Use rules to manage your email

Manage rules

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You created a rule, but now you need to change it, delete it, or stop using the rule but not delete it. Watch this video to learn how to best manage your rules.

Delete a rule

When a rule is no longer necessary, here’s how to delete it:

  1. Click the FILE tab.

  2. Click Manage Rules & Alerts.

  3. Select the rule you want to delete.

  4. Click Delete.

  5. Click OK.

Want more?

Manage email messages by using rules

Edit an Outlook rule

Import or export a set of rules

To see the order of your rules, on the HOME tab, click Rules, and click Manage Rules & Alerts.

When an email is sent or received, the first rule it is evaluated against is the one at the top of the Rules and Alerts dialog, then the next rule, and so on. This is your rules list.

But, if the email matches the conditions of a rule and that rule includes the action, stop processing more rules, the email will not be evaluated against subsequent rules.

So, it is important that your rules are in the order you want.

The Coho rule is the last rule I created, so it is at the top of the list and contains the stop processing more rules action.

This isn't what I want.

I want emails I receive, where my name is in the To box, to always stay in my Inbox.

So, I click the where my name is in the To box rule, and click the Move Up arrow to move it to the top of the list.

The order of the other rules is what I want.

I find it helpful to put DL before rules that use distribution lists in conditions.

I click the Film Club rule, click Change Rule, click Rename Rule, change the title so it starts with DL, click OK, and click Apply.

Now, it is the time to run the rules and make sure they do what we want.

I click Run Rules Now, clickSelect All, and click Run Now.

I click Close and OK to close the dialog, so we can see how the rules worked.

This email in my Inbox has Fabrikam in the subject, but I am in the To box.

So the where my name is in the To box rule applied, which stopped the processing of the subsequent rules on the email, keeping the email in my Inbox.

This email is from Elaine at Fabrikam. Her email address contains Fabrikam, so the 'From Fabrikam' rule applied.

But she marked the email as High importance, so the exception for the rule applied, keeping the email in my Inbox.

In the Coho folder, there is one email.

Coho's in the body of the email, so it was assigned the Coho category and moved to the Coho folder.

In the Fabrikam folder, there are these three emails.

This email was sent by Murray at Fabrikam.

His email address contains Fabrikam, so the email was moved to this folder by the 'From Fabrikam' rule.

The subject of this email and this email contain Fabrikam, so the emails were moved to the Fabrikam folder by the 'Fabrikam in subject' rule.

In the Film Club folder, this email was sent to the Film Club distribution list.

The 'To Film Club' rule we created in the Use rules to manage your email video moved it to this folder.

To stop using a rule, but not delete it, on the HOME tab, click Rules, and click Manage Rules & Alerts.

Uncheck the rule you want to stop using and click OK. To delete a rule, click the rule, click Delete, and click Yes.

Now, you have a good idea about how to use rules to manage your email. Of course, there's always more to learn.

So, check out the Course Summary at the end, and best of all, explore Outlook 2013 on your own.

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