Message rules to filter automated messages and subscriptions

My word/phrase list:

  • unsubscribe
  • to stop receiving
  • subscription preferences
  • as a web page
  • this message has been sent to
  • like to opt out
  • online privacy policy
  • do not want to receive
  • you no longer wish
  • prefer not to receive
  • to opt out
  • this email was sent to


The space allowed for rules is VERY limited. You can have roughly 40 rules active at a time [sometimes far fewer]. It’s best to lump all the sorting of one specific type into the same rule, because the search terms do not seem to take up as much space as the rules themselves do.

While you can right-click and “Create Rule…” on every message type you want to filter, you will run out of rules space very quickly. Maybe in minutes.


I worked through some rules that helped greatly reduce the amount of newsletters, etc., that show up in my in my main inbox.

I started by creating a new rule [Tools->Rules and Alerts->New Rule…]

I started from a blank rule…

Select a blank rule

Next, I needed to match messages “with specific words in the subject or body”. [Really just the message body]

Look for messages with specific words in the subject or body

Click on the “specific words” text to bring up a pop-up where you can specify the words.

Pop-up to specify search text

Type words in an click “add” until you’ve added all the phrases to search for:

Finished search list

Next, check “move it to the specified folder” and click the word “specified” in the bottom part to tell Outlook where to send the messages.

Move to specified folder

Optionally, you can specify exceptions [such as internal e-mails].

Exceptions step

Be sure to check the rule’s checkbox in the “Rules and Alerts” window to enable it.

If you want to run your newly created rule on existing messages, click [Apply] then [Run Rules Now…] and check the rule to run.

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