How to create and change rules on Outlook.com

Technical Level : Basic

Summary

As most of you have probably noticed, Outlook.com has had a little makeover. Meaning some of you that have previously created rules, don't know where the engineers have moved the option to, so you can create more or edit the ones you have already set.

This is why I have written this article. When reading this article, you will learn the following:

  1. What are rules, and how can they be used?
  2. How to create new rules in Outlook.com,
  3. How to edit current rules,
  4. How to delete rules you have previously set.


Details
What are rules, and how can they be used?

We use rules on Outlook.com to manage our emails. Rules can be used to place emails from set senders within folders, or with set subject lines. They can also be used to stop spam, as you can set a rule to block specific emails with particular subject lines, such as “You have Won the Lottery!!!”.

In short context, rules are there for you to use to keep your email inbox just the way you want it.

How to locate rules in Outlook.com?

To create a rule in Outlook.com, you will first need to head over to Outlook.com, and sign into your Microsoft Account.

Once you have signed into your account, you will be presented with your inbox. You will notice a gear icon on the top ribbon, just left of your profile picture. For help finding it, please look at the attached screenshot below.

Once you have found the gear icon, please click onto it, and it will display a drop-down menu for you. Once the menu is visible, please click onto “Options” at the very bottom.  

Once you have reached this page, you will notice a navigational menu on the left hand side of the screen. You will need to Click onto “Mail” and then “Inbox and sweep rules”. For help finding this option, please refer to my attached screenshot below.

Once you have reached this page, you will be able to see all the current rules you have already set on your Microsoft Account. If you haven’t, then the box should display blank.

How to create rules in Outlook.com?

When on the page, you can create rules by clicking onto the plus icon at the top of the box. For help finding the icon, please see the attached screenshot.

 

Once you have clicked onto this icon, a pop up window should pop up. (Note, you will need to enable pop ups on your browser before this displays. If you haven’t, then a bar should appear telling you to enable pop ups, once you click enable for this site, please try clicking the symbol again for the window to appear.)

Once you have finished creating the rule, you just need to hit “OK” for it to save the rule. The rule then should appear in the box; with the other rules you have set previously.  

How to edit current rules?

To edit current rules, you first need to find the rule you wish to edit. Once you find the rule you wish to edit, you need to click onto it to select the rule. Once you have selected the rule, you can then click onto the pencil icon at the top.

This will produce a pop up window for that rule, where you can edit the rule to how you want it.

 How to delete rules you have previously set?

To remove a rule, you will first need to find the rule you want to delete. Once you find the rule you wish to remove, you will need to click onto the rule to remove it. You can then click onto the bin icon to delete the rule you no longer need.

You can also turn off the rule, by unchecking it. Once the rule has been unchecked, it will not be active. The box to uncheck the rule is found at the left hand side next to the rule. For help, you can look at the screenshot below.

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I hope this article has helped you. If you still have problems with rules, please create a new thread on the Microsoft Community.

If you have any suggestions to make to this article, please use the “Suggest edit” feature at the bottom of this article.

As always, thanks for reading.

Regards,

 
Forum Article Info

Last updated July 15, 2018 Views 9,899 Applies to:
I am confused because none of all these screenshots are something you would find on Outlook.com
I suspect the article is deprecated and refers to an old version of the web application
Not, really... It helped me delete the rule thats been bugging me 4 ages

Helpful because it got me there.  However the nav to get there is just not very intuitive IMO.  Not digging the 'inbox and sweep rules'.  Doesn't catch the eye well, scanning typically works by looking at the first parts of a string.  In this case it's easy to gloss this one over with 'inbox and sweep'.  I'd be curious if users would respond better to an option simply labeled 'filters'.  Personally I would.

Thanks,

K

Enigma

Goodafternoon

On the Beta for Outlook.com, that ability to add new rules has been removed.
Actually, I have found how you do it now.  You cannot add new rules in the Manage Rules section which seems a little counter intuitive.  You have to right click on a mail and select Create rule.  That adds a rule to move messages from the selected messages sender into a chosen folder.  You then have to go to Manage Rules and edit the new rule to make it do what you actually want it to do.