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

Delegates, Meeting Requests, and Rules

How to use a run a script rule in Outlook to add a category to delegated meetings.

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.

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.

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. Available 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  

Rules and Tools to Filter Junk Mail

Beginning with Outlook 2003, Outlook includes a Junk Email filter. While this filter cannot be updated by the end user, Microsoft releases frequent updates for it. For most users, setting the Junk email filter set to high is good enough, especially if their mail is also scanned by a server side anti-spam filter. If it  

Understanding the Safe and Blocked Senders lists

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

Run a script rule: Reply to a message

Use a run a script rule to autoreply to a message.

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.

'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  

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.

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.

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.