Use inbox rules in Outlook on the web

Use inbox rules to automatically perform specific actions on email that arrives in your inbox. For example, you can create rules that will change the importance level of messages as they come in, automatically move them to other folders, or delete them based on certain criteria.

Rules only run on your inbox. They don't run on other folders.

Note: If you use a work or school account to sign in to Office 365, you're using Outlook on the web. If you're using an Outlook.com, Hotmail, Live, or MSN account, see Use inbox rules in Outlook.com.

Choose your version for instructions

The instructions are slightly different depending on whether you're using the new Outlook on the web. Choose which version of Outlook on the web you're using to see the steps that apply to you.

IF YOUR MAILBOX LOOKS LIKE...

IF YOUR MAILBOX LOOKS LIKE...

Outlook on the Web Beta

See Instructions for the new Outlook on the web.

Outlook on the web

See Instructions for classic Outlook on the web.

Note: If your organization has included its logo in the toolbar, you might see something slightly different than shown above.

Instructions for the new Outlook on the web

Rules are applied to incoming messages and can be created from any folder.

  1. To quickly create a rule that moves all email from a specific sender or a set of senders to a folder, right-click a message in your message list that you want to create a rule for, and select Create rule.

  2. Choose the folder where you want all messages from that sender or set of senders to be moved, and then select OK.

  3. Select OK. The rule will be applied to all incoming messages. If you'd like to run the rule on your inbox immediately, select the check box for Run this rule now in Inbox.

    Note: Currently, you can only run rules in which a message from a sender is moved to a folder. You can't run other rules, such as those that use a message title or mark a message as unread.

If you'd like to do more than just move the message from a specific sender or set of senders to a folder, select More options. The rules settings menu will open.

A screenshot of the rules settings page

  • Every rule needs at least three things: a name, a condition, and an action. Rules can also contain exceptions to conditions. You can add multiple conditions, actions, and exceptions at each step by choosing Add a condition, Add an action, and Add an exception.

  • If you don't want any more rules to run after this one does, select the Stop processing more rules check box. For more information, see Stop processing more rules in Outlook on the web.

  • Press Save to create your rule or Discard to cancel rule creation.

  1. At the top of the page, select Settings Settings > View all Outlook settings.

  2. Select Mail > Rules.

  3. In the rule you want to edit, select edit .

  4. Press Save to save your edited rule.

Note: Some rules created in other versions of Outlook can't be processed by Outlook on the web. You won't be able to run or edit the rule in Outlook on the web.

  1. At the top of the page, select Settings Settings > View all Outlook settings.

  2. Select Mail > Rules.

  3. In the rule you want to delete, select Delete .

    Tip: If you just want to turn the rule off for a while, select the toggle next to the rule.

Inbox rules are applied to incoming messages based on the order they're in within the Inbox rules list. You can arrange the order in which the rules you create are applied to messages coming into your inbox.

  1. At the top of the page, select Settings Settings > View all Outlook settings.

  2. Select Mail > Rules.

  3. Select a rule, and then use the Up arrow or Down arrow to change the order in which the rule is applied to incoming messages.

By default, an inbox rule runs on incoming messages after you've created the rule. To run a rule on existing messages:

  1. At the top of the page, select Settings Settings > View all Outlook settings.

  2. Select Mail > Rules.

  3. Select Run rule now next to the rule you want to run.

    Note: Currently, you can only run rules in which a message from a sender is moved to a folder. You can't run other rules, such as those that use a message title or mark a message as unread.

Instructions for classic Outlook on the web

  1. Sign in to Outlook on the web.

  2. Select Settings Settings icon .

    A screenshot of the Settings button.

  3. Select Mail, which opens the Options panel on the left. Under Mail > Automatic processing, select Inbox and sweep rules.

  4. Select Add The Add icon under Inbox rules.

    Add inbox rule

  5. Type a name for the inbox rule in the Name box and then select a condition and action from their respective drop-down lists.

    New Rule dialog

    You can add additional conditions or actions by selecting Add condition or Add action.

  6. Add exceptions to the inbox rule by selecting Add exception and then choosing one from the Add exception menu.

  7. By default, the Stop processing more rules option is turned on. With this option on, when a message arrives in your inbox that meets the criteria for more than one rule, only the first rule will be applied. If you don't select this check box, all inbox rules that a message meets the criteria for will be applied.

    Stop processing rules

You can edit any inbox rule by selecting it and choosing Edit edit to open the rule so that you can change the conditions or actions of the rule.

If you have an inbox rule that you no longer want, you can select it and then select Delete discard to remove it. If you just want to turn the rule off for a while, remove the check mark next to the rule.

Inbox rules are applied to incoming messages based on the order they appear in within the Inbox rules list. You can arrange the order in which the rules you create are applied to messages coming into your inbox:

  1. Select Settings Settings icon .

    A screenshot of the Settings button.

  2. Select Mail, which opens the Options panel on the left. Under Mail > Automatic processing, select Inbox and sweep rules.

  3. Under Inbox rules, select the rule you want to move and then select the up arrow or down arrow Move rule up or down in list to place the rule where you want it positioned within the list of rules.

  1. Select Settings Settings icon .

    A screenshot of the Settings button.

  2. Select Mail, which opens the Options panel on the left. Under Mail > Automatic processing, select Inbox and sweep rules.

  3. Select Add The Add icon under Inbox rules.

    Add inbox rule

  4. Type a name for the inbox rule in the Name box.

  5. Under When the message arrives, and, select It includes these words, and then select in the subject.

    When message arrives

  6. Specify a word or phrase that would be in the subject line of the message to move, select Add Add , and then select OK.

    Specify words or phases

  7. Under Do the following, select Move, copy, or delete, and then select Move the message to folder.

    Do the following

  8. Select the folder to move the messages to and select OK.

  9. Select OK at the top of the dialog box.

  1. Select Settings Settings icon .

    A screenshot of the Settings button.

  2. Select Mail, which opens the Options panel on the left. Under Mail > Automatic processing, select Inbox and sweep rules.

  3. Select Add The Add icon under Inbox rules.

    Add inbox rule

  4. Type a name for the inbox rule in the Name box.

  5. Under When the message arrives, and, select It includes these words, and then select in the subject.

    When message arrives

  6. Specify a word or phrase that would be in the subject line of the message to move, select Add Add , and then select OK.

    Specify words or phases

  7. Under Do the following, select Move, copy, or delete, and then select Move the message to folder.

    Do the following

  8. Select the folder to move the messages to and select OK.

  9. Select OK at the top of the dialog box.

See Also

Organize your inbox with Archive, Sweep, and other tools in Outlook on the web

Filter junk email and spam in Outlook on the web

Expand your Office skills
Explore training
Get new features first
Join Office Insiders

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.

×