Outlook Rules

How to Create and Manage Rules in Outlook

About Outlook Rules

Do you have hundreds or thousands of email messages in your inbox? Do you spend time filing every email you receive into folders? If you can relate to any of these, Outlook Rules can make your life easier. It's like having a virtually secretary organizing your email for you. You create specific conditions for arriving unread emails. When emails arrive that meet these condition, rules will automatically file these emails for you. It's simple!

How to Create a Rule

My favorite way to implement a new rule is to create it as new emails arrive. A great way to get started would be either to create a rule for junk mail to go straight to the Deleted Items Folder or to create a rule for mail that you never open and file away into a folder for future reference.


To create a rule, follow these simple steps.


  1. Right click an email.
  2. Click on Rules.
  3. Click on Create Rule.


Now you have some choices to make. When you get an email with any of these selected conditions: from a certain person, with a subject that contains certain words, and/or is sent by a certain person, then rules will display in the New Item Alert Window, play a selected sound, or move to a specific folder. Once you have made your selections, click OK, and your rule is created.


Click here for step-by-step instructions with screenshots.

How to Manage Your Rules

Managing rules is simple. A rule may need a little adjustment. Sometimes a rule may need turned off or deleted. To do change your rule, in Outlook:


  1. Click on File in the right hand corner
  2. Click on Manage Rules & Alerts


From this screen, you can see a cumulative list of your email rules. From here organization and notifications can be adjusted for each rule by simply clicking on the rule.


Click here for step-by-step instructions with screenshots.

For Advanced Outlook Rules Users

Do you already have Outlook Rules set-up on your email? Are you utilizing rules to the maximum extent you can? Check out this website to see. It does an excellent job explaining different ways rules can be implemented to save time, and help manage your email.