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How To Automatically Color Categorize Emails Based On Subject In Outlook?

Author: Amanda Li Last Modified: 2022-08-12

Color categories allow you to quickly recognize and group related items in Outlook, so that you can easily track them and improve efficiency. In this article, we will talk about how to create a rule in Outlook to automatically assign color categories to email messages based on their subjects.

Automatically color categorize email messages based on their subject in Outlook

In your Outlook, please select the inbox folder of the email account that you want to apply the auto-categorize rule to, and then select any message from the folder. After that, please follow the steps below.

1. On the Home tab, click on Rules > Create Rule.

2. In the pop-up Create Rule dialog box, click on Advanced Options.

3. In the Rules Wizard asking Which conditions(s) do you want to check, do as follows:

  1. In Step 1: Select condition(s), check the second option with (the subject of your selected message) in the subject.
  2. In Step 2: Edit the rule description, click on the text underlined in blue to open the Search Text dialog box.
  3. In the pop-up Search Text dialog, enter the keywords or phrases in title you want to automatically color categorize emails based on.
  4. Click Add.
    Note: If you need to auto color categorize an email message based more keywords or phrases, repeat the step iii and iv. And you can select the keywords or phrases in the Search list box and then click Remove to remove the unwanted ones.
  5. Click OK in the Search Text dialog to go back to Rules Wizard.
  6. Click Next.

4. In the Rules Wizard asking What do you want to do with the message, do as follows:

  1. In Step 1: Select action(s), check the assign it to the category category option.
  2. In Step 2: Edit the rule description, click on the category underlined in blue to open the Color Categories dialog box.
  3. In the pop-up Color Categories dialog, select one or more categories that you want to assign to the email messages with the titles that contains the words or phrases that you specified in the 3rd step.
  4. Click OK in the Color Categories dialog to go back to Rules Wizard.
  5. Click Next.

5. In the Rules Wizard asking Are there any exceptions, select exceptions in Step 1 if there are, and edit the exception description in Step 2. Once finished, click Next.

6. In the Rules Wizard to finish the rule setup, please configure as follows:

  1. In Step 1, specify a name for this rule in the input box.
  2. In Step 2, check the Run this rule now on messages already in โ€œInboxโ€ option to assign color categories to the messages in your Inbox that meet the conditions you specified; Check the Turn on this rule option to assign color categories to the incoming email messages that that meet the conditions you specified.
  3. In Step 3, you can review the rule details you specified. If you need to change any of the criteria, click an underlined value to edit.
  4. Once finished, click Finish.

7. A dialog box pops up informing you the rule only works when you check emails in Outlook. Click OK.

8. Now, the rule is created successfully. If you need to check or edit it in the future, please go to Rules > Create Rule. And remember to select the right folder as below screenshot shown.

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