Use rules to manage your email

Create rules from scratch

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If you don’t see a template that covers the rules you want to create, you can create a new rule from scratch. Watch this video to find out how.

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Manage email messages by using rules

Edit an Outlook rule

Import or export a set of rules

Rules have three parts: Conditions, Actions, and Exceptions.

Conditions evaluate if a rule applies to an email, such as if the subject of the email contains specific words.

If the rule applies to the email, an action does something to it, such as moving the email to a specific folder.

Exceptions provide a way to say, in effect, even if the rule applies, don't do the action.

A common example is "except if sent only to me".

In addition to the tons of email sent internally about the Fabrikam project, customers at Fabrikam also send a fair amount of emails.

I want emails from them to go into the Fabrikam folder, unless they are marked as High Importance.

This email is from Murray Breland. I know he works at Fabrikam because his email address is

I can create a rule that evaluates if the sender's email address contains Fabrikam, and if it does, put it in the Fabrikam folder.

On the HOME tab, I click Rules, and click Manage Rules & Alerts. Click New Rule. We are going to create a rule from scratch, so I click the Apply rule on messages I receive in Blank rule and click Next.

Conditions contains many options, such as from people or public group and with specific words in the subject.

I check with specific words in the sender's address.

In the edit box, I click the underlined text, specific words, type Fabrikam, click Add, clickOK, and click Next.

Actions also has many options, such as assign it to the 'category' category and flag message for follow up at this time.

I check move it to the specified folder and stop processing more rules.

In the edit box, I click the underlined text, specified, click the Fabrikam folder, click OK, and click Next.

In exceptions, there are options such as except if it is marked as importance and except where my name is in the To box.

I check except if it is marked as importance, click the underlined text, importance, click the down-arrow, click High, click OK, click Next, type a name for the rule, and click Finish.

When I look at the two Fabrikam rules in the future, I want to make sure I can look at the rule names and get a basic understanding of what they do.

I click the first Fabrikam rule, click Change Rule, click Rename Rule, give it a more descriptive name, click OK, and click OK again.

Up next, Create rules from scratch, Part 2.

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