Filters for Outlook Express

Important Note: If you are still using Outlook Express, I urge you to migrate to another safer email program. There are several email programs that are free and will not cause as many problems as Outlook Express.  A popular replacement for Outlook Express is Thunderbird.

You can set up filters in Outlook Express to filter your messages into folders. One of the best method is to setup filters for your friends and everything else to your Inbox. Then you can just glance at the messages in the Inbox to make sure something didn't slip by your filters or maybe you have a new contact that needs a filter set up. Once you are sure there is nothing there you want to keep, just select all & delete. Then you can go to each folder and read the email you really want to read. This is a great way to handle spam messages.

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Open Outlook Express. In the top menu bar click on Tools and select Message Rules/Mail.

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When the Message Rules dialogue box opens, click on the New button.

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Now you need to set conditions for your new rule. In the first window check the box labeled Where the from line contains people. In the second window check 'Move it to the specified folder.

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In the third text box, Rule Description, specify the person and folder. Click on the underlined link, Contains People. The Select People dialogue box now appears. If whoever you are creating this filter for is in your address book, click on the Address Book button and double click on the listing. Otherwise, simply type in the person's e-mail address in the top line exactly as it appears in messages and click on Add. There should not be any spaces. Then click on the OK button.

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Now, back in the New Mail Rule dialogue box, click on the second underlined link specified that appears in the third text box. The Move dialogue box will open up. You will probably want to create a new folder for the filtered messages. Click on the button labeled New Folder. As you can see in the next screenshot, I have created one called Junk but you may want to choose something more descriptive, such as the person's name. Then make sure your new folder is selected and click on OK. Now back in the New Mail Rule dialogue box you will see the e-mail address and the folder specified for your new rule.

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Finally, in the fourth text box you should give this rule a name more descriptive than "New Mail Rule #1" that will clue you in to the purpose of the rule in case you ever want to go back and edit it. Delete "New Mail Rule #1" and then type in a new name for this rule. Then click on OK.

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There is one final step you may want to take. You can now apply your rule to all the messages in your Inbox that you have already received. This will sort out all the existing messages from the address you specified into your new folder. The Message Rules dialogue box should be open on your screen, but if not use the Tools menu to get to it as in Step 1 above. Click on the Apply Now button. In the new dialogue box make sure the rule is selected and Inbox is selected next to "Apply to Folder:" If not, click on the Browse button to select it. Then click on the Close button and click on OK in the Message Rules box.

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Setting up filtering can be done in most email programs. Most of the time the process is similar.

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