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

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

  • 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.

  • 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  

  • 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  

  • Understanding the Safe and Blocked Senders lists
  • Understanding and using Outlook's Junk Mail Safe Sender, Safe Recipient, and Blocked sender's lists.

  • What Moved a Message to the Junk E-mail Folder?
  • How did the message get in Outlook's Junk Email folder? Check the InfoBar.

  • Using Outlook's Junk Mail filter
  • Junk Mail updates are released monthly. If you aren't using automatic updates, go to Help, Check for updates once a month. In every Microsoft Outlook version since 2003: Junk Email handling. Junk email removes spam from your mailbox using built-in filtering capabilities. The junk mail feature is highly accurate when set on High and you  

  • Using Outlook's Junk Filter with Multiple Accounts
  • How to change the Junk Email options in Microsoft Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013 when you have multiple email accounts configured.

  • 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