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Periodic Rules
If you want to run a rule periodically but not all the time, do the following:

1.On the Tools menu, click Rules and Alerts.

2. In the Rules and Alerts dialog box, turn the rule off by clearing the check box next to the rule.

3. Click Run Rules Now.

4. In the Run Rules Now dialog box, under Select rules to run, select the check box next to the rule that you want to run.

5. Select the folder that you want to apply the rule to.

6. Select the category of messages that you want to apply the rule to. For example, you can apply the rule only to unread messages in a folder.

7. Click Run Now.

Last Updated: 18-Jun-2009
Information Technology Services
Information Technology Services: Outlook Rules

Managing Messages with Rules

A rule is an action that Outlook takes automatically on an arriving or sent message that meets the conditions that you specify in the rule. You can choose many conditions and actions by using the Rules and Alerts Wizard. Rules do not operate on message that have been read, only on those that are unread.

You can also add exceptions to your rules for special circumstances, such as when a message is flagged for follow-up action or is marked with high importance. A rule is not applied to a message if even one of the exceptions that you specify is met.

To create a rule:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Rules and Alerts.
  2. Click New Rule. The Rules Wizard window will appear:

Rules Wizard window

Note that the top box is labeled Step 1: and the bottom box is labeled Step 2:. At this point you can either start from a template or a blank rule.

To use a template:

  1. Under Step 1: Select a template, select the template that you want from the Stay Organized or Stay Up to Date collection of templates.
  2. Under Step 2: Edit the rule description, click an underlined value. For example, if you click the people or distribution list link, the Address Book opens.
  3. Under Step 1: Select condition(s), select the conditions that you want the messages to meet for the rule to apply.
  4. Under Step 2: Edit the rule description, click an underlined value, and then click Next.
  5. Under Step 1: Select action(s), select the action that you want the rule to take when the specified conditions are met.
  6. Under Step 2: Edit the rule description, click an underlined value, and then click Next.
  7. Under Step 1: Select exception(s), select any exceptions to the rule, and then click Next.
  8. To finish creating the rule, enter a name for the rule, and then select any other options that you want.
    • If you want to run this rule on messages that already are in one of your folders, select the Run this rule now on messages already in "folder" check box.
  9. Click Finish.

To start from a blank rule:

  1. Under Step 1: below Start from a blank rule, select either Check messages when they arrive or Check messages after sending, and then click Next.
  2. Under Step 1: Select condition(s), select the conditions that you want the messages to meet for the rule to apply.
  3. Under Step 2: Edit the rule description, click an underlined value, and then click Next.
  4. Under Step 1: Select action(s), select the action that you want the rule to take when the specified conditions are met.
  5. Under Step 2: Edit the rule description, click an underlined value, and then click Next.
  6. Under Step 1: Select exception(s), select any exceptions to the rule, and then click Next.
  7. To finish creating the rule, enter a name for the rule, and then select any other options that you want.
    • If you want to run this rule on messages that already are in one of your folders, select the Run this rule now on messages already in "folder" check box.
  8. Click Finish.

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Delete a Rule
1. On the Tools menu, click Rules and Alerts.

2. In the Apply changes to this folder list, be sure your Inbox is selected.

3. In the list of rules, select the rule that you want to delete.

4. Click Delete
Copy a Rule
You might want to copy an existing rule to use as a template for creating another rule that is similar. For example, you might have a complicated rule that has a lot of actions and conditions. You may want to use the same actions and conditions for another situation but choose a different folder to move the message to.

1. On the Tools menu, click Rules and Alerts.

2. In the list of rules, select the rule that you want to copy.

3. Click Copy.

4. In the Folder drop-down list, select the active Inbox, and then click OK.

5. Make any changes that you want to the copied rule.

Note: If you copy an existing rule that is turned on into the same Inbox, the copy of the rule will be turned off.
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