Last reviewed on May 8, 2014   —  5 Comments

I receive a lot of questions from users who want help identifying email as it ages. One user wanted to count how many times a message was read and after it was read 3 times, but not replied to, send an email to two supervisors. He also wanted to send an email when there were more than 500 messages in the Inbox. Other users are looking to mark or highlight mail as it ages. While all of these requests are possible, highlighting mail as it ages is fairly simple for anyone to do with a custom view, in any version of Outlook.

To create a custom view to highlight messages 7 to 14 days old in Outlook 2010 or Outlook 2013, follow these steps:

    1. Switch to the View ribbon.
    2. Click View Settings.
    3. Click Conditional Formatting button to create formatting rules.
    4. In the Conditional Formatting dialog, click Add, and enter a name for the conditional rule
    5. Click Font to choose a font color.

Create a conditional rule

    1. Click Condition.
    2. On the Advanced tab, type Received in the Field box, choose between as the condition and type 7 days ago and 14 days ago as the value then save.

Add the filter values

  1. Save the rule.

Repeat Steps 4 through 8, choosing a different color for the Font for each conditional formatting rule. Repeat as necessary.

When you’re finished, click Change View then select Save current view as a new view to save a copy of your view.

Filtered views

Outlook 2007 and older

You can create the same custom views in any version of Outlook. The steps are the same, once you open the Customize view dialog. To open the Customize View dialog, right click on the row of field names at the top of the message list and choose Customize. Click the Automatic Formatting button and create your conditional formatting rules.

To create a copy of the view, look for the Define Views command on the View menu. It's on one of the fly-out menus on the View menu, the exact location will vary with each version of Outlook.


  1. Jose says

    Hi, I don't know why but typing "7 days ago and 14 days ago" for the same condition (selecting between) is not working for me on Outlook 2010. It is on 2007 though. My problem is that I need it on 2010. Any idea, please, on how could I replace that?

    • Diane PoremskyDiane Poremsky says

      It should work the same on both. Does it error or just not show the expected results? Are you using any other conditions?

  2. Jose says

    Thank you for your reply. It doesn't show the expected result, which consists of changing the font color (of the messages). I have tried both along with other conditions and just by itself. The only particularity I am aware of is that, when using Outlook 2010, we are within a network (VPN), but I have no idea how that could affect the conditionals (actually some work: for instance, typing "last week" ( for Received, as well).

    • Diane PoremskyDiane Poremsky says

      The VPN shouldn't affect it. In what order is the conditional rule (in relation to the other rules)? That can affect it.

  3. Jose says

    I don't remember now, but I have read the higher ones have preference, so I suppose I need to set it up first so that others do not overide it. But I have tried setting up only that one, making sure there wouldn't be conflicts with other rules. The feeling I ended up having is that maybe I needed to type in something similar in Outlook 2010, not exactly: between X days ago and Y days ago.I tried other ways (for instance: between X and Y days ago), but with no avail. Could the Windows versions influence? The Windows version were it didn't work was an earlier (I think Windows 7) version than where it worked ( Windows 8). I don't know what else I can come up with. Maybe the account configuration? I have found nothing related to this in it.

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