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Manage email messages by using rules (Mac)

Manage email messages by using rules (Mac)

With your inbox filling up, you're probably looking for new ways to process all that email. Rules can help you sort through everything and get you to the most important mail first. Outlook for Mac can automatically run a rule on incoming or outgoing messages, based on the conditions you set.

A rule is an action performed automatically on incoming or outgoing messages, based on conditions that you specify. You can create rules to help keep you organized. For example, you can create rules to automatically file messages into folders or assign messages to categories.

Important: In the new Outlook for Mac (as of October 2020), only server rules are available, client rules are no longer supported.

Create a rule based on the sender's name or a contact group

You can create a rule that moves all messages from [name], to a folder called "Mail from [name]." If you are receiving mail from a contact group (also known as a distribution list), you can automatically move it to a specific folder as well.

  1. To create a folder to hold the email messages sent by the rule, select the root mailbox, on the Organize tab, click New Folder, type the name of the folder, and press Enter.
    *If you've already created a folder, skip to step 2.
  2. In the message list, click an email message with the sender or recipient you want to create a rule for.
  3. On the Home tab, click Rules, and then click Move Messages from (sender's name) or Move Messages to (recipient's name).

  4. In the folder search box, start typing the name of the folder you want to move messages to.
  5. When the folder you want appears, click the folder name, click Choose, and then click OK.

Notes: 

  • If you have a Microsoft Exchange account managed by Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 or later, the rule is automatically saved on the server.

  • If you create multiple rules, Outlook runs the rules in the order in which they are listed in the Rules

Create a rule based on an existing message

When you create a rule from an existing message, the sender, recipient, and subject are automatically pre-populated into the rules instructions.

  1. To create a folder to hold the email messages sent by the rule, select the root mailbox, on the Organize tab, click New Folder, type the name of the folder, and press Enter.
    *If you've already created a folder, skip to step 2.
  2. In the message list, click the message from which you want to create a rule.
  3. On the Home tab, click Rules, and then click Create Rule.
  4. Under When a new message arrives, edit the criteria to suit your needs.
    *To remove a condition, click -. To add a condition, click +.

  5. Under Do the following, choose what you want to happen when you send or receive email. For example, when you receive email from someone, choose Move to Folder, select the folder you want the email messages to be moved to, and then click Choose Folder. In the Search box, find the folder you created for this rule, click Choose, and then click OK.

Create a custom rule for an Exchange account

  1. On the Tools menu, click Rules.

  2. In the left pane of the Rules box, under EXCHANGE SERVERS, click the account name. (This option is only available for accounts managed by Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 or later.)

  3. Under When a new message arrives, click the arrows on the first box to open the list, and then choose the type of information you want to identify, such as FromRecipients, or Subject.

  4. Under When a new message arrives, continue to move from left to right, clicking the arrows and selecting conditions for your rule.

  5. Click Add search terms, and then in the search list, click Add for each term you want to add.
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