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How to...

Create a Rule in Outlook

These directions apply to both Office 2010 and 2013. Screenshots posted are from Office 2013.

  1. Navigate to the File tab.
  2. Click "Manage Rules & Alerts."
    Screenshot of step 2.
  3. The E-mail Rules tab of the Rules and Alerts window displays all of your current rules. Click "New Rule" to create a new rule.
    Screenshot of step 3.
  4. The Rules Wizard launches and will walk you through the process of creating a rule. One of the most common uses for rules is to automatically place emails sent to or from a certain address into a specified folder. IT recommends this for users who are members of distribution groups so they can easily separate messages sent to their personal address from those sent to the group, so these instructions will use that as an example. Select "Move messages sent to a public group to a folder" in Step 1 of the wizard and click "Next."
    Screenshot of step 4.
  5. You must now choose the conditions to check. There are many options here, and you can check as many as you want, but for this example, we are only concerned with mail sent to a certain address, so check the box labeled "sent to people or public group."
    Screenshot of step 5.
  6. Any choices you select will be reflected in the Step 2 section at the bottom of the window. It is here that you specify exactly which conditions are referred to in Step 1. For this example, we need to specify which address we want to check, so click "people or public group." A new window will appear; either select the address you are looking for from any of the Outlook address books or type it directly into the "To →" box. Click "OK" and the address will be displayed in the Step 2 section. Click "Next."
    Screenshot of step 6.
  7. The next step dictates what actions are applied to any messages that fall under the conditions we just set. For this example, we want to move the messages to a folder, so check "move it to the specified folder."
    Screenshot of step 7.
  8. Click "specified" in the Step 2 section and a new window appears in which you can select the folder in question. If it does not exist, you can create it. Select it and click "OK," then "Next."
    Screenshot of step 8.
  9. The next step allows you to plan for exceptions to the rule. For this example, we'll keep it simple and leave all boxes unchecked.
    Screenshot of step 9.
  10. The last window lets you name the rule, set the options for the rule, see a summary of what the rules does, and gives you the chance to edit any of the values you specified when creating the rule. Click "Finish."
    Screenshot of step 10.
  11. Your rule will now be displayed in the Rules and Alerts window. Select it in the list to edit or delete it. Choosing to edit it will take you back through the wizard.

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