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How to group email messages by specified color categories in Outlook?

Author: Kelly Last Modified: 2014-03-21

Sometimes, you mark email messages with specified color categories, and then you can rule or find out these email messages easily, or for other purposes. When a mass of email messages crowd in a mail folder, it is hard to find out the email messages marked by specified color categories at a glance. Actually, there are a couple of tricks to group email messages by specified color categories in Microsoft Outlook quickly.

Group email messages by categories with a Search Folder

Group email messages by categories with changing arrangement pattern

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arrow blue right bubbleGroup email messages by categories with a Search Folder

This method will help you create a search folder based on specified color categories, and then all messages marked with specified color categories will be grouped into this search folder automatically.

Step 1: Select and open the mail folder in Navigation Pane where you will group email messages by categories.

Step 2: Open the New Search Folder dialog box:

  • In Outlook 2007, please click the File > New > Search Folder;
  • In Outlook 2010 and 2013, please click the New Search Folder button on the Folder tab.

Step 3: In the New Search Folder dialog box, select and highlight the Categorized mail in the Select a Search Folder: box.

If you need to group all email messages with any color categories, just click the OK button to finish setting.

If you need to group email messages with specified color categories, please go on to following steps:

Step 4: Click the Choose button in the New Search Folder dialog box.

Step 5: In the Color Categories dialog box, check the color categories according to your own needs. In our case, we check the Green Category.

Step 6: Click all OK buttons in each dialog box.

Then you will see a new search folder is created and added on the Navigation Pane, and the folder name is based on your specified categories. All messages with specified color categories are grouped into this search folder automatically.


arrow blue right bubbleGroup email messages by categories with changing arrangement pattern

In some cases, you may need to group email messages by color categories for just one time. Therefore, we will introduce another way to quickly group email messages by color categories for your temporary needs.

Step 1: Select and open the mail folder in Navigation Pane in which you will group email messages by categories.

Step 2: Change the arrangement pattern in the selected mail folder:

  • In Outlook 2007, please click the View > Arrange By > Categories;
  • In Outlook 2010 and 2013, please click the Categories in the Arrangement group on the View tab.

Then you will see all email messages with any color categories are sorted and grouped together at the end of the mail list, see the following screen shot:

Note: If you change the arrangement pattern or sort messages by other criteria, the messages wonโ€™t be grouped by color categories too.


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