I use outlook as client for an exchange server.

I created several rules that are local to the mac (as opposed to server side rules), and I want to apply them for past messages.

I can't find a way. - Even when I create the rule, I don't see any option to apply it to past messages.

It would be fine also to be able to move several selected messages to a folder, but when I create a filter it seems also difficult!!! If I select all messages in the filter, upon right click on one of them, the selection goes away (because of the message preview I think)

If I select multiple messages in Inbox, right click is working and I could move all of them, but I must perform multiple selection manually...

Is it that difficult on Outlook 2011 overs 14.3 ?

  • Welcome to Ask Different. Perhaps your specific version of outlook doesn't have that option? Or is might be as a simple as making the rule on your computer instead of on the server which only applies rules when messages arrive? support.office.com/en-us/article/… – bmike Jul 6 '16 at 11:56
  • Outlook 2011 vs 14.3. If it's a version related issue, I'll update it...but I couldn't find any confirmation of that – Glasnhost Jul 6 '16 at 13:53
  • I'm creating the rule on local machine – Glasnhost Jul 6 '16 at 13:54
  • @bmike thanks to your remark I've checked and I found some other rules on the server, now Apply Rule work on local folder also for past emails. I was probably applying the wrong one, now it seems clear – Glasnhost Jul 7 '16 at 9:33

I just figured this out because I was having such a hard time too! Its easier than you think. Go to your inbox, click on one of your emails then under the Edit menu click Select All. Then in the home group click on apply rule. Yay! (it will take a while if you have a ton of emails -I had over 11,000 so it took a couple mins).

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    Hello, this is the future. With Outlook for Mac version 15.38, there's no "Apply Rule" in the Home group that applies to selected messages. I had to manually filter and move emails. – pyb Oct 4 '17 at 18:50
  • @pyb yep im having the same issue – Old account Dec 8 '17 at 17:48
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    AFAIK currently you can only apply local (client) rules to current inbox mail – arod Jan 15 '18 at 23:51

Here are the instructions for Outlook for Mac 2011 and 2016.

Basically you have to select the folder or messages you want to apply rules to, then on the Message menu, point to Rules, point to Apply, and then click a rule or click Apply All. You can also right-click or use the toolbar to get to the Rules menu.

The problem I was having is this only works for client-side rules. From my link: "Manually applying rules works only for On My Computer rules. You cannot use Outlook for Mac to manually apply server-based rules." So if you have a server-side rule (which is the default and is probably what you want), you'll have to duplicate it as a client-side rule to get it applied to existing messages.

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    Is there some way to automatically 'duplicate a rule from client<->server'? – arod Jan 15 '18 at 23:58
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    It's true that only the client side rules work. I had to create them as client side rules too. – r1k0 Jun 11 '18 at 8:54
  • I could not find a way to clone a rule from the server rules section to local (exchange), however, I did as instructed, and upon selecting all mails and applying the rule, it worked. – dresh Oct 30 '18 at 6:52

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