Creating Inbox Rules (AKA Mail Filters)

Use Inbox Rules to automatically perform specific actions on email messages that come into your Inbox.  For example, you can create rules that will change the importance level of email messages as they come in, automatically move them to specific folders, or even delete them based on certain criteria.

You should use caution when creating rules.  If you create a rule with a logic error, it could result in the action (such as deletion of mail) being taken on more messages than you expect.

Information Technology Services cannot provide direct assistance in crafting mail filtering rules.

A few notes before the actual instructions:

  • The instructions below are for the web version of Office 365.  If you use the desktop version that is part of Microsoft Office, we still recommend editing/updating/creating rules in the web version.  They will still act on mail for the desktop version.
  • These instructions are for the newer version of Outlook Web Access.  You are using the "Old" Outlook if instead it says "Try the new Outlook" at the top right (If it says this - click "Try the new Outlook" to move to the new version).

 

Creating new mail filter rules

  1. Click the gear icon at the top right then click View all Outlook settings at the bottom.
    Screenshot showing the gear icon - and the full outlook settings link location within settings
  2. Click Rules on the left
  3. Click Add new rule
    • Name your rule
    • Add a condition (what to look for to identify messages with this rule).  Some common conditions include: filtering based on subject, sender, or message text.
    • Add an action (what to happen to messages that meet the above condition).  Common conditions include moving the message to a folder, or forwarding/redirecting to another recipient.
    • Note: The Stop processing more rules option is set by default.  If this is not used - then a subsequent rule may override what you've done with this rule.
    • When done - click Save at the top right.

Again - we have to warn you that misconfiguring rules can cause mail to be deleted.  Using the "Delete" option as an action doesn't just put the message in your trash - but it is unrecoverable.

 

Details

Article ID: 17903
Created
Mon 10/31/16 3:01 PM
Modified
Fri 9/6/19 9:52 AM