Frequently Asked Questions

Outlook: Use Rules to Sort your Inbox
Last Updated a year ago


Use Rules to Sort your Inbox

If you find your volume of incoming emails to be overwhelming and difficult to sort by hand, you can use the Rules feature within Outlook to sort your emails for you!

  1. Find a message in your open Outlook 2016 window that you wish to have a Rule created for. When you find it, simply select it.
  2. At the top of your window, within the Home ribbon, under the Move heading is the Rules button. Click Rules, then Create Rule. Alternatively, you can also right-click the message from the previous step, go to Rules and click Create Rule.

  3. You'll be presented with a simplified Create Rule window, that will allow you to craft a rule based upon your currently selected message. You can then decide how you want Outlook to identify the message you want sorted, and then determine the appropriate action for Outlook to take once it has identified the message. In this example, I'll take messages from "Samantha Harper" and put them into a folder called "Sales". The image below shows the options I've selected:

  4. You can set additional criteria within this window, or within the Advanced Options button in the lower right-hand corner of the window. Once you have the options you want set, click the OK button.

  5. You will then be asked if you want to apply the rule to all messages within the current folder. If you want to retroactively apply this rule to all old messages, check the "Run this rule now on messages already in the current folder." option, and click OK.

  6. Repeat this process for all other emails that you have a desire to sort out.
Take note, most rules created within Outlook 2016 also propagate to your Outlook Online as well, meaning that the same rules created within Outlook 2016 will also be created at the same time within Outlook Online. There are a couple of exceptions to this rule, and Outlook 2016 will inform you when a rule is created that can only be processed while your Outlook 2016 client is open on your PC.

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