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Rules and Alerts

 

This tutorial introduces you to rules, beginning with the basics of creating general rules in Outlook 2010

 

 


 

What are Rules?


 

A rule is an action that Outlook takes automatically 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 Rules Wizard. Using rules can help you stay organized and up-to-date.

 

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

 

The Rules Wizard includes templates for the most commonly used rules:

  • Stay organized: These are rules that help you to file and follow up on messages. For example, you can create a rule for messages from a specific sender, such as Bobby Moore, with the word "sales" in the Subject line, to be flagged for follow-up, categorized as Sales, and moved to a folder called Bobby's Sales.
  • Stay up-to-date: These are rules that notify you in some way when you receive a particular message. For example, you can create a rule that automatically sends an alert to your mobile telephone when you receive a message from a family member.
  • Start from a blank rule: These are rules that you create from scratch.
    This image shows the different types of rules you can create

Create a Rule From the Wizard

 

  1. Ensure Mail is selected in the Navigation Pane
    • On the Home tab, in the Move group, click Rules
    • Click Manage Rules and Alerts
    Click rules, manage rules and alerts
  2. The Rules and Alerts screen will open
    • If you have more than one email account, from the Apply changes to this folder:  drop down list, select the Inbox that you want the rule to be applied to
    • Click New Rule
    Select the appropriate inbox and create new rule
  3. The Rules Wizard will begin.  The first screen is the Start from a template or from a blank rule.
    • Under Step 1: Select a template, select the template that you want from the Stay Organized or Stay Up to Date collection of templates.
    • Under Step 2: Edit the rule description, click an underlined value. For example, if you click the people or public group link, the Address Book opens.
    • You can also start from a blank rule if you wish
    • Click Next (You can also click Finish if the template options suffice, but clicking Next is useful, if you want to add any other conditions, actions, exceptions,  create a name for your rule, etc.) 
    Select the template and edit the rule description, then click next
  4. The Which condition(s) do you want to check? screen will open
    • Under Step 1: Select condition(s), select the conditions that you want the messages to meet for the rule to be applied. By using a template, these conditions may already be selected appropriately
    • Under Step 2: Edit the rule description, click an underlined value if you have not done so already
    • Click Next
    select the conditions from the list if you haven't done so already
  5. The What do you want to do with the message? screen will open
    • Under Step 1: Select action(s), select the action that you want the rule to take when the specified conditions are met. By using a template, these conditions may already be selected appropriately
    • Under Step 2: Edit the rule description, click an underlined value. You will be able to change the value.
    • Click Next
    Select an action if you haven't done so already
  6. The Are there any exceptions? screen will open
    • Under Step 1: Select exception(s), select the exceptions that you want the rule to take
    • Under Step 2: Edit the rule description, click an underlined value if applicable
    • Click Next
    select any exceptions to the rule if necessary
  7. The Finish rule setup. screen will open
    • In the Step 1:Specify a name for this rule box enter a name for the rule
    • Check any other options that you want
    • Click Finish
    • Your rule will now be in effect.
    Enter a name for the rule

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
    • On the Home tab, in the Move group, click Rules
    • Click Create Rule
    click rules and create rule after selecting an email
  2. The Create Rule screen will open
    • Select the check boxes for the conditions that you want. Many options already contain information from your selected message.
    • Select the Move the item to folder check box
    • Click Select Folder... to choose an existing folder, or create a new one
    • Clicking Advanced Options... brings up the Rule Wizard for more granularity.
    • Click OK
    • Your new rule will be in effect.
    select the appropriate options from the create rule menu and click Ok

 

Run a Rule Manually

 

  1. Ensure Mail is selected in the Navigation Pane
    • On the Home tab, in the Move group, click Rules
    • Click Manage Rules and Alerts
    Click rules, manage rules and alerts
  2. The Rules and Alerts screen will open
    • If you have more than one email account, in the Apply changes to this folder: drop down list, select the Inbox that you want the rule to be applied to
    • Turn the rule off by unchecking the box next to the rule name
    • Click Run Rules Now
    Deselect the rules and click Run Rules Now
  3. The Run Rules Now screen will open
    • Under the Select Rules to Run:  section select the rule(s) you want to run
    • From the Run in Folder: box, click Browse and select the folder that you want to apply the rule to
    • In the Apply Rules to:  box, click the category of messages you want to apply the rules to
    • Click Run Now
    Select the appropriate options from the run rules now dialogue

 

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 Reply, task request or meeting request that contains the word "meeting" in the subject

 

Be aware 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 and meeting requests.

 


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