How to Create a Filter in Outlook

This brief guide will show you how to create a filter (which Microsoft calls a “Rule”) to help you manage your email in Outlook.

There are a million reasons you may want to create filters for your email. Messages from certain people or accounts may not require your immediate attention, and you can create a filter to have them sent directly to a folder other than your Inbox. Or you can have messages sent directly to your Trash if they contain a specific word in the subject of the email (eg. I’m never going to care about an email that has the word ‘mortgage’ in the subject).

  1. Right-click the message you’d like to create a filter for. Select Rule from the context menu and then Create Rules… from the sub-menu.
  2. From here you can start to select the criteria for the rule. In this example I’ll be creating a rule for all email messages I recieve from “Xfinity”, which means I’ll check the box From Xfinity. Since I’m not concerned with the subject of the message or which address it’s sent to, I’ll leave those boxes unchecked. I want to have these messages moved to a specific folder – and that’s done by clicking the Select Folder… button and choosing the folder I want them moved to (you can also create a new folder this way). Then click the Advanced Options… button.
  3. From here you can choose between a slew of additional options – everything from an email having specific words in the body of the message to which computer (if you have more than one with Outlook installed) you want the rule to apply to. Click Next to review even more options.
  4. This section allows you to create exceptions to your filter. For example, you may not want the Rule to apply if the subject or part of message itself contains a specific word or phrase. Click Next when you’ve made your selections, if any.
  5. Now give your newly created filter a name and turn it on. You may want to apply it to any messages that are already in your Inbox. Click Finish when you’re done.
  6. If you ever want to review any of the Rules you’ve created to change or disable them, select File from the main Outlook menu.
  7. Then click the Manage Rules & Alerts button.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *