Instructions for creating Outlook rules

How to setup Outlook rules (I have Outlook 2002 so yours may differ slightly)

Click on Tools

Choose Rules Wizard

Click on New

Select “Start from a blank rule” radio button

Click on “Check messages when the arrive” if it’s not already selected

Click Next

Select the Condition you want Outlook to check. This is what causes the rule to fire. In this example, let’s use “with specific words in the subject”.

Click on the checkbox next to “with specific words in the subject”. You’ll notice that the Rule description has changed and now says “Apply this rule after the message arrives with specific words in the subject”. If you click on the link specified words in the Rule description window, Outlook will open up a window where you can then enter the words to look for.

Enter any words you want one at a time (key in word, hit enter; key in word, hit enter). Click OK when finished.

Click Next

Now Outlook wants to know what we want to do with the message. Scroll down until you see the checkbox “play a sound” and select it. Outlook appends this option to the rule.

Click on a sound in the Rule Description.

Find the sound you want to play and select it.

Now we need to tell Outlook what to do with the message. Scroll back to the top of this list and choose the option you want. For this example, choose “move it to the specified folder”.

Click on specified in the Rule Description.

Choose the mailbox location where you want to move the message.

Click OK

Click Next

Now you can add any exceptions to the rule. I don’t do this, but feel free.

Click Next

Enter a name for the rule. If something is in the text box, you can delete it and create your own name. There is an option to run this new rule on existing messages. If you want to run it, select that option, otherwise click Finish.

Now you’re done. You can use this procedure to create many different rules. Be sure to test it so you’ll know it works.

These rules can be pretty effective and I’d like to share with you a perfect example. I started getting a lot of mail from a user who had added me to a distribution list he had. I politely asked to be removed because the emails talked about stuff I was no longer involved with. Kept getting the email and kept asking to be removed. Nothing happened, so I thought “let’s create a rule”. The rule would automatically delete his email, then send him an email in return that said, “Please take me off your distribution list”. I was off the list by the next day.

Have fun.

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3 comments on “Instructions for creating Outlook rules

  1. Lynn says:

    Outlook express doesn’t give me the option of adding sound rules 😦

  2. tawny says:

    thank you so much – I am already busy making my email work for me instead of having 100s of emails flood me a day. Thanks!

  3. Howard says:

    Lynn – Sorry!

    Tawny – Glad I could help.

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