How to Setup Custom Office 365 Rules in Email for Yourself and Your Organization

There are all kinds of ways to set “rules” for your email (with most email providers), especially from within Microsoft Outlook. However, since we deal mostly with Office 365 on this site, I’m going to explain how to setup some custom Office 365 rules for both individuals and entire organizations from within the web portal.

Setting Office 365 Rules for the Entire Organization

  1. Go to portal.microsoftonline.com and sign in using the administrator credentials for your organization
  2. This should bring you to the administrator portal home page. Under “Microsoft Office 365″ and “Exchange”, click the “manage” button.
  3. This should bring you to the main ECP organization administration page. On the left side of the page, click “Mail Control”.
  4. You are now at the rules page. To add rules, click the “New” button. I will cover some examples of rules at the end of this article.
Office 365 Rules

Organization Rules

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Setting Office 365 Rules for an Individual

  1. Go to portal.microsoftonline.com and sign in using the administrator credentials for your organization
  2. This should bring you to the administrator portal home page. Under “Microsoft Office 365″ and “Exchange”, click the “manage” button.
  3. This should bring you to the main ECP organization administration page. On the top of the page, drop down the “Manage My Organization” menu and click “Another User”.
  4. This will bring up a page where need to choose which user you want to manage. Once you have selected the user, it will take you to the main ECP user administration page. *Note* – you can also get to this same page by signing into mail.office365.com with that user, going up to options, and choosing “See all options.”
  5. On the left side of the page, click “Organize Email”.
  6. You are now at the rules page. To add rules, click the “New” button. I will cover some examples in the next section of the article.
Office 365 Rules

User Rules

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some Examples of Office 365 Rules

These are going to be completely hypothetical scenarios, but I thought I would give you an idea what you can do with the rules

Example 1 – An email sender you want to keep out of the company inboxes

Let’s say you had a recently fired and disgruntled ex employee who won’t stop emailing people within your organization from his gmail account, lazyangryworker1288@gmail.com. As the administrator, you want his emails to stop showing up to employees, but it sure would be nice if you could receive them yourself so you can keep an eye on his rantings. A good way to go about this is by setting up a redirection rule.

  1. In the organization rules page, create a new rule
  2. Under “Apply this rule… if…”, choose “the sender is…”
  3. When selecting the user in the following window, in the “Check names” box type in lazyangryworker1288@gmail.com. Click the “check names” box then the green check mark ok button.
  4. Under the “Do the following…” choose “redirect the message to”
  5. When the dialog box asking you the user comes up, click on the user who should get the emails redirected to them. Let’s say it’s adminuser@testcompany.com. Click “okay” and then click “save” in the main dialog box.
  6. You should now see the rule come up and it should begin to take effect. When lazyangryworker1288@gmail.com sends an email to anyone in the company, it will automatically be redirected to adminuser@testcompany.com. Peace and quiet at last!

Example 2 – An email subject you want to mark as important

Let’s say you work for a food services company and you have some very important emails coming in from different vendors about some large orders of tacos that you need to identify and reply to immediately. One good way to go about this would be to have Office 365 rules that mark any email with the word “tacos” in it as a red category.

  1. In the individual rules page (not organization, for this example anyway) create a new rule
  2. Under “Apply this rule… When the message arrives, and:”. Drop down the menu and click “It includes these words in the subject or body”.
  3. In the dialog box that comes up, type in “taco” (without quotes) and hit the green + button to add it in. Then click OK.
  4. Under “Do the following”, select mark this message with a category. In the the next window, select “red category”, hit OK, then hit “save” to finish up the rule.
  5. You should now see the rule come up and it should begin to take effect. When this individual user gets any email with the word “taco” in it, it will automatically be marked in the “red” category.

Advanced Rule Functions

When creating rules (for both organizations and users) there is a button at the bottom labeled “more options”. Clicking this will massively expand your “If” and “Do the following” sections, as well as give you the option to add exceptions to the rule. It also allows you to add multiple “if” and “do the following” statements to each rule. The options here are really too vast for an example to even scratch the surface, but they are fairly simple to understand once you know they exist. Explore away, and if you have any questions about specific scenarios, feel free to leave them in the comments!

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