Create a Rule in Outlook 2016

Rules can be created to prioritize, organize, copy, move, and reroute email messages that are sent to your email address. Be sure and test each rule after it is created or changed to make certain that messages are being handled by the email system properly.

Rules created in  Outlook 2016 will automatically apply to any other clients used to check email. For instance, if a mobile device such as an iPhone is used to access email, messages will be filtered according to rules set up in Outlook.

Configure Rules and Alerts in Outlook 2016

  1. Click the File menu in the top left of the Outlook window.
  2. Click Manage Rules & Alerts.
  3. In the Rules and Alerts dialog box that appears, on the E-mail Rules tab, click New Rule.
  4. Choose from a rule template or start with a blank, customizable rule under Step One. Click Next.
  5. Set conditions of the rule. Links in the bottom pane may be clicked to specify parameters for the conditions. Each underlined value must be specified before continuing. Click Next to continue.
  6. Set actions to take when this rule is used. This could include moving the mail to a different folder. Similarly to step 5, all underlined values must be specified before continuing. Click Next to continue.
  7. Set any exceptions to this rule. Exceptions are optional. Click Next to continue.
  8. Specify a name for the rule. Optionally, set rule options which could run the rule on existing messages in the Inbox. Unchecking Turn on this rule will disable the rule, preventing it from working as intended. This option should almost never be unchecked.
  9. Review the rule and click Finish to create the new rule for the email account.


The Outlook Rules contain a seemingly infinite number of possibilities and configuration options. Each rule may have many variables. Please reference the following links for additional information when creating rules in Outlook 2010/2013:

For more information on configuring rules in Outlook 2016, see this article on Microsoft's website.