Rules Wizard, Filters, and Views

This section covers Rules Wizard, Filters, and Custom Views.

The Rules Wizard for Microsoft Outlook automatically processes both incoming and outgoing messages. You set conditions similar to those used for Microsoft Outlook filters, then indicate what action(s) you want to be performed on messages that meet those conditions.

Rules in the Rules Wizard apply to only to mail at the time its downloaded. They can be applied to mail after its downloaded using the Run Rules Now command.

For Microsoft Exchange Server users, Rules Wizard automatically converts rules created with the Inbox Assistant feature (which Rules Wizard replaces). Exchange Server users also have an Out of Office Assistant for handling such things as vacation notices and Folder Assistant rules that run on public folders. See Server-based vs. client-based rules.

Filters are used with Search folders, Custom Views, and Advanced Find. Filters are used with Outlook items in the data file and show or hide but do not move items. You can apply filters to any Outlook item type, not just email. Filters can show, hide, or highlight items in different colors based on a variety of conditions and criteria.

Although Outlook does not support locking views against changes, you can lock view in Outlook 2010 using VBA. See How to prevent changes to Outlook views for a code sample.

For a complete list of articles, see Rules Wizard and Filters index

Run a script rule: Reply to a message
  • Use a run a script rule to autoreply to a message.

  • Exchange Server's Rules Limitation
  • Exchange 2003 and older supports just 32 KB worth of rules. If each rule is small and simple, you might get about 50 – 70 rules when using Outlook 2002 and older. Outlook 2003 (and up) uses Unicode when writing the rules and this requires more space per rule, leaving most users with about 20  

  • Create a Task from an Email using a Rule
  • Create tasks from email as they arrive using a simple script and Rules Wizard. With a slight variation, you can create a task from the message you are reading in the reading pane. Complete instructions and ready-to-use code samples included.

  • Automatically Add a Category to Accepted Meetings
  • Use a run a script rule to add a category to an Outlook meeting when the attendee accepts the invitation.

  • Disable Outlook's Reading Pane
  • How to use Group Policy or a registry key to disable the reading pane in Outlook 2013, 2010, or 2007.

  • Sending Autoreplies to Spammers
  • A lot of users ask how to delete email from certain recipients and send an autoreply to them, telling them the message was deleted unread. While it is possible to do this, it’s a really bad idea. “I want to block the receipt of one specific person’s email, but I want them to get a  

  • Run all Outlook Rules on Startup
  • Use an Application Startup macro to run Outlook's client side rules automatically.

  • Count Received Emails
  • How to display a count of messages received in Outlook today (or received during any period).

  • How to color-code your email as it ages
  • Create an Outlook Custom View using Conditional Formatting to highlight messages as they age.

  • To Make Automatic Reply Rules
  • Using Microsoft Outlook, you can create rules to reply automatically to incoming messages with the Rules Wizard and Out of Office Assistant.