How to Create and Apply Message Rules in Windows Live Mail

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In the past we have talked about folder rules in MS Outlook and we also saw how that helped us stay more organized and automated with our emails. In the same context we also learnt to use the rule creating feature to manage solutions like emulation of vacation responses and customizing mail alert patterns.

Today we will speak about one more desktop email client, Windows Live Mail (WLM) and we will see how to create and apply message rules on it. We will check out the general steps and then each one of us can fine tune the actions by what we really need.

Steps to Create a Message Rule in Windows Live Mail

In our example we have chosen a single point of check on the message and two points of actions to whatever matches the criteria. The steps would be very much similar to anything you want to create.

Step 1: Open Windows Live Mail desktop client. Navigate to the Folders tab and click on Message rules to begin with the setup.


Step 2: Switch to New Rules tab and click on the button reading New. A dialog for New Mail Rule will be launched.


Step 3: Select and tick the conditions (check points) that you would like to apply to the incoming messages. Then select the actions that must be applied on the messages which match or pass the check points.


Step 4: While you select the conditions and actions you will notice that a rule gets defined (in words) on the third section of the pop-up. You must click on each of those links that appear and define more specifications as required.

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In our case we had to add the list of people to be checked as contained in the From line. You can add people from Contacts or enter an address manually and hit on Add.


Besides, you can move deeper into the Options and refine the rule condition in a more granular manner.


The other link in our rule required us to add the list of people to whom the message must be forwarded. It was pretty easy and simple to follow the steps.


Steps to Apply a Rule in Windows Live Mail

When you save a message rule that you have just created you will be shown another window for activating the rules. Alternatively, you can bring it up by routing to Folders -> Message rules.


Select the rules that you want to apply to the system currently. Use the Move up and Move down buttons to change the order and preference of rule execution. Click on Apply Now and exit the setup.



Creating rules and optimizing the use of Windows Live Mail is really up to oneself. I mean, you can create almost any set of conditions and action plans in order to meet your needs. Share with us the rules you plan to create and execute.

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Show archived comments (4)

Archived Comments

  1. Hemant Desai says:

    I have a strange problem with Windows Live mail client. There is One particular email address, that does not get sorted via rule. I have tried removing it, adding it as typed entry, from address book, even removed other entries to make the list short. Still no luck. Email from that particular person never gets sorted. Second question, how do I apply rule to existing messages? Say I am trying to organise my folders again. A new category of messages need to be made and there are already messages that qualify to go to that category. It would be foolish manually search through several emails from past till now and click/select them to move to new folder. Thanks in advance.

  2. Mark says:

    OK – that’s all fine but Windows Live Mail won’t let you create a Rule from an existing message as Outlook Express did. That is a very much quicker way to do things and is a definite backward step as far as MS is concerned.

  3. erik says:


  4. 6paulr says:

    I have tried to use Windows Live 2012 and found it very user friendly — accept for one thing — creating rules. Outlook 2007 has a nice easy feature that allows a user to create a rule from the incoming message. So, I go back to using Outlook 2007. I just gave Windows Live 2012 a test ride around the block; kind of like when you purchase a new car. But even after a nice ride, I’m going back to my old reliable model that works the way I want it to work”. I do really like Windows 8, however, and find it easy to navigate, even with an older laptop that does not have a touch screen like my iPad. I’d say, if you never were exposed to the earlier MS Outlook & Outlook Express, Windows Live 2012 is a nice way to handle all of you email accounts.
    signed — Old time computer geek!