Last reviewed on July 31, 2015   —  14 Comments

Is there a way to set up a rule so that all emails from a specific server (example go into a specific folder? I can do it individually each time someone from work emails me but want to set it up so that people from who have never emailed me would automatically go into my MS folder?

The finished ruleYes. You need to enter just the email domain and cancel the Check Names dialog when it appears. The finished rule will look like the image on the right in Rules Wizard.

While this rule trick works in Microsoft Outlook 2010 and 2013, it’s not necessary as Outlook 2010 includes a rule for “specific words in the senders address” which you can use instead. A similar rule exists for ‘words in the recipients address’.

If you want to apply a rule to all mail originating outside of Exchange, use @ in place of the domain name. To apply a rule only to internal email, create a rule that applies to all mail and add an exception for messages with @ in the sender’s address. Internal Exchange email does not use a SMTP address and therefore, does not contain an @ sign. For internal Exchange server mail, use /ou.

Outlook 2010, 2013 “words in the address” method

If you are using Outlook 2010 or 2013, you can create a rule “with specific words in the sender’s address“, highlighted in the red box in the screenshot.
Create a rule with specific words in the sender's address

Select the condition, click on the underlined words in the lower part of the dialog box then type the domain name you want the rule to apply to.

Note: The two items marked with arrows provide alternate ways to do this and are also available in older versions of Outlook.

Outlook 2003 and up “from people or group” method

Step 1: Begin creating the rule, using the condition “from people or public group“.
Select address in Outlook's Rules Wizard dialog

Click in the underlined people or public group at the bottom of the dialog box to open the Rule Address dialog.

Type the domain portion of the address in the Address field at the bottom of the dialog.

To apply this rule to all email from Internet addresses, enter just an @ sign in the From field. Mail originating on your Exchange server will be skipped.

Step 2: Click Ok after entering the domain in the address field, then Cancel the Check Names dialog when it appears.
Cancel the choose address dialog

Outlook 2002 and older

The address book dialog in Outlook 2002, 2000, or 98 looks like the following screenshot. Type the domain in the right pane. (Note: The address dialog in Outlook 98/2000 in Internet mode doesn’t support entering partial addresses.)

Use the Address book picker


  1. Michael says

    Very helpful Diane! I thought I knew "rules" pretty good, but you've saved me so much!!! Now I have ONE rule for all of my "weekly circular" e-mails to move them all into one folder, instead of a ton of individual rules.!

  2. Rick Sheeley says

    Diane, please not this rule does not work for internal addresses AKA people in your own domain on same exchange server. This is a known issue, unaddressed by Microsoft.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      Correct, it won't work for internal Exchange email, because internal email doesn't have a smtp address (mail sent by smartphones may have a smtp).

      Try /ou in the address field instead. (That works here.) Or use a rule that applies to all mail, except if contains an @.

    • Krishna says

      For internal mails, if you select the rule condition "Sender in Address book" and select the "Global address book", all mails from the current(own) domain will be filtered.

    • Diane Poremsky says

      That should be all you need with Exchange server mailboxes. Use it in the address field. If you only want to filter one child domain, look at the x500 address and use the unique bits from it instead of the /ou - hopefully something is unique. /O=EXCHANGELABS/OU=EXCHANGE ADMINISTRATIVE GROUP (FYDIBOHF23SPDLT)/CN=RECIPIENTS/CN=diane
      Select a message from someone in that domain, then select the message and run this macro.
      Public Sub SendFromAddressOfCurrentEmail()
      Dim objItem As MailItem
      Set objItem = Application.ActiveExplorer.Selection.Item(1)
      Debug.Print objItem.SenderEmailAddress
      End Sub

  3. Tim Haslett says

    With 2013, how can I specify words for just the domain side of the sender's address? I keep getting spam emails from various domains in the .asia top level domain, but I do not want to exclude anyone that may use the word "asia" in their username portion (I know one person that does). Will including the "." in the specific words work in this case, as long as the username does not include the "." before "asia"?

    • Diane Poremsky says

      Have you looked at junk mail options > international? You can block countries and character encoding (don't block ascii and Western European.)

  4. mike Griff says

    I need a way to do this in my Outlook 365 Cloud account so that i do not have to make the same rules for everything i get email on. Some items like smartphones do not have this capability and it would be extremely helpful to have the mail sorted in the exchange server before it ever goes out to all my devices. Is there a way to do this on the CLOUD copy of Outlook 365?

  5. Mark Lewandoske says

    I have outlook 2013 and I do not have the option for words in the sender address. I deal with a lot of military and federal contacts. Not being able to place .mil and .gov emails into a folder is a real pain.

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