Manage your email on a Mac

Organize your Inbox with rules on a Mac

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Use rules to organize your incoming email messages automatically.

Create rules

  1. Select File > Tools > Rules.

  2. In the Rules box, select the email account for which you want to create the rules.

  3. Select +.

  4. In Rule name, type a name for the rule.

  5. In the When a new message arrives that meets all these conditions section, set the conditions.

    For example, you can choose Subject or Body from the drop-down, and then select + to add a search term in the Search List.

    You can add more search terms, and more conditions.

  6. In the Do the following section, add the actions you want to the rule.

    For example, you can automatically mark the incoming email as read, you can delete it, you can set a category or priority for it, or you can move the email to a folder.

    Note: If you move the email to a folder, enter the folder name.

    • Select + to add more actions to the rule.

    • Select - to delete actions.

  7. In the Except if section, add any exceptions to the rule.

  8. Select the Do not apply other rules to messages that meet the same conditions checkbox.

  9. Select the Enabled checkbox to enable the rule.

  10. Select OK.

Edit rules

  1. To set a priority for Rules, select the arrows located in the bottom-right side in the Rules box.

  2. To disable a rule, clear the Enabled checkbox.

    You can check the box to enable the rule again.

  3. Select the rule, and then select - to permanently delete the rule.

  4. To save the Rules and changes, select X on the top of the Rules box, and then select Save.

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Outlook 2016 for Mac Help

What's new in Outlook 2016 for Mac?

Outlook 2016 for Mac Quick Start Guide

Mail rules are a set of filters that act on your incoming email automatically based on a set of rules that you specified.

Let's create a rule now.

To get started, click Tools from the File menu and select Rules.

We're going to create a rule first on our Exchange server, so I'll select my Landonhotel account.

As you can see, we have no rules in there already, but we're going to change that and add one by clicking the plus sign on the bottom lefthand side.

I'm going to create a rule to act on all my 128 Main emails.

I'm going to move them into the 128 Main folder.

So the first thing I need to do when I give it a name is give it something that's meaningful to me so that I can find it later.

Now we have to decide what conditions that message has to meet to be processed.

From the pull-down menu, I can select from all these choices.

If I want my rule, that is, the action item to occur on every message that comes in, I can choose All Messages.

In this case, I want to search on the subject or body. I can put in my search term here.

I'll click on Add Search Terms, and in the search list dialog, there's currently nothing in here.

So I'll click the plus sign again to add a search term.

I'm going to type in my query, and I'll click the blue OK button.

Now, whenever a message comes in in which the subject or body contains the words 128 Main, an action item will occur.

In fact, I can add more than one condition by clicking the plus sign to the right of the query.

I can continue to add more search terms.

If I don't want a search term or if I've decided I might have narrowed it down a little too much, I can subtract that search term by clicking the minus sign.

After we've got all our search queries in for that rule, I next need to decide what's going to happen.

In this case, I'm going to move it to a folder, although you can see that there's a lot of choices I have.

For example, I can forward the message to somebody else.

I can delete it outright.

I can mark it as read automatically. I can set it to a higher priority. And I can even categorize it.

In this case, however, I'm going to move it to a folder.

I need to choose the folder, so I'll select Choose Folder.

I'm going to type my 128 Main folder that I already have created.

I'll select that folder and click the blue Choose button.

Just like when searching for message conditions, I can also add multiple actions by clicking the Add Action plus sign.

For example, I can move it to a folder and automatically mark it as being read.

If I decide I don't want any more actions, I can click the minus sign to get rid of it. I can also add exceptions.

For example, if a message comes in that contains 128 Main, I want to move it to the folder except if it's from Jonathan. And always, I can subtract an exception by clicking the minus sign.

I can also choose whether or not to apply these rules to any other messages that meet the same conditions or not.

And finally, I do want this message rule enabled, so I'll leave that checkbox alone. I'll click the blue OK button.

Here's my rule. I can see where it's created.

And if I had more than one rule, I can change the order in which they're executed.

For example, if a rule comes in that might meet multiple criteria of several rules, it's going to act on that message in the order in which it's received in this list.

So I can move my rule priorities up and down by clicking on these arrows in the bottom righthand side.

I can also disable a rule at any time by coming in here and unchecking the enabled box.

This means that the rule will still be there. If I've spent a lot of time creating criteria and action items, I might not want to delete it, but I might not want that rule to work anymore.

So I can come here and enable it and disable it whenever I want.

If I really decide I don't want that rule at all, I can select it in this list and delete it by clicking the minus sign in the bottom lefthand side.

In this case, however, I'm going to close out of this list by clicking the red X in the top lefthand side, and I'll click Save to save my rule. It's going to save it back up to the server.

And now, it will be acted on for any incoming messages.

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