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Is it possible in Outlook 365 ProPlus to create a rule so that an email from a certain recipient (an automatic mailer for instance) gets deleted from your inbox if it is not sent to someone who is a member of a certain group?

Example 1: An email is sent from automatic mailer A to person X. You are in CC or BCC. Person X is a member of group G. In this case I want to see this email in my inbox.

Example 2: An email is sent from automatic mailer A to person Y. You are in CC or BCC. Person Y is not a member of group G. In this case I want to delete this email.

Is this possible?

  • Whose mailbox would this rule run in? Person X's? – uSlackr Nov 30 '17 at 14:28
  • It would run on my mailbox. – schlingel Dec 2 '17 at 3:22
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There is no direct answer for that, i.e. it won't help if you'd specify the group name directly unless the email is sent to the whole group, nor has Outlook such a rule option like "... is a member of group G". But we can use a workaround:

  1. Get a list of names/email addresses of the group G. You can do this by just creating a new e-mail, typing the name of the group G into the "To" field, expand the field until all names are displayed and then copy-paste the names to a file.
  2. Create an Outlook rule like this, let's name it "Rule-1":

    a. From: Automatic mailer/person A.

    b. Sent to people or public group: Click on the link and open the "Rule Address" dialog box. Copy and paste the list that you acquired in Step 1 to the textbox below.

    c. Move it to the Inbox folder.

    d. Stop processing more rules.

    e. Save the rule to server. If you get an error, it is because the list that you provided at step 2b is too long. Shorten the list until server saves the rule without any error. Note the names that you could not add to the rule. Let's name this remaining names list as "Remaining names". We will handle them in next steps.

    f. If the "Remaining names" list is longer (character-count-wise) than the list that is inserted into the "Sent to" list, repeat step 2 until "Remaining names" are shorter than "Sent to" list within the step 2b. Name the new rules like "Rule-2, Rule-3, ..., Rule-(n-1)" for convenience.

  3. Create another Outlook rule, name it e.g. "Rule-n":

    a. From: Automatic mailer/person A.

    b. Delete it (or move to a folder).

    c. (Perform this step only if you've got at least one name/address left in "Remaining names") Except if sent to people or public group. Click on the link and paste the names that are left in "Remaining names" list.

    d. Stop processing more rules.

    e. Save the rule to server.

  4. Sort the rules in Rule-1, Rule-2, ..., Rule-n order using the arrow keys. I am adding a screenshot of these arrows because I had trouble finding them:

Rule order arrows

Logic behind this solution:

  • If an email from the specific person/mailer comes and it is sent to people covered in Rule 1, that email arrives at your inbox folder. Any subsequent rule is not processed. Else, control falls to Rule 2, Rule 3, and subsequently to Rule n.
  • If the person is also not included in Rule n exception list, that rule is processed and the email gets deleted (or moved to a folder you specify). Any subsequent rule is not processed.

Seemingly long solution, only implement if it's worth - but it works.

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