Use inbox rules in Outlook (2024)

Note:If the steps under this New Outlooktab don't work, you may not be using new Outlookfor Windows yet. Select the Classic Outlook tab and follow those steps instead.

In Outlook, you have the option to:

Create a rule | Edit a rule | Delete a rule | Set rule order | Run rules

Create an inbox rule for new Outlook for Windows

Rules are applied to incoming messages and can be created from any folder.

  1. To quickly create a rule that moves all email from a specific sender or a set of senders to a folder, right-click a message in your message list that you want to create a rule for, hover over Rulesand then select Create rule.

  2. Choose the folder where you want all messages from that sender or set of senders to be moved, and then select OK.

  3. After selectingOK, the rule will be applied to all incoming messages.

If you'd like to do more than just move the message from a specific sender or set of senders to a folder, select More options. The rules settings menu will open.

Use inbox rules in Outlook (1)

  • Every rule needs at least three things: a name, a condition, and an action. Rules can also contain exceptions to conditions. You can add multiple conditions, actions, and exceptions at each step by choosing Add a condition, Add an action, and Add an exception.

  • If you don't want any more rules to run after this one does, select the Stop processing more rules check box. For more information, see Stop processing more rules in Outlook on the web.

  • Press Save to create your rule or Discard to cancel rule creation.

Edit an inbox rule innew Outlook for Windows

  1. At the top of the page, select Settings.

  2. Select Mail > Rules.

  3. In the rule you want to edit, select Use inbox rules in Outlook (2).

  4. Press Save to save your edited rule.

Note:Some rules created in other versions of Outlook can't be processed by Outlook on the web. You won't be able to run or edit the rule in Outlook on the web.

Delete an inbox rule innew Outlook for Windows

  1. At the top of the page, select Settings.

  2. Select Mail > Rules.

  3. In the rule you want to delete, select Use inbox rules in Outlook (3).

    Tip:If you just want to turn the rule off for a while, select the toggle next to the rule.

Set the order in which inbox rules are applied to incoming messagesinnew Outlook for Windows

Inbox rules are applied to incoming messages based on the order they're in within the Inbox rules list. You can arrange the order in which the rules you create are applied to messages coming into your inbox.

  1. At the top of the page, select Settings.

  2. Select Mail > Rules.

  3. Select a rule, and then use the Up arrow or Down arrow to change the order in which the rule is applied to incoming messages.

Run inbox rules on existing messagesinNew Outlook for Window

By default, an inbox rule runs on incoming messages after you've created the rule. To run a rule on existing messages:

  1. At the top of the page, select Settings.

  2. Select Mail > Rules.

  3. Select Use inbox rules in Outlook (4) next to the rule you want to run.

In Outlook, you have the option to:

Create a rule | Create a rule from a template | Edit a rule | Delete a rule | Run rules

Create a rule on a messageinclassic Outlook for Windows

  1. Right-click an existing message and select Rules > Create Rule.

  2. Select a condition, and what to do with the message based on the condition.

    For example, to move messages with a certain title to a specific folder, select the Subject contains condition, select Move the item to folder, select or create a New folder, and then select OK.

  3. When you're done creating the rule, select OK.

  4. To use the rule right away, select the Run this new rule now on messages already in the current folder checkbox, and then select OK.

    The message now appears in that folder.

Create a rule from a templateinclassic Outlook for Windows

  1. Select File > Manage Rules & Alerts > New Rule.

  2. Select a template.

    For example, to flag a message:

    • Select Flag messages from someone for follow-up.

  3. Edit the rule description.

    • Select an underlined value, choose the options you want, and then select OK.

  4. Select Next.

  5. Select the conditions, add the relevant information, and then select OK.

  6. Select Next.

  7. Finish the rule setup.

    • Name the rule, setup rule options, and review the rule description. Click an underlined value to edit.

  8. Select Finish.

    Certain rules will only run when Outlook is on. If you get this warning, select OK.

  9. Select OK.

Edit a ruleinclassic Outlook for Windows

If you’ve set rules to organize your incoming mail but they’re not all working as you expect them to, these steps might help you find and fix the problem.

To fix a broken rule:

  1. Click File > Manage Rules & Alerts.

  2. If you see a message that says you have a broken rule that needs to be modified, click OK.

  3. Check the box next to the rule in red.

  4. Click the links under Rule description and edit the rule as needed, and then click OK.

    Use inbox rules in Outlook (5)

To change the settings, name, location or behavior of a rule:

  1. Click File > Manage Rules & Alerts.

  2. Check the box next to the rule that you want to modify.

  3. Click Change Rule, click the type of change you want to make, and then complete the steps.

    Use inbox rules in Outlook (6)

    Note:To delete a rule, in the Rules and Alerts dialog, check the box next to the rule, and then click Delete.

Delete a ruleinclassic Outlook for Windows

You can delete a rule when it's no longer necessary.

