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How to create a filter in Outlook

This short 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 why you might want to create filters for your email. Messages from some people or accounts may not require your immediate attention, and you can create a filter to send it directly to a folder other than your inbox. Or you can get messages sent directly to the Trash if they contain a specific word in the subject of the email (eg I will never care about an email that has the word "mortgage" "in topic).

  1. Right-click the message for which you want to create a filter. Select Rule from the context menu and then Create rules … from the submenu.
  2. From here you can start selecting the criteria for the rule. In this example, I create a rule for all emails I receive from "Xfinity", which means I check the box From Xfinity . Since I am not interested in the subject of the message or what address it is sent to, I will leave these boxes unchecked . I want these messages moved to a specific folder ̵
    1; and that is done by clicking the Select Folder … button and selecting the folder I want them to be moved to (you can also create a new folder In this way). Then click the Advanced Options … button.
  3. From here you can choose from a number of more options – everything from an email with specific words in the message's main to which computer (if you have more than one with Outlook installed) you want the rule to apply to. Click Next to view 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 topic or part of the message itself contains a specific word or phrase. Click Next when you have made your selections, if any.
  5. Now give your newly created filter a name and turn it on. You may want to use it on all messages already in your inbox. When you are finished, click Exit .
  6. If you ever want to review some of the rules that you created to change or disable them, select File from the Outlook main menu.
  7. Then click the Manage Rules and Alerts button.

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