I get a lot of mails that have either of the following subjects:


Where ... is any number of project related indicators.

What I would like

I have a folder named Support, with a subfolder PROD.

All mails send by a specific user, having a subject containing PROD, should be moved to the subfolder, all other mails to the parent.

What I have

I have a rule that does:

IF sender IS senderINeedToCheck

And another:

IF sender IS senderINeedToCheck

Strictly speaking that works, if your definition of done is: mails are moved from the inbox to the requested folders.

Except, all mails with subject containing PROD are moved to both folders, because they match both rules. Which is very redundant.

What I need

Is a way to set up that first generic rule so that it excludes all related mails NOT containing PROD.

So in pseudo code:

IF sender IS senderINeedToCheck

Any ideas?


How do I add a NOT condition in a mail rule?

You cannot add a NOT condition directly. However, you can use Exceptions to achieve the same effect:

There are three (main) steps to the rule creation process:

  1. Conditions to check:

    This is where you are trying to add your negation rule. You can't.

  2. Action to perform:

    Example move to a folder.

  3. Exceptions to apply:

    This is where you can choose your word in the subject

You have to use the advanced wizard to create rules this way.

So in your case (imagining you wanted to move everything to a folder called 'Moved' when the subject does not contain the word 'unmovable'), you'd do this:

  1. Don't select anything (apply to ALL messages).

  2. Select 'move it to the specified folder'. Then select the 'Moved' folder.

  3. Select 'except if the subject contains specific word'. Then type 'unmovable'.

Source Outlook Rule - Not in Subject

Further Reading

  • Adding an exception works. – Spikee Apr 18 '16 at 14:22

Another way to do this is order the execution of rules so that first the PROD rule is executed, and on that rule check Stop processing other rules once this rules conditions were met.

This method is very useful if in the future you have more rules like PROD. You can then just copy the rule, edit it, move it and it works as expected, and you don't need to add the exception to the general rule too.

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