  1. On the File tab, choose Manage Rules & Alerts.

  2. In the Rules and Alerts dialog box, on the E-mail Rules tab, choose the rule you want to delete.

  3. Choose Delete Use inbox rules in Outlook (7) > OK.

Run rules manuallyinclassic Outlook for Windows

You can manually run one or more rules.

  1. On the File tab, choose Manage Rules & Alerts, and on the E-mail Rules tab, choose Run Rules Now.

  2. In the Run Rules Now box, under Select rules to run, select the check box for each rule that you want to run.

  3. In the Run in Folder box, to select a different folder, choose Browse, choose the folder, and then choose OK.

    Select the Include subfolders check box to include all folders under the folder you chose in step 3.

  4. In the Apply rules to list, accept the default setting of all messages, or change to read or unread messages.

  5. Choose Run Now.

In Outlook, you have the option to:

Create a rule | Edit a rule | Delete a rule | Change rules order

Create an inbox rulein Outlook on the web

  1. Select Settings Use inbox rules in Outlook (8).

  2. Select Mail. Then under Mail, select Rules.

  3. Select Add new rule Use inbox rules in Outlook (9).

  4. Type a name for the inbox rule in the Name your rule box and then select a condition and action from their respective drop-down lists. You can add additional conditions or actions by selecting Add a condition or Add an action.

  5. Add exceptions to the inbox rule by selecting Add exception and then choosing one from the Add exception menu.

  6. By default, the Stop processing more rules option is turned on. With this option on, when a message arrives in your inbox that meets the criteria for more than one rule, only the first rule will be applied. If you don't select this check box, all inbox rules that a message meets the criteria for will be applied.

    Use inbox rules in Outlook (10)

Edit an inbox rulein Outlook on the web

You can edit any inbox rule by selecting it and choosing Edit rule Use inbox rules in Outlook (11)to open the rule so that you can change the conditions or actions of the rule.

Delete an inbox rulein Outlook on the web

If you have an inbox rule that you no longer want, you can select it and then select Delete Use inbox rules in Outlook (12)to remove it. If you just want to turn the rule off for a while, remove the check mark next to the rule.

Set the order in which inbox rules are applied to incoming messagesin Outlook on the web

Inbox rules are applied to incoming messages based on the order they appear in within the Inbox rules list. You can arrange the order in which the rules you create are applied to messages coming into your inbox:

  1. Select Settings Use inbox rules in Outlook (13).

  2. Select Mail. Then under Mail, select Rules.

  3. Select the rule you want to move and then select the up arrow or down arrow Use inbox rules in Outlook (14) to place the rule where you want it positioned within the list of rules.

Note:If you use a work or school account to sign in to Microsoft 365, you're using Outlook on the web. If you're using an Outlook.com, Hotmail, Live, or MSN account, please go to the Outlook.comtab.

In Outlook, you have the option to:

Create a rule | Edit a rule | Delete a rule | Change rules order | Run rules

Create an inbox rule in Outlook.com

Rules are applied to incoming messages and can be created from any folder.

  1. To quickly create a rule that moves all email from a specific sender or a set of senders to a folder, right-click a message in your message list that you want to create a rule for, select Rule, thenCreate rule.

  2. Choose the folder where you want all messages from that sender or set of senders to be moved, and then select OK.

If you'd like to do more than just move the message from a specific sender or set of senders to a folder, select More options.

  1. To create a completely new rule, at the top of the page, select Settings > Mail > Rules.

  2. SelectAdd new rule.

    Tip:Every rule needs at least three things: A name, a condition, and an action. Rules can also contain exceptions to conditions. You can add multiple conditions, actions, and exceptions at each step by choosing Add a condition, Add an action, and Add an exception.

  3. Press Save to create your rule or Discard to cancel rule creation.

If you don't want any more rules to run after this one does, select the Stop processing more rules check box. For more information, see Stop processing more rules in Outlook.com.

Edit an inbox rule in Outlook.com

  1. At the top of the page, select Settings.

  2. Select Mail > Rules.

  3. In the rule you want to edit, select Edit Use inbox rules in Outlook (15).

  4. Select Save to save your edited rule.

Note:Some rules created in other versions of Outlook can't be processed by Outlook.com. You won't be able to run or edit the rule in Outlook.com.

Delete an inbox rule in Outlook.com

  1. At the top of the page, select Settings.

  2. Select Mail > Rules.

  3. In the rule you want to delete, select Delete Use inbox rules in Outlook (16).

    Tip:If you just want to turn the rule off for a while, select the toggle next to the rule.

Set the order in which inbox rules are applied to incoming messages in Outlook.com

Inbox rules are applied to incoming messages based on the order they're in within the Inbox rules list. You can arrange the order in which the rules you create are applied to messages coming into your inbox.

  1. At the top of the page, select Settings.

  2. Select Mail > Rules.

  3. Select a rule, and then use the Up arrow or Down arrow to change the order in which the rule is applied to incoming messages.

