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> How to: Create Rules in Outlook Express/Windows Mail.
James (Jim) Hill...
post Aug 2 2009, 10:59 PM
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There are quite a few occasions where it can be more convenient to direct certain emails to a folder other than the ?Inbox?, and Outlook Express/Windows Mail make that a fairly simple process via their message rules settings.
It's nigh on impossible to give step by step instructions for every conceivable situation so let?s take a look at one common scenario. You get some regular emails that you would like to sort into a separate folder; it might be news letters, online store promotions or emails from a different account. Whatever, you can create a new folder as destination for the mail and then create a rule which tells the email client to place that mail in the new folder. The steps are pretty much identical in both Outlook Express and Windows Mail.

Let?s say you want to separate emails from an online store, we?ll call it ?Bargains Galore?. Firstly, the easy part, creating the new folder:

1) With Outlook Express open, simultaneously press Ctrl+Shift+E keys.
2) In the dialogue box under ?Folder name:? type in the name of the new folder..e.g. Bargains Galore.
3) Highlight (left click on) the area where you wish the new folder to reside. It can be a sub folder of any existing folders or a separate entity under ?Local Folders?. For the purpose of this exercise let?s create a separate folder. Highlight Local Folders and click OK.

Now we need to set the rule so all mail from that source is directed to the new folder:

1) Click on Tools, select Message Rules and then Mail. If this is the first and only rule proceed to step 2. If there are existing rules you will need to click on the New button.
2) Under ?1. Select the Conditions for your rule:? you will see a variety of options to differentiate the mail. In this case we shall place a checkmark next to the option ?Where the From line contains people?.
3) Now under ?3. Rule Description? you should see the beginning of the rule including the words ?contains people? in blue (hyperlink). Click on those blue words and the ?Select people? window will open.
4) Either type in the name of the sender (as it would normally appear in the ?From? section of their email) and then click on the Add button or, if the sender is in your address/contacts book, simply click on the Address Book button, double click on the required entry then click OK. You should now see the details in the box headed ?People?. Click OK.
5) Now, under ?2. Select actions for your rule:? you can choose the desired action from the list of options. In this instance we would place a checkmark next to the option ?Move it to the specified folder?.
6) Again, under ?3 Rule description? you should now see the rule taking shape. Click on the hyperlink (blue word) ?specified? and from the list of mail folders, highlight the required folder (in this case the one we already created and named Bargains Galore) and then click OK.
7) The rule has now been completed and you can type in a special name for it, if you wish, under ?4. Name of the rule:? Now click OK, OK.

This is just a basic example and can be expanded to include all emails within a certain category, all you need to do is find something in common with them all and use the appropriate option to group them into a separate folder. You can even deal with unwanted mail by setting a rule to delete or, even better, delete from the server. Have a play with it, if you do manage to mess up...don't worry. All you have to do is access the rules menu, highlight the new rule and click on the Remove easy!!

While on the subject of email and Outlook Express/Windows Mail; both are good email clients but make for lousy storage areas. I?ve lost count of the number of times I have visited a client who has been having serious problems with Outlook Express/Windows Mail only to find literally hundreds of emails stored in the folders. It takes just one corrupt email to upset the entire apple cart and, on many occasions, all those treasured emails can be lost!
As a much better alternative, please do this: Create a new folder in ?My Documents? and name it something like ?Saved Emails?. You can create as many sub folders within that main folder as necessary to suit categories. Now when you wish to keep that special email just click on File and then Save As..., type in a suitable File name, browse to and select the appropriate folder in My Documents? and hit the Save button.
Not only are they much safer there but they are also certain to be included in your regular backups?you do backup your personal data regularly, don?t you!

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