How to create a rule in Outlook within five Minutes ?

How to create a rule in outlook? Email inboxes get unorganized too often. You sort out all the emails after spending a lot of time, and by the end of the month, boom! Hundreds of unorganized emails are in your inbox, making it difficult to find the important ones becomes challenging.

Well, let the automation do its work. Create an Outlook rule to sort and filter emails automatically as they come.

An Outlook rule automatically process sent and received emails to move them to a specific folder, send to a person, delete them, etc., depending on the conditions and actions you have set.

Read this article to learn how to create, set up, manage and delete rules in Outlook.

Learn about the technical things and terminologies used while setting up Rules in Outlook.

Once created, rules are applicable for that particular account across all of your devices. However, that is not the case if you have imported a rule from an external file. The imported rule is applicable only when the Outlook desktop on which it is installed is active.


How to create a Outlook rule?

On any version of Outlook, there are two ways to create rules. The first is through the message options, and the second is through the settings or ‘file’ tab.

The steps to create a rule remain almost the same across different versions of the Outlook application with changes in the user interface. However, the method is somewhat different in the case of the Outlook web app or Outlook for Office 365 online.

How to create a rule in the Outlook desktop app?

You can use the following methods to create a rule on any version of the Outlook app on Windows and Mac.

Create rules for Outlook emails from the message options:

This is the easiest way to create a rule in Outlook.

Use the following steps to create a rule in Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013, Outlook 2010, Outlook 2007 and older from the message options:

  1. Firstly open Outlook and right click on any message.

  2. Then go to Rules > Create Rule.
    Outlook PC Rule Create rule message option

  3. Select the ‘Condition’ and ‘Action’ for which you want to create a rule then click OK.
    Create Rule Click OK

  4. Subsequently the ‘Rule Wizard’ will open, select and edit exceptions for the rule if you want, else you can directly click Next.


  5. Now set a name for the rule and finally click Finish to create the rule.


Create rules for Outlook emails from the File tab:

Use the following steps to create rules for emails in Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013, Outlook 2007, and older from the ‘File’ tab:

  1. Firstly open Outlook and go to the File tab in the top left corner.


  2. Now select the Manage Rules & Alerts option.
    Manage Rules & Results Outlook

  3. Then the Rules and Alerts window will open, click New Rule as shown in the below image.
    Rule & Alert Window Create Rule Outlook

  4. Now the Rules Wizard will open, create a ‘condition’ and ‘action’ for the rule then click Next.
    Rule Wizard Outlook

  5. Subsequently create exception(s) for the rule if you want any and click Next, or you can directly click Next if you don’t want to create an exception to the rule.
    Create exception Outlook rule

  6. Finally set a name for the rule and click Finish.

How to create a rule in Outlook Web App or Outlook for Office 365?

You can use the web version of Outlook on any supported internet browser.

Create rules on Outlook web from message options:

Use the following steps to create rules for emails in Outlook online on any web browser from the message options:

  1. Firstly go to Outlook.live.com, select a message, and click on the ‘three dots’ Options menu as shown in the below image.


  2. Select the Create Rule option from the menu.
    Create A Rule Outlook Web

  3. Click on More options to create a complete rule.


  4. Subsequently create a name for the rule, add a condition, and add an action then click Save.


  5. Finally you will be taken to the list of saved rules where the newly created rule will appear.


Create rules on Outlook web from settings:

Use the following steps to create rules for emails in Outlook online on any web browser from the message options:

  1. Firstly go to Outlook.live.com and log into your account.

  2. Now click on the Settings option shown as gear icon in the top right then click on the View all Outlook settings option.


  3. Then go to Mail > Rules and click on Add new Rule option as shown in the below image.
    Create Add new Rule outlook Web

  4. Subsequently create a name for the rule, add a condition, and add an action then click Save.


  5. Finally you will be taken to the list of saved rules where the newly created rule will appear.
    Create Another Rule Outlook

How to set up rules in Outlook?

Once you know how to create a rule, it is important how you set it up correctly. Obviously, you won’t want the emails you wanted to move get deleted mistakenly.

Learn about the various components and terminologies in Outlook’s rule wizard.

Condition:

Rules in Outlook work “If this condition applies, then take this action” with the algorithm.

You have multiple conditions to choose from while creating a rule. Some of the conditions are: if subject or body contains a specific keyword, or if the message is sent to/ from a specific person, where you can choose the specific keyword and that specific keyword subsequently.

Moreover you can select a condition of your choice from the long list of conditions.

Action:

Once you have selected a condition, you have to choose what action you want to be taken for the applicable emails or messages. You can select to copy, move, delete, mark as read, forward etc. from the list of actions available in Outlook.

Exception:

You can create exceptions for the rule in order to avoid it from making changes to particular emails.

Click Add an exception option in Outlook web’s rules window or choose an exception in Outlook Rules wizard on Outlook desktop if you wish to create an exception for the rule.

You can create exceptions on the basis of specific keyword, folder, sender, etc.

Stop processing more rules:

Once you enable the Stop processing more rules checkbox, other rules do not apply to the emails that are already processed with the rule in which this feature is enabled.

Run Rule Now:

Enabling the Run rule now option makes the rule applied to current emails in inbox and other folders.

However, not enabling the feature would only sort future emails keeping the previous emails as they are.

Also read Outlook not responding [How to fix?]


How to manage rules in Outlook?

When it comes to managing rules, you can set preferences, disable/ enable, and remove rules to get the best sorting for your emails.

How to set Outlook rules’ preferences?

Rules in Outlook are arranged in the order of their processing. The rule at the top in the list of rules is applied first then the next one is applied at second and so on till the last rule.

The preference order of the rules matter a lot. For instance, the Rule 1 automatically replies to certain emails and Rule 2 deletes the emails that are already replied.
If the Rule 2 is placed over Rule 1, then the rule won’t be applied properly and there would always be some emails left in your inbox that are already replied.

Use the up & down arrow keys in front of the rule to reposition rules.

How to disable a rule in Outlook?

You can disable a rule in Outlook to temporarily stop it from acting it on the emails.

In Outlook for desktop, deselect the checkbox in front of the rule in the Rules and Alerts window as shown in the below image and click Apply in order to disable it.

In Outlook web, turn off the toggle button in front of the rule in the Rules section as shown in the below image in order to disable it.

How to remove or delete a rule in Outlook?

Permanently delete a rule in order to avoid it from making change to your inbox

On Outlook for desktop, select the email you want delete and click on the Delete option as shown in the below image in the Rules and Alerts window and click Apply.

On Outlook Web, click on the trash icon in front of the rule you want to delete and click Ok.


Conclusion

You can create, edit, and delete rules to change how your emails are sorted in Outlook.

This article has covered all you need to know about Outlook rules.


FAQs

How to create rules in Outlook for specific emails?
On any version of Outlook you are using, right click on the email for which you want to create a rule. Select where you want to move emails from that sender and click Ok.

How to create a rule in Outlook mobile app?
 As of now, there is no provision to create rules in Outlook mobile app, i.e., you cannot create or manage rules on iPhone and Android from the mobile app.

What happens if I delete a rule in Outlook?
Upon deletion, the rule would stop sorting your future emails. However, the emails that the rule has already processed remain as it is.

Are Outlook rules case sensitive?
Yes, Outlook rules are case-sensitive. However, you can add the words in all the possible capitalizations in the rule wizard to consider all the cases.

Why are Outlook rules not working automatically?
Outlook rules might not work if they are disabled. Go to File > Manage rules & alerts, make sure the checkbox before the rule name is marked and click Apply.

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