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Color Categories in Outlook 2013 for Windows

This article applies to: Outlook 2013 for Windows


Categories are markers you create to help you track important messages and events. You can assign a color and label to as many categories as you need, then apply those markers to messages and events either manually or, using rules, automatically. Categories can be associated with email messages, calendar items, and tasks.

Create a Category

  1. Select any item on your calendar, in an email folder, or on your task list.
  2. On the Home ribbon, in the Tags section, click Categorize.
  3. From the dropdown menu, select All Categories. A Color Categories dialog box will open.
  4. Click New.
  5. In the Add New Category dialog box that opens, type a name for your new category.
  6. (Optional) To change the color associated with the category, use the Color drop-down menu.
  7. Click OK to close the Add New Category dialog box. Your new category will appear on the list, already selected. Clear the checkmark if you do NOT want to assign it to the item you selected in step one.
  8. Click OK to close the Color Categories dialog box.

Assign a Category

  • To manually assign a category to an item, right-click on the item, hover over Categorize on the menu that appears, then select the desired category. Or, click Categorize on the Home ribbon, then select the desired category.
  • To automatically assign categories to messages, use Rules.

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