Create Folder Rules in MS Outlook for Incoming Mails – Guiding Tech


Many of you people must be using

MS Outlook

as a email client. Also, chances are that you have integrated

multiple email accounts

to deliver mails to your

desktop client

. In such a scenario, when you receive a lot of mails then it becomes important to know how to segregate them and check the important ones first.

Rather than doing this manually, you may want to have dedicated folders for different types of emails such that the incoming messages are stacked in their respective folders. For such automation Outlook allows you to create rules and applies the same to each incoming email. Accordingly it pushes the messages to their specified folder. The concept is similar to filters and labels in Gmail.

For example, I want all mails from “Sandeep Agarwal” to reach a folder named Self. Here’s how I defined the rules for it.

Showing Self

Steps to Create an Email Rule

The same process applies for all kinds of email rules. This is a detailed example, showing the mentioned process. You will have you choose/define parameters according to what you want.

Step 1: Navigate to the Tools tab and choose the option Rules and Alerts.

Choose Rules Alerts

Step 2: Focus the Email Rules tab and hit the button reading New Rule (Change Rule if you are modifying an existing one).

Create New Rule

Step 3: Under Stay Organized  section highlight your basic requirement (I selected, Move messages from someone to a folder).

Define Basic Rule

Note: On the bottom of the same dialog you will find a section saying Step 2. You need to click on each link shown after “Apply this rule after the message arrives” and edit your requirements. In my context it was:-

Step 3(a): Select the people you want to apply the rule to (i.e. emails coming from the selected people). The list will show only people added to your contacts. So, you need to make sure that you have added the desired contact before you start.

Choose Sender Names

Step 3(b): Select the folder you want the mails to be moved/delivered to. You may also create a new folder here.

Choose Folder

Step 4: Next, you can refine your rule by adding more constraints or parameters to the basic rule. For example, messages with a specific Subject. You would also need to check the preferred option and click on its link to refine the rule or add descriptions.

Expand Rule Parameters

Step 5: If there are any exceptions to the rule that you could not configure in the above steps, you may do it here.

Define Exceptions

Step 6: You are now done and may choose to Finish. However, I suggest you to check Run this rule now… along with Turn on this rule. This ensures that new and existing messages satisfying the rule are moved to the respective folder.

Finalize Rule

A Quicker Alternative

If you want to shorten the process (however, you may not be able to set a detailed rule in this manner), go to your inbox and follow the steps below:-

Step 1: Right click on a message (from the person of your rule to folder mapping) and select Create Rule.

Alternate Create Rule

Step 2: Check the boxes for whichever parameters you want to apply, select your folder and click on Ok.

Alternate Definitions


This is a simple way to keep your emails in Outlook more organized. Also, you would be able to focus on important mails easily. Get started and you will know the benefits!

Last updated on 03 February, 2022

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