Running Rules on messages after you read them

Last reviewed on December 30, 2013

We frequently get questions from users who want to run their rules automatically after reading the messages. Outlook does not support this – Rules Wizard processes the messages as they are downloaded into Outlook or when you press the Run Rules Now button in Rules Wizard.

In additional to using the tools listed on this page, you can also use a VBA macro to move messages later. See Use a Macro to Move Aged Email for more details and a sample macro.

The tools on this page will either run rules after some time has passed or provide easier methods to file messages.

Tools in the Spotlight

QuickFile for Outlook

File 90% of your emails at the click of a button. Manage your Inbox and Sent Items folders. Move emails out of the Inbox to the correct folder at the click of a button. QuickFile remembers the folders used for each person and presents a short customized list each time. Use the same list to Send&File in one step instead of having to go back to your Sent Items folder. Plus many more email management features such as one-click creation of task/appointments from emails, newsletter processing, deferred non-urgent emails and much more.



Auto-Mate is an Outlook utility that allows you use define rules to move mail from your Inbox (or other folders) based on several criteria, including the age of the message. While Outlook rules only run as messages are downloaded or when you click Run Rules now, Auto-Mate rules run on a schedule, enabling you to apply rules to messages that have been in your Inbox for a given number of hours, days or weeks. Available in Standard or Pro Version. Supports Outlook 2003, 2007, 2010, 2913. Now available for Outlook 2010/2013 64-bit.

More Information

The Run Rules Now dialog in early versions of Outlook do not have a Select All button – you need to select each rule you want to run, one at a time.

Written by

Diane Poremsky
A Microsoft Outlook Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999, Diane is the author of several books, including Outlook 2013 Absolute Beginners Book. She also created video training CDs and online training classes for Microsoft Outlook. You can find her helping people online in Outlook Forums as well as in the Microsoft Answers and TechNet forums.

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