Create Rules in Outlook  Step by Step Guide ▷ 2021

The most demanding Outlook users take advantage of all the functions that this mail service has to make it a versatile tool, that fits your needs.

Among the most practical functions available to you, Outlook presents the user with the ability to configure rules of various types that allow adapting the behavior of the email platform, according to parameters specified by the user.

In this article, We will teach you everything you need to know about using rules in Outlook, how to activate them, and how to use them from the settings screen Outlook and on any of your devices.

What are rules in Outlook?

Rules section in Outlook

The Outlook rules are functions by which the user can specify conditions of actions when a message arrives in the main tray. The primary use of this Outlook feature is to automate actions that the user would otherwise have to perform on their own, constantly, and manually. Through this tool, you will be able to greatly optimize the use in your inbox.

What are the different types of rules that can be created in Outlook?

The Outlook web application will allow you to create two types of rules that, although they fulfill similar functions, they differ widely from each other, thanks to the parameters that can be specified in them.

These rules affect the behavior of the inbox, and can be identified as follows:

  • Basic rules: These rules apply from messages stored in Outlook folders, and the only option we have available is to move future messages from the sender to a different folder, which you can choose from.
  • Advanced rules: They offer a wide variety of options and conditions that are used to filter messages, and select the actions to be carried out on them. Advanced rules provide filtering parameters such as sender, subject, keywords, and arrival time, among other conditions.

Learn how to create basic and advanced rules in Outlook

You can access Outlook settings from the web app very simply, and from this point, you will have the possibility to adjust the filter criteria to create new advanced rules. The basic rules can be created very simply, with a few clicks directly from a message in the inbox.

It should be noted that these actions are not possible from the Outlook mobile application, so you can only do it through the web:


The basic rules they are created based on a message found in the inbox, or in another folder, and basically forward future messages from that email address to a different folder.

The procedure to create a simple rule in Outlook is as follows:

Create basic rules in Outlook

  • Right click in the message and select the option “Advanced Actions”.
  • Press about option “Create rule”.
  • Select folder to which you want to divert future messages from this sender.

What this function does is automate the separation of future messages that are sent by the sender on which the rule was applied. This process can be carried out as many times as necessary on any other email address.


The advanced rules are much more complex, since, in order to apply them, it is necessary to enter the Outlook settings, and allows a greater variety of criteria to be applied.

To create advanced rules in Outlook settings, you should be guided by the steps described below:

  • Sign in to Outlook with your user credentials.
  • Click on the gear-shaped icon located next to your profile picture.
  • Click on “See all Outlook settings.”

See all Outlook settings

  • In section “Post”, select the option “Rules”.
  • Click on the button “+ Add new rule”.
  • Please enter a name for the rule.

Activate the rules in Outlook

  • Choose the menu “Condition” and specifies what the message must include for the filter to apply.
  • The next step is to open the drop-down menu in “Add an action”Then you must define what will be done with the incoming emails that meet the specified condition.
  • click on the button “Keep”.

One of the advantages of advanced rules is that you only need to apply one to manage multiple sendersIn addition, you can define several conditions such as keywords included in the body or subject of the message, its size, or the period in which it is received.

Other actions to improve the productivity of your Outlook account

Outlook is a very versatile tool that offers a great variety of possibilities to its users, so you will have many more management and organization options, in addition to the creation of rules. Organizing the items in the inbox is one of the most important points for those who use Outlook as a work tool, and now we present some actions you can take to improve the use of your email account.

Go for it:

Create automatic replies

Enable auto replies on Outlook web

This is a fairly common function in most email services, which we can found in providers like Gmail or Yahoo! Mail. It is quite useful when it comes to improving usage times during interaction with both employees and customers, and it is possible to activate them both from the mobile phone and from the computer.

To activate automatic responses from your mobile device, you just have to follow the steps described below:

  • Open the app of Outlook.
  • Select your profile picture.
  • Click on the gear icon located in the lower left corner.
  • Choose an Outlook account. You can do this from the list of accounts that you will see at the beginning of the settings screen.
  • Select the option “Automatic responses.”
  • If you wish, you can check the box “Respond for a period of time”, and specifies the time during which automatic replies will be sent.
  • Write the text that will shape the answers.
  • Click on the button “Confirm” located in the upper right corner.

To activate this function from the web application, accessible through the computer, follow these steps:

  • Click on the gear icon.
  • Click on “See all Outlook settings.”
  • In section of “Mail”, select the option named “Automatic responses.”
  • Active this function by means of the switch labeled as “Enable automatic responses.”
  • Specify the time for which they will be active.
  • Enter your reply message to be shipped.
  • Choose the button “Keep”.

Organize everything in folders

Move emails to new folders in Outlook

Outlook has the function of create and organize emails in folders, which makes the task of locating and managing emails related to a specific topic much easier.

The option to create a new folder in Outlook is only available in the desktop version, and the procedure to do it is as follows:

  • Login to your account Outlook.
  • In the sidebar, select the option “Folders” and click on the downward-pointing arrow.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the menu of pre-existing folders and click the option “New folder”.
  • Enter name from the folder and press the button Enter.

Now, the folder menu has a new item, which will be named according to your preference.

To save emails in this folder, you must do the following:

  • click on an email that you want to include in the new folder to select it.
  • In the top toolbar, select the option “Move to”.
  • Select folder where you want to move the mail.

To automate this process, you can make use of a rule to store in a custom folder all emails from a particular sender. For this, you just need to select the email and apply a simple rule that redirects the new emails to the preferred destination folder.

Use mentions in emails

Use mentions when composing mail in Outlook

Mentions in Outlook emails they are very useful to notify several users about an event or invitation, without having to add them to the list of recipients.

To mention an Outlook user, just follow these steps:

  • Log in in your Outlook account.
  • Select the button “New message”.
  • Enter the text of the body of the message and, to mention a user, type the symbol “@” followed by the username of your contact in the format “@Username”.
  • Select the user you want to mention.
  • Login the addressee and send the message.

When mentioning a contact, Outlook adds you to the senders list and your name will be highlighted. It should be noted that it is not necessary to write the full name after “@”. You just have to enter the first letters to display the list of user names.

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, we will answer you as soon as possible, and it will also be of great help to more members of the community. Thanks! 😉

Author: Mario José

Graduated in journalism, specialized in investigation, I look for the truth of all things. Now 100% focused on technology, computing and the Internet.

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