How to Create Email Rules in Outlook 2011 for Mac

When Outlook email overwhelms you, fight back.

Setting up mail rules for Outlook 2011 for Mac allows you to prioritize mails and move them to specific folders. With Outlook 2011, you can set rules at the client level and if you host your email on Exchange, you can set rules at the sever level:

  • Client-level rules only sort mail when you download them via your Outlook client.
  • Server-level rules sort mail on any device, such as an iPhone or iPad.

Here’s how to configure rules.

1. Open Outlook from the Apple dock.

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2. Open the Tools menu. Click Rules…

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When the Rules window opens, you can choose to configure your rules on the server level (under “EXCHANGE SERVER”) or the local-client level (under “ON MY COMPUTER” as discussed above.

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3. Highlight the area where you want the rule created.

The image above shows that an Exchange email rule will be created at the client level.

4. Click + (at the lower left of the rules panel) to add a new rule.

The “Rule name” window will appear.

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5. Create the rule.

There are a lot of ways to filter emails. For example, if you travel on Southwest Airlines, you can set up a rule so that emails about Southwest itineraries arrive marked “High priority” in a folder called “Travel.” Here’s how you’d fill out the “Rule name” window.

  • Rule name: Southwest Airlines.
  • Select “Subject” from the dropdown menu (click the arrows to the right of the word “From” to see other choices).
  • Contains: “Southwest Airlines Confirmation.”
  • Click the + sign: This will let you modify the rule further. E.g.: “Message Body” > “Contains” > “Southwest Airlines”
  • Add additional parameters as needed: E.g.: category, priority, and which folder to move the message to.
  • Check the “Enabled” box: It’s at the bottom left.

Click OK.

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Here’s what the screen looks like when it’s filled out.

Now, when you look at the Rules window again, you’ll see your rule saved.

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Repeat this process to add additional rules and criteria.

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