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 :)



41 Replies
Why not something this simple : If unread after 90 days then delete Would help keep your read mails, and keep your mailbox clean? how simple. why can't it be done?
It can be done but not using the rules. You can or create an add-in for Outlook or a MS Power Automate flow.

I would like to know if there is a way to have a rule in outlook that automatically moves "old" emails on a thread into my "old mail" folder WHEN a new email on that thread comes in.  (that is my if...then,...)  If a new email on this thread comes in, then move the old email to the "old mail" folder.


This way my inbox would ONLY have the latest email on each thread.  All other emails would automatically go into a bulk old mail folder.   I cannot seem to write the rule correctly for this to happen.  Any ideas?

@Victor Ivanidze 

Thanks for your humble opinion. Microsoft always needs extra apologies for their failures.
But 2 (or 3 or more) simple rules are ridiculous when 1 slightly more complex rule would serve well.
In my situation where OR would be immensely helpful, I need email received from any of email accounts aATdomain or bATdomain or cATdomain or dATdomain to be moved to the MyCompyootr folder. How would four (count 'em 4) separate rules be better than one (1) that's only an RCH more complex than a trivially simple rule? I have multiples of this situation. And if one talks about keywords, some of them are very common terms; eg. computer, hardware, or software, all of which show up in many headers that do not arrive from the intended accounts. Just my $0.02.

It's amazing to me that mail rules have been around for a very long time, since maybe outlook 2003, but you cannot create an OR statement, only and AND statement when creating conditions for a rule. This seems like it would be very basic logic to code. Very tedious to have to create multiple rules to satisfy OR conditions. 

@Victor Ivanidze 

Here's what I would like to do:

I would like to change this "and" to an "or" because creating 5 different rules to exclude 5 categories is inefficient when an "or" would be so much better.




If you are ready to pay, I'll create a Power Automate flow with this functionality.

@VictorIvanidze Don't make him pay for such a simple flow that would take 5 minutes to make! Just send a screenshot of it! Geez.

@NathanaelEpic What about changing the OR to AND with recipients?

If you have two accounts, you may want to create a rule for each, in order to store the emails addressed to each of them in a specific folder.

But then, if a single email is addressed to both, you'll get a double copy of it in one of these folder, and no copy of it in the other one.
But if you try creating another rule stating what should happen if an email has both the addresses as recipients, 


You only get a rule with the or statement:


How can I set a rule condition based on an email sent to both my email addresses, in order to have a single copy of them stored in each account's specific folder?

Hi @amiranda72,

you cannot. 

Hi @AlyssaL036,

wow, could you spent 5 times and show such flow?

What are you saying?
AlyssaL036, my bad, sorry. I just wanted to say: could you please spend 5 minutes and show your flow?
makes you wonder what are their roles. like do they get paid for the number of replies regardless of the quality of the replies and thus all the copy and paste

@Victor Ivanidze 


I have an issue where I receive emails regarding DMARC failures from a domain.  When these come in, it can show 1 or more of 3 ways: In the subject, in the body, or in the address.


I am already using the "With specific words in the subject or body", but sometimes these notices come from an address like "email address removed for privacy reasons", and the message contains no text in the body, and the subject reflects a randomized report ID.  I need to be able to check on an OR basis rather than an AND basis for this situation.  As a system admin, I need to be able to create a minimalist approach to making these rules.  I understand your stance on "complex rules", but simply saying:


IF "dmarc" is contained within the subject/body OR senders address, really isn't complex, it's simply asking for an instance of the same text in two different fields, contained on the same form instance.


This is what most people are looking for when they bring forward complaints about the fact this still isn't possible, not so much trying to combine 7 or 8 variations of context from 11 portions of the email form.

Hi @AlexPatton,


sorry I don't think here is any reason to discuss complexity of  rules.

As far as I know, you cannot do what you want using rules. 

Did you try to create a Power Automate flow?

I see a flow as an only possiblility. Do you see other ways or workarounds?

@Victor Ivanidze 


That is not a solution. It allows you to do an "OR," but only for the same field. For example, you can specify emails that are From Bob OR Alice, where both conditions are From, but you can't specify things like this:


Emails From Bob OR To Alice

Emails From Bob OR To Bob

Emails that are From Bob OR contain "sales" in the Subject.






Suppose I have a folder named Sales where I put all sales-related mail. And suppose all of this mail has the word "sales" in either the From field or the Subject. I would want this to be one rule, which I would name "Sales." I have to make two separate rules, and then if I ever want to change something like the destination folder, I have to find and modify two rules. This is worse than having both conditions in the same rule. I hardly consider that a "complex rule."

Hi @rbratton65,


you said:

>That is not a solution. It allows you to do an "OR," but only for the same field.

What is not a solution?

@Victor IvanidzeThis (see image) is not a solution, because it only allows you to do an OR with multiple values of the same field, but you can't OR between different fields, like From Bob OR Subject contains "sales."

screencap 7-4-2024 16 04.jpg