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

Receive a Reminder When a Message Doesn't Arrive?
  • Use a run a script rule to set reminders to alert you if a new message (such as routine server alerts) doesn't arrive within a specified time.

  • Outlook's Rules and Alerts: Run a Script
  • How to use Outlook's Rules Wizard Run a Script action to process messages using VBA. Using Run a Script rules will allow you to use actions not available in the Rules Wizard.

  • 'Have server reply' rule is not using 'reply-to' address
  • The question came from an Outlook user: We want to use a "Have server reply rule" to send an automated reply to people who send us a message using our web form. When the rule runs, Outlook is replying to the From address (our web server), not the Reply to address (the person who filled  

  • Delegates, Meeting Requests, and Rules
  • How to use a run a script rule in Outlook to add a category to delegated meetings.

  • 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.

  • Run Rules Now using a Macro
  • How to use a macro to run Outlook's rules on demand or triggered by a reminder.

  • Rules and Tools to Filter Junk Mail
  • Beginning with Outlook 98, you can use built-in junk mail processing, using either the Organize pane or Rules Wizard. However, results can be less than satisfactory, often putting wanted senders into the Junk Mail folder and not ignoring items sent with no From address (usually spam). I think Sue's low-maintenance method here may work better  

  • Create a List of Rules
  • Valk Beekman wanted to share this VBA code sample that creates a text file containing a list of the rules used by the default email account. When the rule contains an email address, the address (or display name) is added to the output.

  • Run a Script Rule: Change Subject then Forward Message
  • An Outlook user asked how to automatically change the subject of a message and forward it to another address. Using a "run a script" rule is one option and we show you how to do it.

  • Outlook View Tricks
  • How to configure Outlook's Views to hide message preview, remove group by headers, and restore the taskpad.