Outlook Web Access (OWA) Rules

Rules allow you to manage incoming email messages by automatically performing actions such as moving into specific folders or forwarding to another address. Rules can help you organize messages as well as take care of simple repetitive tasks which can save you time.

Rules are only available in Outlook Web Access Premium and will not run if you're using Outlook Web Access Light. Any rule created in OWA will also run when using the Microsoft Outlook application on another computer.

Logging On
Creating Rules

Logging On

  1. Make sure you're connected to the Internet via a wired or wireless connection.
  2. Open Internet Explorer.
  3. Connect to http://email.med.harvard.edu
  4. Enter your eCommons Username and Password and click Log On.

Creating Rules

You can create a rule "from scratch" or create a rule based on a specific message. The benefit of the latter option is that by selecting a specific message, the rule's criteria will be automatically be built from the selected message's settings, that is sender's name or subject line contents.

Creating a Rule Based on a Specific Message

  1. Right-click on the message you wish to base a rule on.
  2. Choose Create Rule... from the pop-up menu.
  3. A Compatibility with Outlook warning may appear. This dialog box is informing you that to avoid a conflict between Outlook and OWA, you need to delete any disabled rules. If you've never created rules or have no disabled rules, click the Delete Disabled Rules button to continue. Click in the checkbox next to "Do not show me this message again" to prevent the box from reappearing.

    Rule Compatibility Warning

  4. The rule is built from the options presented on the right. There are three sections: Criteria, Actions and Exceptions.

    New Rule

  5. Criteria: Select the criteria that the rule will be based on. For example: if you are Cc'd in the message or if the Subject line contains specific wording. To see all available criteria selections, click the Show all options... button.

    Rule Criteria

  6. You can select more than one option for the rule's criteria. If you do, all criterion selected must be true for the rule to run.
  7. Actions: What do you want to happen when the rule's criteria are met? Forward the message? Move the message to a particular folder? Select the action you want the rule to perform.

    Rule Actions

  8. Exceptions: Rule exceptions allow you to exclude certain messages from the rule. For example, you may want to move messages into a folder unless they're marked as high importance or if a particular recipient was cc'd in the message. To see all Exception options, click the chevron that displays to the right of the Exceptions heading.
  9. Enter a name for the rule or use the one automatically provided by OWA.
  10. Click Save when done.

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Site Updated: 4/18/2014
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