Email Rules

What are email rules?

Email rules can be configured to automatically complete specified tasks in your inbox, this could be as simple as moving a message from a specific user into a predefined folder or what to do with messages which contain certain words in the subject line or words within the message body.

Why would I want to use them?

As mentioned above you can save a lot of manual tasks or better organise your inbox . An example of this could be, all emails which are received from non-oxford email addresses can be sent into a separate which can reviewed periodically for legitimate email and more importantly deleted easily.

How do I setup rules?

Rules can be configured directly within Outlook, instructions below are for Outlook 2016 however the steps are identical in older versions of Outlook (2010 & 2013).

Creating a rule:

Select the “File” menu located in the top left of the screen.

Select “Manage Rules & Alerts”



This will open the Rules & Alerts dialog box where we can view current rules or create new ones for a selected mailbox.

We can see above that I already have a rule enabled, this rule is set to move all messages which contain the subject line “[WordFence Alert] User locked out from signing in” to the Folder “Wordfence Alerts”

To create a new rule, select “New Rule”  ensuring you have the correct mailbox/folder selected.

The “Rules Wizard” dialog box will appear.

From here you can start the process of creating a rule depending on what you would like to do, in the example below I will move all new messages from a person/email address into a specific folder.

  1. “Move messages from someone to a folder”
  2.  Select “Next”
  3.  The rule editor dialog will appear where you can select the specific user or group and assign the folder. (You can add additional conditions if required)

Clicking on the highlighted links will open additional dialog boxes where you can select people/email addresses and the folder where you’d like the message moved to. In the example below I have configured:

  • Move new messages arriving in my Inbox from to a folder called “Suppliers”

Once you have finished configuring your rule, select “Finish” then “Apply”

We can now see the new rule we configured which is currently enabled, to disable this rule untick the desired rule and select “Apply”


Further guidance:

Microsoft Managing Rules and Alerts Video (Oxford SSO Login required)