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How to Filter Email in Outlook to Skip the Inbox

Outlook is a powerful mail client with dozens of features you’ll probably never lose. That’s not to say you shouldn’t be using them, however.

Today we’re going to create a simple filter that moves all of my email about the Consumer Electronics Show to a separate folder. Any reporter that’s ever attended can tell you that CES vendors often send hundreds of pitches a day, and it can quickly overwhelm your inbox. We’re going to fix that before it happens.

1. Open Outlook and click Inbox (or any other folder you want to apply a rule to).

2. Click the Rules icon and then Manage Rules and Alerts.

3. Click New Rule.

4. Select a template. In this case, we’re going to use "Move messages with specific words in the subject to a folder." Click Next to move on.

5. Uncheck "with specific words in the subject" and check "with specific words in the subject or body."

6. Add the specific word you’d like to filter and click Add.

In my case, I’m going to use "CES" which will send all of my pitches for the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show to a separate folder so I can browse them at will without cluttering up my inbox.

7 Click OK.

8. Click the "specified" link to select a folder (or create a new one).

9. Select a folder, or press New and enter the folder name. I’m going to select one called CES. Press "OK" when you’re done and then click Next to move on.

10. Select "stop processing more rules" and "move it to the specified folder" before clicking Next to move on.

11. Name the rule and then ensure you’ve checked "Turn on this rule."  You can also check the ‘Run this now’ box to filter messages already in your inbox. Press Finish once you’re done.

Microsoft Outlook Tips