A rule is an action that Outlook runs automatically on incoming or outgoing messages. For example, you can create a rule to automatically move all email sent to you to the junk folder if it contains "buy this now" in the subject line.

Inbox rules can be managed through either the Outlook web app (Office 365 online) or the Outlook desktop application.

This document is divided into two sections:

Using Inbox Rules in the Outlook Web App (O365)

How to get to Inbox Rules

  • In a web browser, sign in to office.asbury.edu

  • Enter your user name and password, and then click Sign in.

  • At the top of the page, select the Gear icon  

  • Click "View All Outlook Settings" at the bottom-right corner

    • This will pop up a new window with all the settings 

  • Under Your app settings, select Mail

  • Under the Mail section, select Rules

Creating an Inbox Rule

  • To create a new rule, choose "+ add a new rule" option
  • The new rule window has three sections:


Give the rule a name

When the message arrives, and it matches all of these conditions:

Use this box to select criteria for your rule. Use the down arrow to view and select the criteria you want to use.

If the criteria have additional options, enter them in the window that appears.

Do all of the following:

Use this box to select the action(s) you want taken when a message arrives that meets the criteria you selected.

"Add an Exception" - Except if it matches any of these conditions:

Use this box to add exceptions to your rule.

You can also turn off the option to stop processing more rules. By default, the option to stop processing more rules is turned on. With this option on, when a message comes in that meets the criteria for more than one rule, only the first rule will be applied. Without this setting, all rules that the message meets the criteria for are applied. 

For example, without Stop processing more rules selected, if you have a rule to move all messages sent to a public group to a particular folder and another rule to move anything from your manager to another folder, and your manager then sends a message to that group, you'll find a copy of the message in both folders. If you want only the rule that moves messages from your manager to be applied, put that rule higher in the list than the rule that moves messages sent to the group, and then edit the first rule to add the option to stop processing more rules.

Rules are run from top to bottom in the order in which they appear in the Rules window. To change the order of rules, click the rule you want to move, and then click the move up up or Move down down arrow to move the rule to the position you want in the list.

Editing Inbox Rules

To edit an existing inbox rule, check the rule you want to edit and select the pencil icon:  
This will allow you to edit the fields mentioned earlier.

Deleting Inbox Rules

To delete an inbox rule, check the rule you want to delete and select the trash can icon:

This will delete the rule.

Using Inbox Rules in the Desktop Application on Windows

Create a New Rule

  1. Select File > Manage Rules & Alerts to open the Rules and Alerts dialog box.

    1. On macOS the rules are under Outlook > Preferences:

  2. On the Email Rules tab, select New Rule.

  3. Select one of templates or blank rules from the list.

  4. Check the conditions you want to apply

  5. Below that, Edit the rule description box, click on any underlined options to set them.

  6. Click Next

  7.  On the fourth page of the Rules Wizard, you can add any exceptions to your rule. For example, you can check except if it is marked as importance to ensure that any messages marked with a specific importance level aren't flagged for follow up.

  8. On the last page of the Rules Wizard, enter a name for your rule.

  9. If you want to run this rule on messages you've already received, check Run this rule now on messages already in "Inbox."

  10. Click Finish to save and turn on your rule.

Deleting a rule

You can delete a rule when it's no longer necessary.

  1. On the File tab, choose Manage Rules & Alerts.

  2. In the Rules and Alerts dialog box, on the E-mail Rules tab, choose the rule you want to delete.

  3. Choose Delete Delete icon > OK.