Outlook: Automatically move emails to folder based on sender

You may receive hundreds of daily emails from a number of different senders in your Outlook inbox. For better organisation and an efficient way to respond to emails, you may want to filter or move the emails to a folder based on the sender. You can create a rule in Outlook that will help you filter emails to specific Outlook folders. One of Microsoft Outlook’s most powerful and useful features is the ability to set up rules in Outlook that can help you organise and differentiate between important and unwanted emails, as well as helping to manage your email subscriptions.In this blog post, I’ll outline the method to automatically move emails to a folder based on the sender, using a detailed step by step guide along with screenshots of the entire process.

Moving emails to a folder based on the sender:

  1. Sign into Outlook and select and email sent by the relevant sender
  2. In the search bar, type ‘rule’
  3. When the option for ‘Rule’ appears, hover the mouse over it
  4. From the drop down menu, select ‘Always move messages from:’
  5. Select the folder you want to move the emails from this sender to
  6. Click on ‘OK’

We’ve also created a YouTube video to help you follow the steps contained in this post. Watch it here:

Why filtering emails into folders is beneficial 

It is often the case that the majority of unwanted email messages you receive in Outlook are not spam or junk and therefore, they don’t need to be blocked. Instead, there may be emails that you want to respond to right away, or emails you want to look at later. For such emails, it’s very useful and convenient to set up an email autofilter in Outlook. This Outlook filter, created using Rules in Outlook, automatically sends specific messages to Outlook folders.

Some of the biggest  reasons to use an Outlook autofilter are:

  • To keep related emails together. For example, If you’re working on a project with a group of coworkers. As part of the project communication, you may receive a lot of emails. By using an Outlook autofilter, you can easily keep all the project-related emails in a specific folder. This will help you to find all the related emails quickly.
  • To keep subscription emails together. You may have a number of email subscriptions related to your business or your work. If you don’t always have time to read them right away, you can keep them to read later by using an Outlook filter to sort them into a subscription folder.
  • To keep emails from the same sender in the same place. For example, this can be useful if you’re mentoring an employee. If they send you lots of emails with questions, you may want to keep a track of what you’ve gone over with them. An email filter can help with this as you can always go back to this folder and look over what topics have been covered and what you still need to work on.

As you can see, it’s a good practice to keep related emails together. Of course, there are many other reasons to have Outlook filter emails that may benefit the specific needs of your Outlook inbox. 

Step by step process to move emails to a folder based on the sender in Outlook

  1. Sign into Outlook and select and email sent by the relevant sender

Go to Outlook and sign in using your credentials. Then select the email that was sent by the sender who’s emails you would like to automatically move into a different folder.

  1. In the search bar, type ‘rule’

At the top of the Outlook page, type in ‘rule’ in the search bar.

  1. When the option for ‘Rule’ appears, hover the mouse over it

A drop down list will appear from the search bar with some suggested options. Under the ‘Actions’ section, select ‘Rules’

  1. From the drop down menu, select ‘Always move messages from:’

While hovering your cursor over ‘Rules’, a small drop down list will appear next to it. Select ‘Always move messages from:’. In my case, I selected an email from Dropbox, but you may select an email from any sender of your choice. 

  1. Select the folder you want to move the emails from this sender to

When the small window for ‘Rules and Alerts’ appears, select the folder where you would like emails from this sender to be automatically moved to.

  1. Click on ‘OK’

Once you have selected the folder, click on OK to save the changes. Emails that you receive from this sender will now automatically be altered into your selected folder. 

Thank you for reading! If you have any questions about this blog post, feel free to leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you, or read some of our other blog posts about Outlook:

Whilst notifications are often an automatic feature of the application, be it on desktop, smartphone or anything else, sometimes you may wish to be notified of any incoming mail whilst operating on Outlook. This blog post demonstrates how to access the Notifications option of your Outlook settings, make your way to Desktop notifications

OSTs are there to ensure you the usage of your files if you happen to need access to them when offline, such as if ever you’re on a flight. Sometimes though, you may need to delete an OST. This blog post demonstrates how you can do this.

Microsoft is now adding this capability to the online version of Outlook. To use this feature, edit a few features located within the outlook web for sending an email and it will allow you to either schedule or delay when you’re writing an email. This blog post shows you how to do this with detailed screenshots.

Siddra Afzal

Siddra Afzal has been a researcher and content writer at Business Tech Planet since 2021. Siddra formerly wrote newsletters for the NHS and was a PR and Communications Officer. She now combines her passion for photography and video editing with her knowledge of communications, writing, and research to the art of crafting the perfect tech guides for BTP. You can connect with Siddra on LinkedIn.

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