How to Organize Messages with Categories in Outlook

What You Need to Know About Outlook Messages

Outlook
image copyright Microsoft Outlook

Have a lot of email messages? Looking for a way to organize them? Consider grouping your email messages according to categories in Outlook.

Ways to Organize Your Email:

  • You could set up a folder for each topic.
  • Create categories as you need them, and add more folders.
  • For email that falls under multiple categories, give each message a categorization in the message list.
  • Outlook.com applies its categories automatically with certain intelligence to mark newsletters, social updates, shipment notices, and advertisements.

    Organize Messages with Categories in Outlook.com

    To apply an Outlook.com category to a message:

    • Open the message in the preview pane or in full view.
      • To change categories for multiple messages, make sure all the emails, which categories you want to edit, are checked in the message list instead.
    • Click Categories in the toolbar.
    • To add or remove a single category:
      • Select the category's title in the list.
    • To add or remove several categories in one go:
      • Click the checkbox next to a category to add or remove it.
        • Make sure only the categories you want are applied to the message.
      • Click Apply.
    • To add a new category to Outlook.com:
      • Click New category.
      • Type the desired name for the new category.
      • Hit Enter.
        • Outlook.com will automatically check the new category in the list.
    • To apply a set of categories to all messages from the same sender:
      • Edit the list of categories so only the categories you want to be added are checked.
      • Click Apply.
      • To set up a filter (or filters):
        • Make sure Do this for future messages, too is checked.
      • Click OK.

      To categorize a message in an Outlook.com message list directly:

      • Make sure the categories column is visible.
        • Categories are displayed in the list when the Outlook.com reading pane is disabled or set to appear at the bottom and categories are set to be shown on the list.
      • Click Categories -- or any categories already applied to the message -- in the categories column.
      • Use the Add to: menu, then click individual categories to add or remove them.
      • Use new category to create new categories and checkboxes to edit the list, then click the Apply button.

      In addition to the Categories menu and column, you can also set up one-click actions for categorizing messages fast in Outlook.com.