of the criteria, click "-" button. To add additional criteria, click "+" button.
  7. Under Do the following, specify the actions that you want to be performed.
  8. Click OK.


     Notes 

    • It is highly recommended that you manage your rules using Outlook on the web. For more information, see Server-based rules versus On My Computer rules.
    • If you create multiple rules, Outlook runs the rules in the order in which they are listed in the Rules window. For information about changing the order, see Edit a rule.
    • Before it runs rules on messages, Outlook first applies the Mailing List Manager rules and then the junk e-mail protection rules. Regular rules are applied last. However, they are applied to messages even if they are in the Junk category. For more information about Mailing List Manager rules, see Organize mailing list messages.

Additional resources

Create additional folders in the navigation pane

The rule I created does not work

Server-based rules versus On My Computer rules

See Also:




Keywords:microsoft office o365 2011 client outlook help mail calendaring overview messages searching rules filters filtering inbox   Doc ID:32601
Owner:Ara M.Group:Office 365
Created:2013-08-07 16:09 CDTUpdated:2016-05-13 09:49 CDT
Sites:DoIT Help Desk, DoIT Tech Store, Office 365
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