Run inbox rules on existing messagesin Outlook.com

Currently, you can't run inbox rules on existing messages in the Outlook.com beta. A new rule is applied only to messages you receive after the rule was created.

However, you can use Archive, Move to, and Sweep to automatically move or delete messages in your inbox. To learn more, see Organize your inbox with Archive, Sweep, and other tools in Outlook.com.

What else do I need to know about Outlook.com

You might have created a rule to forward or redirect messages you receive to another email address. If so, it's important to know the difference between forwarding and redirecting.

  • A forwarded message appears as a message you received and then forwarded to another recipient. When the recipient replies, the reply will go to the address the message was forwarded from.

  • A redirected message keeps the original sender on the From line. When a recipient that a message was redirected to replies, the reply will go to the original sender.

Use inbox rules in Outlook (2024)

FAQs

How do you effectively use rules in Outlook? ›

Create a rule on a message
  1. Right-click an existing message and select Rules > Create Rule.
  2. Select a condition, and what to do with the message based on the condition. ...
  3. When you're done creating the rule, select OK.

Is there a limit to Outlook inbox rules? ›

Inbox rules in Outlook on the web and the Outlook desktop apps are limited to 256 KB total for all rules. Each rule you create will take up space in your mailbox. The actual amount of space a rule uses depends on several factors, such as how long the name is and how many conditions you've applied.

Do Outlook rules only apply to the inbox? ›

Rules are applied to incoming messages and can be created from any folder.

How do I run all rules in Outlook inbox? ›

On the File tab, choose Manage Rules & Alerts, and on the E-mail Rules tab, choose Run Rules Now. In the Run Rules Now box, under Select rules to run, select the check box for each rule that you want to run. In the Run in Folder box, to select a different folder, choose Browse, choose the folder, and then choose OK.

What can you control when using automatic replies? ›

Customize your message by selecting either “Send replies only to senders in my Contacts” or “Send replies to anyone outside my organization who sends you email”. Enter your subject and message in the corresponding fields. Set a start and end date for the auto response if required.

Why don't rules work in Outlook? ›

The following may be the causes: The rules exceed the rule quota set for your mailbox. Corruption in send/receive settings file. Rules set to run on a single computer.

Where are Outlook inbox rules stored? ›

Since Outlook 2003, email rules are stored in the . pst and . ost files rather than . rwz file with your profile name.

Are Outlook inbox rules case sensitive? ›

Are Outlook rules case sensitive? Yes Outlook rules are case sensitive. If you need to, you can cover the three most common cases of capitalization (e.g., “cat”, “Cat” and “CAT”) by simply adding them as additional strings in your condition.

What is the 10000 email limit in Outlook? ›

Outlook restricts you to 10,000 daily recipients. This limit works on a rolling timer, rather than a daily timer which means that your Outlook email recipient limits will reset 24-hours after you've reached them, rather than at 12 a.m. the next day.

Do inbox rules work when Outlook is closed? ›

For server-side rules (managed by the Exchange server), the rules will run even if Outlook is closed, because the processing is done on the server itself. These rules are typically used for actions that involve moving or sorting emails into specific folders, marking them as read, forwarding, etc.

Does the order of Outlook rules matter? ›

Inbox rules are applied to incoming messages based on the order they're in within the Inbox rules list.

How do I export Outlook inbox rules? ›

Export or import a set of rules from Outlook
  1. Open Outlook.
  2. Click the File tab.
  3. Click Manage Rules & Alerts.
  4. Click Options.
  5. Click Export Rules.
  6. Select the folder where you want to save the rules file, and then name the file.
  7. Click Save.

How do I automatically move emails to a folder? ›

In the “Create filter” window, select what you want Gmail to do. That is, using the Gmail auto move to folder feature. You can apply a label to move emails automatically. Additionally, you can mark as read, archive, delete or mark as important.

How do I automatically move emails to a folder in Outlook? ›

Create Rules to sort your email automatically
  1. Right-click a message.
  2. Select Rules.
  3. Choose Always move messages from [name of sender].
  4. Choose a folder or select New to create a new one.
  5. Select OK. Note: To make your rule more complicated, right-click a message and select Rules > Create Rule.

Do Outlook rules run automatically? ›

Client-only rules: These rules only run when Outlook is open and receiving email. You can manually run these rules at any time by going to the “Manage Rules & Alerts” section in the File tab, selecting the desired rules, and clicking "Run Rules Now".

How do I create a rule in Outlook to move emails from certain domains? ›

First of all, open an Outlook account Inbox from where you want to move email coming from certain domain to another specific folder.
  1. 1️⃣ Create a New Rule. In the Home tab look for Rules Menu. ...
  2. 2️⃣ Set Conditions. ...
  3. 3️⃣ Set Actions. ...
  4. 4️⃣ Set Exceptions. ...
  5. 5️⃣ Rule Wizard — Finish Setup.
May 16, 2022

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