Article ID: 291608 - View products that this article applies to.
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SUMMARY

The Microsoft Outlook Rules Wizard is a messaging manager for Outlook. With the Rules Wizard, you can define instructions for actions on incoming and outgoing messages for each account or all accounts.

This article discusses the following information:
  • How to convert your previous Outlook rules.
  • How to create rules.
  • How to modify rules.
  • How to delete rules.
  • How rules are applied.
  • How to run rules on the Microsoft Exchange Server.
For more information about Outlook rules, type rules wizard in the Ask a Question box on the menu bar, press ENTER, and then click Search to view the topics returned.

MORE INFORMATION

The Rules Wizard uses a systematic process to guide you through the rule creation process. You may choose to either create a rule from a template, or to start from a blank rule.

For example, you can use the Rules Wizard to do the following actions:
  • Assign Categories to incoming or outgoing messages based on their contents.
  • Set a notification, such as a message box or sound, when important messages arrive.
  • Move messages to a folder, based on the sender.
  • Delete messages in a conversation.
  • Flag messages in a conversation.
  • Delay delivery of messages by a specified amount of time.

How to convert your previous Outlook rules

When you first start the Rules Wizard, you receive the following prompt:
Outlook has detected rules created with a previous version of Outlook. It is recommended that you upgrade your rules for better performance, unless you also use a previous version of Outlook. If you want to make changes to rules when using a previous version of Outlook, do not upgrade. Would you like to upgrade now?
Click Upgrade my rules if you do not use another version of Outlook to make changes to your rules.

Click Don't upgrade my rules if you are using another version of Outlook to make changes to your rules. For example, if you have upgraded your laptop to Outlook 2002 but you have a desktop that uses Microsoft Outlook 2000, which you are not planning to upgrade yet. In this scenario any new rules created in Outlook 2002 are compatible with previous versions of Outlook.

If you click Don't upgrade my rules, and then click Do not ask me again, you may still upgrade your rules at a later time. In the Inbox, click the Tools menu, click Rules Wizard, click the Options button, and then click Upgrade Now.

How to create rules

You can create a rule with one of the following three methods:
  • Create a new rule.
    1. In the Outlook Inbox, on the Tools menu, click Rules Wizard.
    2. Click New.
    3. Click either Start creating a rule from a template or Start from a blank rule.
    4. Follow the instructions in the Rules Wizard.
  • Copy and modify an existing rule.
    1. In the Outlook Inbox, on the Tools menu, click Rules Wizard.
    2. In the Apply changes to this folder box, click the folder that contains the rule that you want to copy.
    3. In the Apply rules in the following order box, click the rule that you want to copy, and then click Copy.
    4. Click the folder that you want to copy the rule to, and then click OK
    5. Click Modify, and follow the instructions in the Rules Wizard to modify the conditions as necessary.
  • Base a rule on a message.
    1. Right click the message that you want to base the rule on.
    2. Click Create Rule
    3. The Rules Wizard is already populated with basic information from the message. Follow the instructions in the Rules Wizard to modify the conditions as necessary.
    -or-

    1. Open the message that you want to base the rule on.
    2. On the Actions menu, click Create Rule.

How to modify rules

  1. In the Outlook Inbox, on the Tools menu, click Rules Wizard.
  2. In the Apply rules in the following order box, click the rule that you want to modify.
  3. Click Modify.
  4. Click Next.
  5. Follow the instructions in the Rules Wizard.
  6. If you select another template or click Start from a blank rule, you will receive the following prompt:
Changing the template will discard specified information. Are you sure you want to continue?
Click No if you want to continue using the template that the rule was created with.

How to delete rules

  1. In the Outlook Inbox, on the Tools menu, click Rules Wizard.
  2. In the Apply rules in the following order box, click the rule you want to delete.
  3. Click Delete.

How rules are applied

When you create a rule, you designate whether to apply it when messages arrive in your Inbox, or when you send messages.

Rules are applied in the order in which they appear in the Apply rules in the following order box in the Rules Wizard. You can move rules up or down in the box by clicking to select a rule, and then clicking Move Up or Move Down.

How to run rules on an Exchange Server

If you use Exchange Server, the rules are stored in a hidden message named Outlook Message Manager in the Exchange Store.

New feature: On this Machine Only option

There may be times when you may need to create a rule that is specific to one computer. For example, a rule moves a message that meets certain criteria to a location in a locally stored personal folders (.pst) file.

For this type of rule, use the On this Machine Only option when you create the rule. Although this condition only applies when you connect to your mailbox from the computer where the rule was created, the rule is still stored on the Exchange store and therefore can be viewed and even modified from any computer.

References

For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
291633 How to troubleshoot the Outlook Rules Wizard

Properties

Article ID: 291608 - Last Review: May 7, 2007 - Revision: 1.3
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Outlook 2002 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbtemplate kbhowto KB291608

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