Outlook rules - if/and/or statements?

Brass Contributor


isn't it about time outlook upgraded their rules so that you didn't have to create separate rules for incoming and out going messages?

Having to create 2 rules every time i want an email to and/or from a certain person to go into a specified folder is surely counter-intuitive and productive.

How hard could it be to re-script it to include 'if', 'and', 'or' statements into the code so that:
IF you receive a message from ContactA OR you send a message to ContactA move that message into ContactA's folder.


Is that not better than separate rules for every person?

My VBscripting back in 2004 could achieve that (can't remember a thing about it now though).


Would love to hear your thoughts on this.


Cheers :)



35 Replies
create a rule in Outlook:

Click the File tab in the navigation ribbon.
Click Manage Rules & Alerts.
Click New Rule on the E-mail Rules tab in the Rules and Alerts dialog box.
Proceed to Step 1: Select a template.
Choose a template from either the Stay Organized or Stay Up to Date list of rule templates.
Proceed to Step 2: Edit a rule description.
Click on the underlined value.
Click Next.
Choose the message conditions you prefer under Step 1: Select conditions.
Click on presented underlined values from your selected conditions.
Enter in specifics for the underlined values under Step 2: Edit the rule description.
Click Next.
Choose exceptions to the rule under Step 1: Select exception(s).
Click Next.
Choose values for underlined text under Step 2: Edit the rule description.
Click Next.
Enter a name under Step 1: Specify a name for this rule.
Select additional actions under Step 2: Setup rule options.
Click Finish.


err thanks for the copy’n’paste but that just explains how to create a rule. It’s not really what is asked.

Has this been done by now or is this still impossible? I don't see any way to do it, but maybe I'm just blind. I find it odd that not more people have liked/replied to this request. It's such a massive inconvenience.

It is very disappointing that Outlook doesn't have this basic feature. Even mail servers from 90th have it. Right now it is only AND statement. So if you need to do something with emails like moving in a folder emails from 2 senders, you can't do email1 OR email2, you must create 2 rules.
Also, you can't use something like "do something with emails from addresses *@some.com", only specify the particular address. (SOLVED) 

It is possible via "Keywords -> Sender Address Includes"

Hi @oleksiikrutilko,


1)  why do you compare "mail servers from 90th" with email client?


2)  your statement

Also, you can't use something like "do something with emails from addresses *@some.com", only specify the particular address.

is wrong.  Did you ever see "with specific words in the sender's address" condition? 





Hi. Thanks for the fast answer.
1. I assume that rules should be applied on the server side. If no, why does the desctop client load rules ~3-5 sec? If I'm wrong, client and server have different rules, can I create rules on server side with more advanced conditions?
2. I agree, there is such condition "Keywords -> Sender Address Includes", I've missed this because I tried to find it under "From" field.

Hi again @oleksiikrutilko,

please explain in details what exactly you are trying to achieve and I'll try to suggest something. 

I'd like to have the ability to create a rule with OR for example:
move all emails with [Confluence] OR (confluence) in Subject to some folder.
Now I should create 2 separate rules with Subjects.
Another example, my company sends internal news emails time after time, so I'd like to move all these emails in some specific folder and mark as read. Again is it close to 5 Subjects == 5 rules.
Github notifications, I'd like to route them by projects, like important/not important, again each project == 1 rule.
Now I have ~20 rules, and this is not the end :)

If I understood correctly, if I add a few strings in a subject, it will be AND, so rule will work only if all these strings will be there

In fact there is OR:



Thanks. I use the new UI desktop client, it doesn't have these options but has other similar ones. Also, I'd like to mention that the old UI has a different interface with rules, and it has "is" or "contains" for From/Subject/etc. So as a workaround I can switch to the old UI, make rules and switch back.
What client do you mean? My screenshot shows Outlook for Windows.
I guess you are running Outlook for Mac ;)

@Victor Ivanidze Yes, for Mac.


Sorry I know almost nothing about Outlook for Mac.
Looks like you met a limitation of MS client software.
Hi Victor, or works on a specific condition, but if you want to specify more than one condition its always AND, e.g I want to say move messages from specific people(no proplem using or for several people) but then want to add another condition that says OR with specific words in subject. This does not seem possible without creating additional specific rules just for those keywords.
You are correct, but IMHO to have 2 simple rules is better than having one comlpex rule.

@Victor Ivanidze yes I guess its personal preference

Maybe, if you have 2 rules vs 4 rules. Personally, I have 15 +/-, if I should have 30 simple vs 15 complex, I'd like to choose. Also, it is not clear, how should it work.
Yes I agree, should be personal choice if you want to have complex or simple rules, why does MS not give the user the option to choose instead of forcing you to just use simple rules
Hi @krutilkoa, if you are running your Outlook against Exchange online (Office 365), consider using a Power Automate flow instead of 15 or 30 rules.