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How To Use Inbox Rules In Outlook

We use Inbox Rules to automate specific actions regarding email that arrives in our inbox.  I know a lot of folks are not aware of rules or they do not know how to use them.  I can tell you that once you learn, you may just find them very, very valuable.

Follow the steps below to learn how to create an Inbox Rule:

  1. To create a rule that will move all mail from a specific sender or a group of senders to a folder, simply right-click a message in your list that you would like to create a rule for.
  2. Select OK.
  3. Select the folder where you would like all messages from that sender or group to be moved.
  4. Select OK.
  5. If you should want to do more than just move your message from a specific sender or group, select More options.

If, on the other hand, you would like to create a completely new rule, follow the steps below:

  • At the top of your page, select Settings | View | all Outlook settings | Mail | Rules
  • Click Add new rule

Every rule you create needs certain things (i.e., Name, condition, action). Now Rules can also contain exceptions to conditions. You can add multiple conditions, actions, and exceptions at each step simply by choosing Add a condition, Add an Action, and Add an exception.

If you do not want any rules to run after the current one runs, select Stop processing more rules.

  • Click Save to create your rule or Discard to cancel the rule you created

There is a caveat: Suppose you have created a rule to forward or redirect messages you receive to another email address. If so, it is very important to know the difference between forwarding and redirecting.

  • A forwarded message appears as a message you received and then forwarded to another recipient. When the recipient replies, their reply will go to the address the message was forwarded from
  • A redirected message keeps the original sender on the From line. When a recipient that a message was redirected to replies, the reply will go to the original sender

You can see how it is very important to know the difference, I am sure.


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