Thursday, 5 February 2009

Email Rules in MS Outlook

If you get bothered by spam of one sort or another or even if you just want to automatically sort your incoming emails to make life easier, you can make up some rules that Outlook will then follow to direct emails to certain folders or to automatically delete them.

You will find the Rules and Alerts tool on the Tools menu.

We are going to create a new rule here, but there is also the option to edit any rules you have already created.

There are many different types of rules - we'll have a look at a longer list later, but for now we are going to create a rule to move all messages that have a specific word (or part of a word) to a certain sub-folder that we have created within our Inbox folder.

This can be done quite simply as shown below:

Point the mouse to the Inbox label (or any other folder to create a sub-folder within it) and right-click. Then choose New Folder.

Note that in the third screen shot my mouse pointer (the pointing hand) was pointing to the link for specific words. This allows me to specify the text that the rule will be based on. In fact I'm going to enter three asterisks *** as a lot of spam messages have that as an attention grabber. I could have entered an actual word or part of a word. Make sure if you enter a part of a word that it won't also match parts of other words and move emails that you may want to receive in your Inbox!

Having now entered the text that I want Outlook to base the rule on, I can now click on the link of Specified Folder.

You can see that this has opened a further window to allow me to scroll through and choose one of my existing folders.

Because it's spam that I'm searching for, I want to choose the Deleted Items folder, which is exactly the same as choosing to delete the email without even ever having to see it. Note now though that if one of your contacts or friends sends a message with the subject ***Happy Birthday!*** you won't see it!

And to end this blog entry - here's a few of the rule types you can create.

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