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Queen's University
 

Help and Support

Rules and Alerts

 

A rule is an action that Office 365 automatically takes on an arriving or sent message that meets the conditions that you specify in the rule. You can choose many conditions and actions by using the online interface for Inbox Rules. Using rules can help you stay organized and up-to-date.

 

Rules fall into one of two categories — organization or notification. Rules do not operate on messages that have been read, only those that are unread.

 

There are several templates provided by Office 365 for new rules. You can also start from a blank rule for the most customization.

 


 

Warning

 

Using Outlook Web App to modify your rules will delete any rules that were previously turned off using Outlook. If you want to preserve the rules you turned off using Outlook, use Outlook to edit your rules.


 

Creating a Rule from the Wizard

 

  1. In the upper right corner of the main interface, click Settings and select Options

    rule-one.png

  2. From the left navigation menu, select organize email
    • Select the inbox rules tab
    • Click + to create a new rule
    • From the drop down menu select Create a new rule for arriving messages
    rule-two.png
  3. The New Inbox Rule window will open
    • Name your rule. This is how your rule will be displayed in the list.
    • From the drop down menu labeled, " When the message arrives, and:," select the criteria for an arriving message
    • From the drop down menu labeled, " Do the following:," select the action you want taken for the selected message
    • If necessary, click More Options... This allows you to add conditions, actions and exceptions to the rule. If Stop processing more rules is checked, only the first rule in the list that is triggered by the message will be applied.
    • Click Save when finished

      Note: If you have any rules created and turned off in Microsoft Outlook, these rules will be deleted. If you do not want this to happen, when Office 365 prompts you, click no and create the rule within Outlook instead. (See guide for creating rules in your version of Outlook.)
    rule-three.png

Create a Rule Directly from a Message

 

Sometimes you may wish to create a rule to move messages from someone to a specific folder.

 

  1. Select the message for which you want to create a rule
    • Right mouse click on the email
    • Select create rule... from the menu
    rulel-message-one.png
  2. The New Inbox Rule window will appear
    • Enter a Name for the rule
    • Select the check boxes for the conditions that you want. Many options already contain information from your selected message.
    • From the Do the following: drop down menu, select the action you would like to have taken for the email
    • If necessary, click More options... This allows you to add conditions actions and exceptions to the rule. If Stop processing more rules is checked, only the first rule in the list that is triggered by the message will be applied.
    • Click Save when finished
    • Note: if you need help, click the Help button in the upper right corner

      Note: If you have any rules created and turned off in Microsoft Outlook, these rules will be deleted. If you do not want this to happen, when Office 365 prompts you, click no and create the rule within Outlook instead. (See guide for creating rules in your version of Outlook.)
    rule-message-two.png

Managing Rules

 

  1. In the upper right corner of the main interface, click  Settings  and select Options

    rules-manage-one.png
  2. The Options Menu will open.  
    • From the left hand navigation menu select organize email.
    • The Inbox Rules  interface will open.
    • You will see a list of all the rules you have created. (Note: these will include any created in Outlook.) You can turn a rule on or off by checking the box beside the rule.
    • Note: the rule will be applied in the order shown in the list.
    • Select a rule and the criteria will be displayed in the right side pane.
    • From the tool bar menu, click the up or down arrow to move the rule within the list.
    • You can delete rules by selecting the rule and clicking the garbage can icon.
    • When finished, click the back button in the upper left corner.
    rules-manage-two.png

Applying Rules to Other Outlook Items

 

When rules are applied, delivery receipts, read receipts, automatic replies, meeting requests, task requests and documents are acted upon as if they are messages. For example, a rule that moves items with the word "meeting" in the subject to a specific folder, also moves all delivery receipts, automatic replies, task requests or meeting requests that contain the word "meeting" in the subject.

 

Be aware of the following limitations when you create rules that affect these kinds of items:

 

  • An item moved to a non-mail folder might not work as you expect after it is moved. For example, if a message is moved to the Calendar folder, a new appointment is not created.
  • If a meeting or task response is moved to the Deleted Items folder by using a rule, the response is not tracked by the original item.
  • If a meeting request is automatically moved to the Deleted Items folder, the meeting is not added to the Calendar.
  • Rules that affect messages that you send are not applied to task requests or meeting requests.

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