Use categories in Outlook on the web

Categories let you easily identify and group messages in Outlook on the web. Choose from default categories or create your own, and assign one or more categories to your messages.

Note: Currently, you can't sort messages by category in Outlook on the web.

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...

Outlook on the Web Beta

See Instructions for the new Outlook on the web.

IF YOUR MAILBOX LOOKS LIKE...

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

Method 1:

  1. Select the email message or messages you want to categorize.

  2. Select Categorize from the top toolbar, and then do the following:

    • To apply a category: Search for or select the category you want to use.

    • To remove a category: Clear the check mark next to the category.

Note: If you've assigned a lot of categories and can't see the category you're looking for, click All categories at the bottom of the list.

Method 2:

  • Right-click the email message or selected messages, and then select Categorize from the list. Then, do the following:

    • To apply a category: Select the category you want to use.

    • To remove a category: Clear the check mark next to the category.

Note: If you select multiple messages with categories already applied, the categories selected in the drop-down will only show those applied to all those messages you've selected.

Note: You can't apply a category to an instance of an appointment or meeting series. You can only apply categories to the entire series.

  1. Right-click the calendar event.

  2. Select Categorize, and then select a category to apply it, or clear the check mark next to a category to remove it.

    If you don't see the category you're looking for, select All categories at the bottom of the list.

Method 1:

  1. Select an email message or calendar event and right-click.

  2. From the Categorize menu, select New category.

  3. Type a name for your category, and then, if you want, choose a color by clicking the category icon.

  4. Press Enter. The category is created and applied to the items you've selected.

Method 2:

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

  2. Select General > Categories.

  3. Select Create category.

  4. Type a name for your category, and then, if you want, choose a color by selecting the category icon.

  5. Press Enter.

  1. Go to Settings Settings > View all Outlook settings.

  2. Select General > Categories.

  3. Select the icon of the category you want to change.

  4. Select a color from the picker.

    Note: Colors shown reflect the color of the category text, not the background color of the label when applied to an item.

  1. Go to Settings Settings > View all Outlook settings.

  2. Select General > Categories.

  3. Select Delete Delete to delete a category.

Instructions for classic Outlook on the web

  1. Sign in to Outlook on the web.

  2. Select a message you want to categorize.

  3. Right-click, and then select Categorize and choose the category you want to use.

  1. Sign in to Outlook on the web.

  2. Select a message you want to categorize.

  3. On the navigation bar, select More actions > Categories > New category.

  4. Type a name for the category.

  1. Sign in to Outlook on the web.

  2. Select any message.

  3. Right-click, and then select Categorize > Manage categories.

  4. Select the category you want to edit, and then select the down arrow next to it.

    A screenshot of the arrow next to a category

  5. Choose the color you want to use, and select OK.

  1. Sign in to Outlook on the web.

  2. Select any message.

  3. Right-click, and then select Categorize > Manage categories.

  4. Select the category you want to delete, and then select Delete The Delete icon .

    A screenshot of the Delete button

See Also

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

Organize email by using inbox rules in Outlook on the web

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