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How To Create Rules In Outlook? Organize Your Inbox.

How To Create Rules In Outlook

If you have used the same device for a long time, your inbox may be messy. It is tough to find specific emails from the inbox.  Creating rules in Outlook can get rid of this mess. Do you know how to create rules in Outlook? If not, this content is only for you to learn to create rules in Outlook. Let’s get started.

Read More: How to create a mail group in Outlook? Know the distribution list.

What is the rule in Outlook?

The rule is a fantastic feature of Microsoft Outlook that helps you to perform specific actions on emails that arrives in your inbox. For instance, if an email from arrives and instruction is given, any email from this address will be stored in a specific folder.

The tool required to give instructions to the email address (say, is called Rules and Alerts. Rules allow you to move, flag automatically, and respond to email messages.

The rule does not limit the maintaining your inbox. With these tools, you can flag any message, send to spam containing a specific word, delete any email, mark it as read, and even you can print it. All this you can do with a rule and done automatically. You do not need to do a single work. Outlook rules bring automation to your inbox. It saves hours of sorting your emails and other stuff if you could use it properly.

Read More: Outlook indexing not working issue solution.

Create Rules in Outlook

The general process of creating rules can be done by following the below steps:

Step one: Right-click on the message and select Rules> Create Rule. See the below image.

Rules in Outlook

I want to create a rule for all emails from to be stored in a Sakar Nayak folder. That is why I right-click on an email from Sakar Nayak> Rules> Create Rules.

Step two: A pop-up window will appear where many options/conditions are available. Choose your condition. See the below image.

conditions of rules

I have selected

  • From Sakar Nayak,
  • Move the item to folder Sakar Nayak [By clicking Select Folder, I have chosen Sakar Nayak Folder and clicked on OK].

Step three: Go to the Advanced option for more conditions if required.

advanced option

I have selected only one condition. Then click on the Next button.

Step four: Click Next> Next you will find the below pop-up window.

  • Give the name of this rule.
  • Select Turn on this rule [ for new emails from Sakar Nayak].
  • Run this rule now on messages already in your Inbox. [for old emails from Sakar Nayak].

Step five: Click on the Finish button. And you have all done.

All email messages from this address will now be moved to the Sakar Nayak folder.

Instruction is given for Microsoft Office 2019 but these basics are useful for all other versions even in Office 365 also.

Create a rule from a template of Outlook

  1. Select File > Manage Rules & Alerts > New Rule.
  2. Select a template you desire
  3. Edit the rule description and click OK.
  4. Select Next, Choose your condition click OK.
  5. Select Next
  6. Give the name of this rule
  7. Select Finish
  8. Select OK.

Benefits of Rules and alerts

Rules are infinitely customizable, and there is a variety of options that you can choose as per your requirement. Rules make your email inbox more organized and make your life easy.

If you receive many email messages daily, you can create a rule for the specific email address to move to a specific folder.

How to delete a  Rule?

If you want to delete any rules, Go to the File tab, and choose Manage Rules & Alerts.  Rules and Alerts dialogue box, on the E-mail Rules tab, choose the rule you want to delete. Click on Apply and OK.

delete rules

How to run Rules manually?

You can manually run one or more rules. Go to the File tab, and choose Manage Rules & Alerts. Select the Email Rules tab and go to the Run rules now. Another pop-up window will appear. Select which rules you want to run, then click Run Now. Click OK.

Compare Server-based rules and client-based rules.

Server-based rules

If you are using Microsoft Exchange Server, some rules are server-based. These rules run on your mailbox even when your outlook/mail client is not running. The rule applies to the mail server when an email arrives in your mailbox. If a rule cannot be applied because Outlook is not open, that one applies as soon as outlook is open.

Client-based rule

The client-based rule can be applied only when your outlook is open. These rules are applied to clients only. There is no relation with the email server. That is why the client-based rule can be applied when only outlook is running.

Effects of the rule on other outlook features

Suppose you run any rules to a specific email address. In that case, all related emails like Delivery receipts, voting responses, Automatic Replies, Meeting requests, task requests, and documents will be moved to that specific folder. Because Delivery receipts, voting responses, and Automatic Replies, Meeting requests, task requests, and documents are also considered messages.

So, be careful about other features than email messages.

How to edit a rule?

  • Click on the File tab and Select Manage Rules and Alerts.
  • Select a rule from the list.
  • Select Change Rule in the E-Mail Rule tab.
  • Select Rule Settings to navigate the Rules Wizard and follow the procedure for creating a new rule.
  • Select Rename Rule to give a rule a new name.
  • Choose Move Folder to move the rule to another folder and remove it from the current folder.
  • Choose Copy to Folder to apply the rule to more than one folder.
  • Click Apply.
  • Click OK.

What to do if your rule is not functioning properly

What to do if your rule does not function properly? Generally, it never happens. If it happens, you can check the followings:

  • Make sure the condition you have selected is as per your requirement.
  • Make sure you have chosen the correct folder to store all email messages.

If still not working correctly, turn off Outlook and restart it.

Do you have the same issue again? Just delete the rule and create a new rule for the same.

Smart people use Rules and Alerts

Who are smart and serious enough at their workplace, I have seen them use the tool Rules and Alerts to organize their email inbox. They all want their inbox clear and always sort all their emails as per project name or email addresses. So that they can easily find any emails in the future. It increases their productivity level as well.

On the other hand, those who are not using this tool mess up their inbox, taking much time to find old emails from thousands of emails in the inbox. Thus their productivity level decreases.

Now the decision is yours.

I hope, this content is helpful to you. If you also think the same please post a comment below. If you are facing any problems to create Rules in Outlook feel free to post a comment as well. I will try my best to provide you with a better solution. Thank you for being with us.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    Yes, you can edit, delete, or modify any rule anytime.


    Rules and Alerts tool helps you to organize your mailbox. It automatically sends specific emails to a specific folder when it arrives. 


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