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Create Rule for Junk/spam emails in Office 365


You can set a rule for your Office 365 mailbox so that all messages with the {SPAM?} tag automatically move to your Junk mail folder.

This document will provide instructions on how to use Inbox Rules to direct email flow in Outlook on the web, Outlook for Windows and MacOS.  For example, you can create a rule to automatically move the legit email that mark as Junk into your inbox or to a specific folder.

Process considerations:

  • For the best consistency, it is highly recommended that you manage Inbox Rules via Outlook on the web. In addition, when you setup a rule in Outlook on the web, the rule will be applied regardless of the client you are using.
  • Inbox rules are run from top to bottom in the order in which they appear in the Rules window. To change the order of rules, click the rule you want to move, and then click the up or down arrow to move the rule to the position you want in the list.
  • There is no limit to the number of individual Inbox rules that a user can create on their account, but there is a hidden limit to the total amount of space all of a user's Inbox rules can take up on that user's account. When a user approaches that limit while trying to create a new Inbox rule, their client will generate an error message stating there is insufficient space to store all of the rules. If this occurs for you, you will need to delete some of your rules before you can continue.
  • If you are linked to service account or have full-mailbox access to another account, Outlook will automatically automap the account within your profile. You will not be able to manage the inbox rules on these account - you will need to access the secondary account via Outlook on the web to manage the inbox rules.
  • If you setup a rule to forward messages, the forwarded messages appear as messages that are forwarded by you. Use a forward message rule when you want the replies to go to the address the messages are forwarded from, and not to the original sender.
  • If you setup a rule to redirect messages, the redirected messages appear as though they came from the original sender. Use a redirect message rule when you want replies to redirected messages to go to the original sender.
You may click on the links below to navigate directly to a section:

Outlook Web Access

  1. Go to and log in.
  2. Click on the gear in the top right corner.
  3. Select Mail

  4. Under the drop down, inbox and sweep rules.
  5. Click the + sign to create the rule.

  6. Under When the Message Arrives, and it matches all of these conditions, select it includes these words in the subject...
  7. In the pop up window, type [SPAM?} and click the + icon.

  8. Under Do all the following, select Move the Message to Folder...
  9. Choose the Junk email folder, or any other folder location.

  10. Click OK to save the rule.


Outlook on Windows Desktop Client

  1. Open Outlook and click on File (top left corner)
  2. Select Manage Rules and Alerts
  3. In the pop up window click New Rule.
  4. Select Move messages with select words in a subject to a folder.
  5. Click Next
  6. Enter {SPAM?}
  7. Click Add and OK
  8. In the bottom box, click on Specified
  9. Select your Junk Email folder
  10. Click OK

  11. Click Next, and Next again.
  12. Check the box Turn on this rule.
  13. Click Finish

Get Help

  • Click HERE to contact UW Shared Services or HERE for the Office of Technology Services (OTS) Helpdesk if you have any issues with these instructions.

Keywords:Information Technology, Outlook Web, Inbox Rule   Doc ID:105509
Owner:Eric B.Group:UW–Shared Services
Created:2020-09-01 14:25 CSTUpdated:2021-10-13 12:22 CST
Sites:UW–Shared Services
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