Filtering is a very effective and efficient way to manage your e-mail messages. The key elements involve determining which messages you want to filter and what you want to do with the filtered messages. After deciding which messages to filter, the next step is to find the common text in those messages and set up your filtering criteria. You can filter on text in the To:, From:, or Subject: fields, a unique header, or text in the body of the message itself. You can also filter on more than one criteria. Even if you choose to discard some types of messages, it is advisable to set the filters to send filtered mail to a separate mailbox. This allows you to verify the correctness of the filtering rules.

Filters for UI Mass E-Mail Service

Mail distributions processed by the UI Mass E-Mail service include a category keyword in the Subject line that can be used in your e-mail filter. For example, to filter mailings sent on behalf of non-UI entities, add a Subject line filter for "[OffCampus]". 

Getting Started

You first need to determine something unique about the messages from the list or sender that will allow the messages to be filtered out, while leaving the rest of your mail intact. This might be something in the subject, a unique sender, something in the body of the message, or a customized header.

Note on deleting messages: Even the most thoroughly thought-out filter can fail due to any number of unforeseen variables. We do not recommend creating a filter to automatically delete messages.

Transferring to a Mail Folder Based on Subject

A few months ago, you subscribed to the mailing list "Earth-Info." At first the list wasn't getting a lot of traffic, but now it is. You still want to read the messages but want them in a separate folder from you inbox. You first need to determine something unique about the messages from this list that will allow them to be filtered out while leaving the rest of your mail intact. This mailing list includes the text "[earth-info]" in the subject like of every message.

  1. Select File | Manage Rules & Alerts.
  2. Click on the New Rule button.
  3. Locate the "Step 1: Select a template" box.
  4. Under the section labeled "Start from a blank rule", select Apply rule on messages I receive.
  5. Click Next.
  6. In the "Which condition(s) do you want to check?" box,check the box with specific words in the subject.
  7. In the "Edit the Rule Description" box below, click on specific words.
  8. In the "Specify words or phrases to search for in this subject" window, type the text to sear for. In this example, you would type [earth-info].
  9. Click the Add button. Click OK. Click Next.
  10. Check the box to the left of the action you wish to perform on this message. In this example, you would check the box to the left of move it to a specified folder.
  11. In the "Edit the Rule Description" box below, click on specified.
  12. In the "Choose a folder" dialog box, select an already existing folder or create a new one.
  13. Click Next at the "Are there any exceptions?" box.
  14. Specify a name for this filter. It does not matter what you call it. This is just so you can tell it apart from other filters you may create. Make certain that the box to the left of Turn on this rule is checked.
  15. Click Finish | OK.

Filtering Based on Customized Headers

A mailing list you are subscribed to has recently been hit by a sudden surge of email postings. Unfortunately, the list doesn't appear to include any way of distinguishing the messages from other mail. The subject isn't modified, the "From" field always appears as the original sender rather than the list, and the "To" field is always your own email address.

Viewing the full headers of the message reveals something, however. (To view all of the headers, select View | Options... while reading the message.) The messages from this mailing list includes the header:

X-List-Remailer: i-list@heron.com

The following example moves all email messages that contain the above header into a mail folder called "FilteredMessages".

  1. Select File | Mange Rules & Alerts.
  2. Click on the New Rule button.
  3. Locate the "Step 1: Select a template" box.
  4. Under the "Start from a blank rule" section, select Apply rules on messages I receive.
  5. Click Next.
  6. In the "Which condition(s) do you want to check?" box, select with specific words in the message header.
  7. In the "Edit the Rule Description" box below, click on specific words.
  8. In the "Specify words or phrases to search for in the subject" window, type the exact match for the header you wish to filter. In this example, you would type: X-List-Remailer: i-list@heron.com
  9. Click Add | OK | Next.
  10. Check the box to the left of the action you wish to perform upon this message. In this example, select move it to the specified folder, located in the "What do you want to do with the message?" box.
  11. In the "Edit the Rule Description" box, below, click on specified.
  12. In the "Choose a folder" box, select an already existing folder or create a new one. For this example, select Mailbox-yourname and click New.
  13. In the Name field, type FilteredMessages
  14. Click OK.
  15. Click OK again.
  16. Click Next.
  17. Click Next again at the "Are there any exceptions?" box.
  18. Make certail that the box to the left of Turn on this rule is checked.
  19. Click Finish | OK.

Filter based on Sender:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Junk Email Preferences
  2. Edit the Safe Senders tab with senders' domains (i.e. @gmail.com) with trusted users
  3. Edit the Blocked Senders tab with senders' domains that you do not trust and want to be sent to junk email

Filter based on policy:

  1. On the Tools menu, Click Rules
  2. In the left pane of the Rules dialog box, do one of the following:
    1. To create a rule that runs on your computer while Outlook is open, under ON MY COMPUTER, click the account type.
    2. To create a rule that runs on the Exchange server, under EXCHANGE SERVERS, click the account name.
  3. Click Add and create a name for the rule
  4. Under When a new message arrives, on the leftmost pop-up menu, click the type of information that you want to identify
  5. Under Do the following, specify what you want to be done to messages that contain the criteria you provided in the previous step.
  6. Click OK

Many of the message management functions available in Outlook Web Access (OWA) can be easily accomplished with the use of rules. Rules can perform a variety of actions on a message, e.g., changing the importance level, automatic filing into other mail folders, or even automatic deletion.

