Organize email using 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. Also, Outlook on the web doesn't support running new rules on existing messages. To do this, please use Outlook 2016 or Outlook 2013.

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.

Create an inbox rule

  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

Edit an inbox rule

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.

Delete an inbox 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.

Set the order in which inbox rules are applied to incoming messages

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.

Examples of how to use inbox 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

Filter junk email and spam in Outlook on the web

Use Clutter to sort low priority messages in Outlook on the web

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