Back
Outlook.com

Give your inbox a personality with Advanced Rules in Outlook.com

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Share via OneNote Share via Email Print

Today’s post was written by Mike Schackwitz, principal director of program management on the Outlook.com team.

Since we announced that Outlook.com had introduced the most sophisticated rules in webmail, we’ve heard a great response from a lot of our customers who are using the feature to manage their inbox. Today, we want to provide you with a few examples of Advanced Rules, so you can try them out yourself—if you haven’t already.

The way we see it, each rule has its own personality—and it’s a personality that you can create. ‘The Auto-Archiver’ helps you get organized, ‘The Golden Child’ helps you remember things and ‘The Bouncer’ protects your inbox from mail you don’t want. When combined, Advanced Rules allow you to customize your inbox so that it can manage itself. To help you get started, here are these examples plus a few more to try for yourself.

(Hint: If you want to use any of these personalities, just click the corresponding image or title to be taken to the set up page for the rule. You may need to sign in first.)

Outlook.com The Bouncer

The Bouncer

Keeps your inbox reserved for VIPs only! ‘The Bouncer’ only lets mail from people you know (your contacts) in to your inbox. All other mail is sent to a folder of your choice.

When an email matches:
Category is not: Contacts
Do the following:
Move to: <folder>

 

Outlook.com The Bestie

The Bestie

We all have close friends and ‘The Bestie’ makes it obvious when these people email you. Select your closest friends and when they email you their emails are flagged and sent to the top of your inbox, making them easy to find.

When an email matches:
Sender contains: <your best friend’s email address>
        Do the following:
        Set flagged state: Flagged

 

Outlook.com The Auto Archiver

The Auto-Archiver

Some people get a lot of emails that they just can’t bring themselves to delete and that’s OK. ‘The Auto-Archiver’ keeps your inbox tidy by moving previously read emails into a folder of your choice after 30 days.

When an email matches:
Older than: 30 days
Read state is: Read
Do the following:
Move to: <folder>

 

Outlook.com The Cleaner

The Cleaner

Perfect for the minimalists among us. ‘The Cleaner’ deletes any newsletters that you’ve already read after 30 days.

When an email matches:
Older than: 30 days
Read state is: Read
Category is: Newsletters
Do the following:
Delete


Outlook.com The Golden Child

The Golden Child

We value some emails more than others. ‘The Golden Child’ marks all emails from your loved ones (mom and dad, for example) as important and flags them, so you never miss one.

When an email matches:
Sender contains: <your mom’s email address> or <your dad’s email address> etc.
Do the following:
Set flagged state: Flagged
Categorize as: Important

 

Outlook.com The Mother in Law

The Mother-in-Law

Some emails you really need to remember to reply to! ‘The Mother-in-Law’ flags unread emails from your mother-in-law after three days, making sure you read them in time and keeping you out of trouble.

When an email matches:
Sender contains: <your mother-in-law’s email address>
Older than: 3 days
Read state is: Unread
Do the following:
Set flagged state: Flagged

 

Outlook.com The Tax Collector

The Tax Collector

Rather than spending your time once a year rounding up all those receipts, let ‘The Tax Collector’ automatically put all receipts in one folder and categorizes them as “Shopping”—so they’re easier to find.

When an email matches:
Keyword contains: “receipt”
Do the following:
Categorize as: Shopping
Move to: <folder>

 

Outlook.com The Couponer

The Couponer

For the bargain hunters among us, ‘The Couponer’ filters potential freebies by keeping an eye out for newsletters containing the word “free.” Once found, they are categorized as “Shopping” and moved to a folder of your choice so you can quickly locate them.

When an email matches:
Category is: Newsletters
Keywords contain: “free”
Do the following:
Categorize as: Shopping
Move to: <folder>

 

Outlook.com The Umbrella

The Umbrella

You may need receipts and shipping updates from a particular company, but you might not care for their offers and promotional emails. ‘The Umbrella’ protects you from a downpour of newsletters from a particular company by deleting them automatically.

When an email matches:
Sender contains: <a company email address>
Category is: Newsletters
Do the following:
Delete

If any of these personalities sound like a good fit for your inbox, give them a try! Remember, just click the corresponding image or title of rule you want to use. If you have your own examples or favorites, let us know in the comments below, or by tweeting to @Outlook.

—Mike Schackwitz

 

Top

Join the conversation

4 comments
  1. This is why I love outlook. You guys really do try to make the email experience the best as possible. Now, hopefully one day it will be possible to delete an email that you have already sent to someone. So, for example, if it was sent by accident then you can “cancel” the sent email and it will remove itself from their inbox.

  2. Since the introduction of advanced rules, time based rules are broken. So, for example, the Cleaner does nothing. There was a time (before advanced rules) when this would actually work. Would be great if the regression was fixed.

  3. Please offer a full-featured Exchange ActiveSync Support in Outlook.com (Reply/Forward State, Correct Synchronization of dates particularly birthdays) as Apples iCloud provides it already.

  4. Hi,

    I tried the “The Bouncer” rule recipe and at first glance it works as advertised, however it seems to disable scanning for spam. Any emails not from any of my contacts is moved into another folder I designated, but this also is including email from spammers. It would be good if incoming email was still scanned with the spam scanner, perhaps before rules are applied. Will you be fixing this?

Comments are closed.