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Create a Mailbox Rule in Outlook – Instructions

by / Monday, 04 December 2017 / Published in Latest, Microsoft, Office 2013, Office 2016, Outlook 2013, Outlook 2016

Create a Mailbox Rule in Outlook: Overview

            You can easily create a mailbox rule in Outlook. A mailbox rule states that whenever items arrive into a mailbox that meet a specified criteria, they should then be processed by whatever the rule dictates should happen when an item of that type is received. You can have multiple rules applied to a single mailbox. The rules will be acted upon in sequence from top to bottom through the list of rules created for that mailbox. They can also be modified or deleted later, if they no longer apply. Outlook also lets you turn them on and off without having to delete and recreate them.

            To create a mailbox rule in Outlook, first select the mailbox folder for which you want to create a rule. Then start the “Rules Wizard” to help you create the criteria and actions you want the rule to perform. To access this wizard, click the “Home” tab in the Ribbon. Then click the “Rules” button in the “Move” button group. Then select the “Manage Rules & Alerts…” command. The “Rules and Alerts” dialog box then appears. Ensure you are viewing the “E-mail Rules” tab. Then click the “New Rule…” button in the upper-left corner of the tab to launch the “Rules Wizard.”

            In the “Rules Wizard,” select one of the templates from the list in the “Step 1: Select a template” area. The rule description appears in the “Step 2: Edit the rule description” section at the bottom of the dialog box. Click the hyperlinks in the rule description to “fill-in-the-blanks” in the rule template. When finished on this screen, click “Next >” to continue.

Create a Mailbox Rule in Outlook - Instructions: A picture of a user editing the hyperlink values within a rule template in the “Rules Wizard” in Outlook.

Create a Mailbox Rule in Outlook – Instructions: A picture of a user editing the hyperlink values within a rule template in the “Rules Wizard” in Outlook.

            In the next screen, the “Step 1: Select condition(s):” list lets you check various criteria to append to the rule below. If you started from a template, some of this is already done. However, you can add more criteria, if necessary. Then click the blue hyperlinks in the rule at the bottom of the dialog box to “fill-in-the-blanks” in the rule. Then click “Next >” to continue.

            The next screen lets you decide which action the rule should take when it receives an item that matches the criteria you just set. You can check the actions at the top of the dialog box to append them to the rule at the bottom of the dialog box. Then click the blue hyperlinks in the bottom box to “fill-in-the-blanks” in the rule. Then click “Next >” to continue.

            The next screen lets you create exceptions to the rule. You can check the exceptions at the top of the dialog box to append them to the rule at the bottom of the dialog box. Then click the blue hyperlinks in the bottom box to “fill-in-the-blanks” in the rule. Then click “Next >” to continue.

            In the last screen, type a name for the rule into the text box at the top of the dialog box. You can also check or uncheck the two “Run this rule now on messages already in [folder name]” or “Turn on this rule” checkboxes. When you are ready to finish the rule, click the “Finish” button.

            You then return to the “Rules and Alerts” dialog box on the “E-mail Rules” tab. Like folder rules, you can check or uncheck the rules listed here to turn them on and off. You can also use the “Change Rule…” dropdown button to edit a selected rule at a later point in time, if needed. You can also click the “Delete” button to delete a selected rule, if necessary. When you are finished, click “OK” to set the email rules.

Create a Mailbox Rule in Outlook: Instructions

  1. To create a mailbox rule in Outlook, select the mailbox folder for which you want to create a rule.
  2. Click the “Home” tab in the Ribbon.
  3. Then click the “Rules” button in the “Move” button group.
  4. Then select the “Manage Rules & Alerts…” command.
  5. The “Rules and Alerts” dialog box then appears.
  6. Ensure you are viewing the “E-mail Rules” tab.
  7. Then click the “New Rule…” button in the upper-left corner of the tab to launch the “Rules Wizard.”
  8. In the “Rules Wizard,” select one of the templates from the list in the “Step 1: Select a template” area.
  9. The rule description appears in the “Step 2: Edit the rule description” section at the bottom of the dialog box.
  10. Click the hyperlinks in the rule description to “fill-in-the-blanks” in the rule template.
  11. When finished on this screen, click “Next >” to continue.
  12. In the next screen, the “Step 1: Select condition(s):” list lets you check various criteria to append to the rule below.
  13. If you started from a template, some of this is already done. However, you can add more criteria, if necessary.
  14. Then click the blue hyperlinks in the rule at the bottom of the dialog box to “fill-in-the-blanks” in the rule.
  15. Then click “Next >” to continue.
  16. The next screen lets you decide which action the rule should take when it receives an item that matches the criteria you just set.
  17. You can check the actions at the top of the dialog box to append them to the rule at the bottom of the dialog box.
  18. Then click the blue hyperlinks in the bottom box to “fill-in-the-blanks” in the rule.
  19. Then click “Next >” to continue.
  20. The next screen lets you create exceptions to the rule.
  21. You can check the exceptions at the top of the dialog box to append them to the rule at the bottom of the dialog box.
  22. Then click the blue hyperlinks in the bottom box to “fill-in-the-blanks” in the rule.
  23. Then click “Next >” to continue.
  24. In the last screen, type a name for the rule into the text box at the top of the dialog box.
  25. You can also check or uncheck the two “Run this rule now on messages already in [folder name]” or “Turn on this rule” checkboxes.
  26. When you are ready to finish the rule, click the “Finish” button.
  27. You then return to the “Rules and Alerts” dialog box on the “E-mail Rules” tab.
  28. Like folder rules, you can check or uncheck the rules listed here to turn them on and off.
  29. To edit a rule, select a rule then click the “Change Rule…” dropdown button and choose the “Edit Rule Settings…” command.
  30. To delete a rule, select the rule and click the “Delete” button.
  31. When you are finished, click “OK” to set the rules and close the “Rules and Alerts” dialog box.

Create a Mailbox Rule in Outlook: Video Lesson

            The following video lesson, titled “Creating Mailbox Rules,” shows you how to create a mailbox rule in Outlook. This video lesson on how to create a mailbox rule in Outlook is from our complete Outlook tutorial, titled “Mastering Outlook Made Easy v.2016-2013.”

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