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Rules (Filters) in Outlook on the Web

Rules allow you to have incoming (or outgoing) messages sorted, filed, marked, or otherwise handled automatically.

This article applies to: Outlook on the Web


Microsoft frequently updates the design of Outlook on the Web, so your version may not match exactly the description given here.

Create rules to have incoming (or outgoing) messages sorted, filed, marked, or otherwise handled automatically. You define what to look for and what should happen when a message meets the conditions you've set. For example:

  • move messages from a particular address into a specified folder
  • assign a category or flag to messages with a particular word in the subject

The rules you create in Outlook on the Web are applied when messages arrive in your Exchange account mailbox. It does not matter whether Outlook on the Web (or Outlook) is running.

  1. In Outlook on the Web, on the red, Cornell-themed toolbar, click the gear icon.
  2. At the bottom of the Settings panel that opens, click View all Outlook settings.
  3. In the left column, click Mail.
  4. In the second column, click Rules.
  5. Click Add new rule.
  6. Give your rule a descriptive Name.
  7. Use the Add a condition dropdown list to indicate when a rule should take effect.
    If your criterion is based on a person, type the beginning of a name or NetID into the text field that appears, then select the desired person from the results.
    If your criterion is based on looking for specific words, type the word or phrase.
  8. Use the Add an action dropdown list to select what you want to happen. Depending on what action you select, you'll then indicate the folder, category, or person associated with the action you selected.
  9. When finished, click Save at the top of the new rule panel.
  10. To return to your mailbox, close the Settings window.

Some rules are more complicated; you may want to specify more than one criteria, take more than one action, and/or specify exceptions. Use the Add another condition, Add another action, and Add an exception controls as needed.
The rule window will expand to allow you to add criteria, actions, and/or exceptions as needed. 

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