Filter Incoming Messages
This page explains how to filter incoming messgaes in your email account.
Applies to Outlook Web Access (OWA) and Outlook 2013.
Creating mail filters provides individuals is a way to manage their inbox more efficiently. Dependant upon the device type or mail protocol it allows individuals using smart phones with data plans to off load certain content to avoid excessive charges.
If you are just migrating into Office 365 from Convergence and saved your mail filter details in a word document, open that document now and use the instructions below to create your mail filters in the Office 365 system.
You can find a detailed explanation of Inbox Rules on Microsoft's support pages: http://office.microsoft.com/en-ca/support/inbox-rules-in-outlook-web-app-HA102824621.aspx
If you wish to apply mail filters to messages already in your Inbox, follow the directions here.
Tips on Creating Filters
- Because on occasion you may discover a false positive e.g. legitimate messages tagged as spam we recommend that you do not discard or filter messages directly into trash, but rather create a new folder to house your filtered spam. This folder will need to be cleaned out regularly, but it will give you the chance to make sure nothing important has been filtered as spam.
- We recommend using a client that has the option subject begins or starts with rather than just contains. Messages that have been identified for potential spam content will have [Spam?] inserted to left hand margin of the subject line. If the subject line does not start with [Spam?] then it is most likely a reply to or forward of a message that was previously identified as potential spam.
- For those legitimate messages tagged as spam, most likely newsletters or other mailings that you receive on a regular basis because they exhibit may of the characteristics used to determine if a message is spam. Create a filter that will move this message to another folder, and place this filter above your Spam filter. Email client process filters in order from top to bottom. This means an e-mail message is filtered by the first filter rule that creates a match with the content of the e-mail message. This will then not allow the message to pass through the filter that moves messages to your spam folder.
Outlook Web Access (OWA)
- Click Settings --> Options
- Click Inbox Rules
- Click the + button to add a new Inbox rule
- Give your rule a name
- In the "When the message arrives" section, you can choose the criteria your Inbox rule looks for. Common criteria are Sender, Recipient, or included words in the body or subject
- The "Do the following" section is where you choose how to process the message. Common actions are to move the message to a specified folder, forward to another email address, or delete the message
- Open Outlook 2013
- Select the Home tab
- Click Rule --> Manage Rules & Alerts
- Click New Rule
Follow the directions in the Rules Wizard to create a new rule from a template. If you want to create a rule without using the pre-defined options, then select from the “Start from a blank rule” section.
Examples of common Mail Filters (Inbox Rules) in OWA
Below are some examples of common Mail Filters (Inbox Rules).
Figure 1 - any message received from "email@example.com" is automatically moved to a folder called Important
Figure 2 - any message received from "firstname.lastname@example.org" is left in the Inbox and automatically marked with High importance
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