Reset the "Importance" Status of MS Outlook Emails

Make an MS Outlook rule for "important" emails

Changing the priority of a message in Microsoft Outlook is a simple way for people to show you that their message is really important and should be looked at ASAP. It's a great feature that should be used sparingly, but that's not always the case.

Some of your contacts might use the high priority flag more than they should. One way to stop this is to make a rule in MS Outlook that automatically lowers the importance of their emails if they send them with "high" importance.

This will not delete the email or make any other changes except to lower the importance from "high" down to "normal" like a regular message.

How to Automatically Lower an Email's "Importance" Status

  1. Open the File > Rules and Alerts menu. Some versions of Outlook have this in the Tools menu.

  2. Click or tap the New Rule... button on the Email Rules tab.

  3. In the Start from a blank rule section from the bottom of the Rules Wizard screen, choose Apply rule on messages I receive.

  4. Click/tap Next >.

  5. Put a check in the box next to from people or public group and marked as important.

  6. From the bottom of this window, under the Step 2 section, select people or public group, and choose which contacts that this rule should apply to. Use the From -> button to insert those contacts into the text box at the bottom of the Rule Address window.

    • You can pick contacts from your address book and/or type email addresses manually. If you type them manually, separate them with a semicolon (;).
  7. Choose OK to save those addresses as ones that the rule will apply for.

  8. Back at the Rules Wizard screen, also in Step 2, click or tap importance and select High from the drop-down menu. This is the type of email the rule will watch for.

  9. Click/tap OK to save and exit the Importance window.

  10. Hit the Next > button to move to the next screen.

  11. Put a check next to mark it as important.

  12. Select importance once again in the Step 2 section.

  13. Make sure Normal is selected from the menu, and choose OK to save it. This will revert all "high" importance emails from the contacts in Step 6 to "normal."

  14. Click or tap Next > on this window and then again on the next window.

  15. Name the new rule something memorable, like Reset Importance.

  16. Click/tap the Finish button to save the rule and exit the Rules Wizard screen.

  17. Choose the OK button to exit the Rules and Alerts window and return to Outlook.