Getting Started

You first need to determine something unique about the messages from the list or sender that will allow the messages to be filtered out while leaving the rest of your mail intact. This might be something in the subject, a unique sender, something in the body of the message, or a customized header.

Note On Deleting Messages: Even the most thoroughly thought-out filter can fail due to any number of unforseen variables. We do not recommend creating a filter to automatically delete messages.

Transferring to a Mail Folder Based on Subject

A few months ago you subscribed to the mailing list Earth-Info. At first the list wasn't getting a lot of traffic, but now it is.  You still want to read the messages from this list, but want them in a separate folder from your Inbox.

You first need to determine something unique about the messages from this list that will allow them to be filtered out while leaving the rest of your mail intact. This mailing list includes the text "[earth-info]" in the subject line of every message.

  1. Click the Gear in the upper right corner. Search for "rules" in the Search all settings field and click Inbox Rules
  2. Click on the (+) button.
  3. Name the rule whatever you'd like
  4. Under "When the message arrives,...", select It includes these words > in the subject (or whichever method you'd prefer to filter emails by)
  5. Type in the word or words that you'd like to be flagged for transfer to a new mailbox.
    • you can Add Condition to specify exactly what the email should contain
  6. Under "Do all of the following", select Move, copy, or delete > Move the message to folder...
    • select the destination folder for these flagged emails
  7. Add any exceptions if necessary (such as from a specific sender, etc).
  8. Only check the box labeled "Stop processing more rules" if you want this particular rule to take precedent over all other rules (i.e. if two rules are conflicting, this rule will win).
    • This is not recommended for rules that involve deleting particular messages based on a filter.
  9. In the upper left, click OK
  10. Ensure that the rule that you've created is Checked under the On column

Changing the Importance Based on Sender

Lately you've been receiving several dozen messages per day. All of it is important, of course, but you've been expecting something of the utmost importance from your research collaborator Philip Jackson <paj@aemons.edu>. When his message comes in, you don't want it to get lost in a sea of unrelated e-mail—you want to see it immediately.

OWA's message rules can make an important message stand out. If you set a message as important, a red exclamation mark (!) appears off to the side of the message.

We already know something about Philip's messages that are unique to him—his "From:" address. His "From:" address always displays as:  From: Philip Jackson <paj@aemons.edu>

You can easily set up a filter based on the sender's address: <paj@aemons.edu>.

  1. Click the Gear in the upper right corner. Search for "rules" in the Search all settings field and click Inbox Rules
  2. Click on the (+) button.
  3. Name the rule whatever you'd like
  4. Under "When the message arrives,...", select It was sent or received > received from...
  5. Select the contact from your contacts list or type in the users hawkID to locate them
    • you can Add Condition to specify exactly what the email should contain
  6. Under "Do all of the following", select Mark the message > with importance...
    • Set what level of importance is necessary
  7. Add any exceptions if necessary (such as from a specific sender, etc).
  8. Only check the box labeled "Stop processing more rules" if you want this particular rule to take precedent over all other rules (i.e. if two rules are conflicting, this rule will win).
    • This is not recommended for rules that involve deleting particular messages based on a filter.
  9. In the upper left, click OK
  10. Ensure that the rule that you've created is Checked under the On column

Filtering Based on Customized Headers

A mailing list you are subscribed to has recently been hit by a sudden surge of e-mail postings. Unfortunately, this list doesn't appear to include any way of distinguishing the messages from other mail. The subject isn't modified, the "From:" field always appears as the original sender rather than the list, and the "To:" field is always your own e-mail address.

Viewing the full headers of the message reveals something, however. (To view all of the headers, select View | Options... while reading the message.) The messages from this mailing list includes the header:

X-List-Remailer: i-list@heron.com

The following example moves all e-mail messages that contain the above header into a mail folder called "FilteredMessages".

  1. Click the Gear in the upper right corner. Search for "rules" in the Search all settings field and click Inbox Rules
  2. Click on the (+) button.
  3. Name the rule whatever you'd like
  4. Under "When the message arrives,...", select It includes these words > in the message header... (or in the body... for a more general filter)
  5. Type in the word or words that you'd like to be flagged for transfer to a new mailbox.
    • you can Add Condition to specify exactly what the email should contain
  6. Under "Do all of the following", select Move, copy, or delete > Move the message to folder...
    • Click the drop down arrow next to your name and select Clutter for a folder
    • A good destination may be > Delete the message (trash)
  7. Add any exceptions if necessary (such as from a specific sender, etc).
  8. Only check the box labeled "Stop processing more rules" if you want this particular rule to take precedent over all other rules (i.e. if two rules are conflicting, this rule will win).
    • This is not recommended for rules that involve deleting particular messages based on a filter.
  9. In the upper left, click OK
  10. Ensure that the rule that you've created is Checked under the On column

 

    Article number: 
    1056
    Last updated: 
    May 18, 2017