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Illinois State University

Organize your Office 365 Email Inbox

This article reviews how to organize your Illinois State University Office 365 email inbox within the Office 365 email web application. Office 365 provides features to stay organized. Emails can be sent automatically to certain folders using “Inbox Rules”, emails from one person or sender in your inbox can all be deleted all at once using Sweep, use Archive feature to automatically move emails you wish to be archived into your Archive folder, and use the Move or Move All feature to move or place a current emails in your inbox to a particular folders.

If you want to set up a rule to redirect ALL emails to your Office 365 Mail inbox to another email address, such as Yahoo account or Gmail, please refer to the following:

Create a New Inbox Rule

Inbox Rules are created to organize the email messages that come directly to your Inbox in Office 365 Outlook Mail. Conditions are specified to tell the system what to look for in the new messages, and Actions are also specified to tell the system what to do with those messages that meet the conditions.

To create a new Inbox Rule, do the following:

  1. Log in to the website using your ISU email and password.

  2. Launch the Office 365 Outlook application by clicking on the tile in your Office 365 Application Menu.

  3. Click the gear icon located in the upper-right corner of the window and select [Mail] under the heading My App Settings.

  4. Click [Inbox and sweep rules] beneath the Mail option on the left side of the window.

  5. Click the [+] sign to add a New inbox rule.

  6. Enter a Name for the new inbox rule.

  7. Select the condition that matches the email message you wish to organize.

    • For example, if you want all email messages that come to your Inbox from your Team Lead to go to a Team Lead folder, you would select the condition It was sent of received and then select Received from… This will automatically prompt for your “My Contacts” list, and you will need to select the contacts name and click [Save].

    • Another example, if you wish to move email messages that come into the inbox with a specific “Subject” to a specific folder, such as New Task for the TSC, you would select the condition It includes these words and then select in the subject… A box will pop up and ask for specific words or phrases for the condition.

  8. After completing the “Condition”, you need to indicate what “Action” will need to be taken. Select an [Action] from the Do all of the following drop down menu and then select [Move, copy, or delete].

  9. In the above examples, we would select to “move” the emails to a particular folder. The action to "Forward, redirect, or send’ would be selected if messages would need to go to another Contact.

  10. The Select folder box will pop up and you need to indicate which folder to move the messages to complete the action. Click the [folder] and then click the [OK] button.

  11. If there is an “Exception” to the Inbox Rule you have created, click the [Add exception] button and indicate your exception specifics using the drop down menu.

  12. Once the Condition and Action (and Exception) is set, click the [OK] button.


Use Sweep to quickly clean up your Inbox of unwanted emails, automatically delete incoming mail, keep only the latest email, or delete email older than 10 days—all from a particular sender.

To clean your Inbox of unwanted emails:

  1. Launch Office 365 email.

  2. Select an email in your inbox from the sender whose messages you want to delete.

  3. On the task bar, click [Sweep].

  4. Select an option that will determine how emails from the sender are deleted.

  5. Select [Sweep] to perform the selected action.

An Inbox Rule has now been created. All messages that go to your inbox, from the sender of the email you selected, will be deleted according to the option you selected in step 4, above.


You can archive email messages to the default Archive email folder, or you can choose another folder to send archived emails. Important: You may only select a destination folder for archived items once.

To select a destination folder:

  1. Launch Office 365 email.

  2. Select an email in your inbox that you would like to archive, and then on the task bar, click [Archive].

  3. Select one of the following options:

    • To send archived emails to a folder named Archive, create a new folder within the Folder tab, name it Archive and within the [Folder Contains] drop down options, select [Archive], as content from that Archive folder will go into the new folder that you just created.

    • To choose a different folder to send archived items to, select a destination folder from the drop-down menu.

    • Click [OK].

    • Click [Move all].

The email(s) will be moved to the folder you selected.

Additional Features to Organize or Filter Email Messages

Other features that allow you to sort, filter and organize you inbox:

  • Mark emails as read or unread.
  • Pin emails so they remain at the top of the email list.
  • Flag, Clear flag, or mark complete, emails that you want represented as tasks.
  • Delete messages related to a single conversation by using Ignore.

To sort, filter and organize email in your inbox:

  1. Launch Office 365 email.

For more information on how to do this, refer to: 641: How to Launch Apps in Office 365.

  1. Select an email from your inbox.

  2. Click the ellipses icon […] in the top navigation bar to view a list of options you can use to sort, filter and organize your email.

  3. Select the action you want to perform on the selected email.

The action you selected will now be applied to the selected email.

If you need any further assistance, please contact the Technology Support Center by phone (309) 438-4357, or by email at

How to Get Help

For technical assistance, please contact the Technology Support Center at 309-438-4357, or by email at

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