To set up Message Filters (Message Rules) in Outlook Express

Filters help you organize your mail as well as remove unwanted junk email.

If you receive large amounts of email messages everyday, instead of crowding your inbox with all the messages, you can have filters set so messages get distributed into different folders.

Outlook Express filters are called Message Rules and they can only be used when you have your account set up through a POP server. You can set up a message rule to "delete certain unwanted email messages from the server".

Setting Filters (Message Rules) in Outlook Express

  1. Open Outlook Express

  2. Click on the Tools menu, select Message Rules and Mail.

  3. The New Mail Rule dialogue box appears. If you have added a rule before then click on Add New rule.

  4. The New Mail Rule box is divided into 4 parts. The first part is to configure what messages are filtered, the second is to configure what to do with the filtered messages, the third is a sub configuration of the first and the third (depending on which is active). The Fourth section is the name of the rule (you can give it any name).

In this example the first section:

  1. Select the Conditions for your rule will be set to Where the From line contains people because usually mail is filtered with respect to who sends the message.

Notice that because you have section one active, section three (3. Rule Description) changes so you can configure whose mail will be filtered.

Click on the blue underlined text contains people in section 3 of the New Mail Rule dialogue box. The Select People dialogue box appears. Type in the name of the person whose mail you would like to filter and click Add. Click OK when you are finished adding all the names that you want. Now in section two,

  1. Select the Actions for your rule: specify what you would like to do with the message once it has been filtered. You have several options such as delete and move to a folder. Because the most common action is to move it to a folder Move it to the Specified folder is checked.

Notice that now section three has a new option; Move it to the specified folder.

Click on specified in section three of the New Mail Rule dialogue box. The Move dialogue box appears. Select the folder where you would like to move the folder to (it cannot be the Inbox), or create a New Folder, then click OK. In section four,

  1. Name of the rule type in a name (a good name would be one that describes the type of filter that it is). Click OK. Log out from Outlook Express. The next time you log in the rules will be applied to any NEW incoming messages.

NOTE: If you want to delete certain emails from the server without downloading them first to your computer, you can tick "Delete from Server" when you Select the Actions for your rule.

An example of this would be, if you wanted all emails that contain the words "buy viagra" to be deleted from the server, without downloading onto your computer.

Note: Think carefully about what rules you set up, as you don't want useful emails being deleted before you see them.

You can create a new rule by selecting an existing one on the Message Rules tab and clicking Copy.

This is helpful when the new rule you want to create is similar to an existing one.

You can create a rule from a message by selecting an e-mail message in the main window and then on the Message menu clicking Create Rule from Message.

This helps by automatically filling in the name of the person on the From line; no other information from the message, however, is entered into the rule.

Rules for other Email programs

If you use email programs other than Outlook Express, try clicking on Help and typing "message rules" in the find box, or go to Google and type in the name of your Email program followed by the message rules.