How To Set Up A Rule In Microsoft Outlook

You use your email every single day, so why not make sure you’re using it right? Discover more about Rules, a key feature of Microsoft Outlook that will eliminate tedious tasks and make your life easier.

Microsoft Outlook has been the email program of choice for businesses for many years, and with good reason. With an abundance of great features and endless options for customization, it’s the perfect solution for busy business professionals.

However, no matter how long you’ve been an Outlook user, chances are you still haven’t quite figured out how some of the program’s best features work — if you realize they’re there at all.

Case in point — rules. Rules allow you to turn Outlook into a personal assistant by automating your manual processes. The Rules feature is great for things like CC’d emails that you don’t generally need to take any action with. Instead of them taking up space in your inbox, you can set a Rule to sort them into a special folder that you can go through at a later time.

How To Set Up Rules

You can create and manage Rules via two different methods:

Add A Rule To A Message

  • Right-click a message and click “Rules” then click “Create Rule”.
  • Click a condition, and what to do with the message based on the condition. For example, if you want to filter all messages of a type into a certain folder, click “Subject contains condition”, click “Move the item to folder”, click or “create a New folder”, and then click “OK”.
  • When finished, click “OK”.
  • To implement this new rule right away, click “Run this new rule now on messages already in the current folder checkbox”, and then click “OK”.

Create A Rule From A Template

  • Click “File” then click “Manage Rules & Alerts” then click “New Rule”.
  • Click a template — for instance, to flag a message:
  • Click “Flag messages from someone for follow-up”
  • Change the rule description to meet your specifications.
  • Click an underlined value, choose the options you want, and then click “OK”.
  • Click “Next”.
  • Click the conditions, add the relevant information, and then click “OK”.
  • Click “Next”.
  • Finish the rule setup.
  • Name the rule, setup rule options, and review the rule description. Click an underlined value to edit.
  • Click Finish. Please note that some rules will only run when Outlook is open. If you are prompted with this warning, click “OK”.
  • Click “OK”.

It’s that simple — remember, as always, there are often a number of customizable options available in your user experience with all of Microsoft’s apps. To take advantage of them, you just have to take a little time to learn more about how they work, and what’s available to you.