Outlook's Filter dialog gives you powerful filtering options. Once you understand how to write good filters, you can use the same criteria in Advanced Find, Views, Automatic Formatting for Views, or Outlook's Search folders.
Note that you can't import/export the filters, you need to recreate them to move them between the different uses.
While you can enter criteria on the first tab (Messages in this screen shot), we recommend using the Advanced tab for most filters.
The one exception is filtering for email addresses. The From field on the Advanced tab looks at the Display name field; the From field on the Messages tab looks at the underlying email address.
AND OR Operators
Entries on each tab are connected together using AND, not OR. You can OR criteria that uses the same field. For example, if you create a rule looking for First name is Mary and a second one for First name is Bob, it will find Mary OR Bob. A rule that looks for First name is Mary and a second one for Last name is Smith uses the AND operator and will find Mary Smith, not Bob Smith or Mary Doe.
If you need to use OR to connect rules together, you'll either need to edit the SQL tab or enable the QueryBuilder. If you choose SQL, first create the criteria on the Advanced tab then switch to the SQL tab to edit the conditions.
To access the QueryBuilder, you need to add the QueryBuilder key to the registry (Outlook 2002 and up):
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\xx.0\Outlook\QueryBuilder where xx is your version number.
Many values accept natural language or shortcuts in place of dates:
Published May 13, 2011. Last updated on October 25, 2020.