Rules are processed in the order they are listed in the Rules Wizard and you can rearrange the rules to better control which rules process which messages.
If you want more than one rule to process messages, don't add the stop processing action to earlier rules or put that rule at the top of your Rules list.
If you have a lot of rules, you'll improve the efficiency of Rules Wizard if you put the most active rules at the top of the list and use the Stop Processing action in most of your rules.
Please note that this action only stops the processing of the current message that meets the condition of the rule, it does not stop the rules engine from processing additional messages. When a message matches the rule, Outlook does 'whatever' to the message then moves on to process the next message, as a result, using Stop Processing can save a (little) bit of time.
For example, say you have a rule to move mail from Bob and a second rule to move mail with the subject “Hello!”. If Bob sends you a message with the subject Hello!, both rules will apply (resulting in duplicate messages). If you use stop precessing on the rules, after the first rule moves the message Outlook moves on to process the next message instead of checking Bob's message against the Hello rule or additional rules.
Published September 30, 2003. Last reviewed on September 6, 2013.