Use Hotmail Filters to Sort Mail and Block Email Addresses

Filter your Hotmail email to find messages, block unwanted mail, move messages to a folder, and delete junk. Learn how to use and Clean Email with your Hotmail account to do the job quickly and automatically.

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Filter Your Hotmail Email and Keep Your Inbox Organized

You'll find several ways to filter your Hotmail email messages on You can use the built-in Hotmail filters to find messages that are unread, flagged, or have attachments. Create a simple rule if you receive messages that you want to move to a folder and deal with them later. You can also block email addresses or domains so that those messages don't appear in your Inbox.

Another way to keep your Inbox organized and manageable is to use filters in Clean Email to find messages by sender, status (read or unread), age, keyword, and more.

Filters in Clean Email

Plus, Clean Email has other automation features that make your Inbox easy to manage. When you know how to filter emails in your Hotmail account, only essential messages remain in your Inbox.

Built-in Hotmail Filters has several built-in filters. You can use these filters to show certain types of emails, such as unread messages, flagged emails, or mail with attachments. To use these filters, go to the top of your mail list and select the Filter drop-down menu to see your options. also has built-in email filtering features that sort and move messages automatically. For example, the Hotmail spam filter settings keep junk mail out of your Inbox.

When you want to apply the same filter action to certain types of incoming mail, set up a Hotmail rule. These rules contain the information Outlook needs to move emails to specified folders and to delete, categorize, or forward messages.

Hotmail uses rules to filter messages automatically according to the parameters you set, making it easier for you to organize and manage your mailbox. For example, you could set up a rule to send notices about a new issue of your favorite magazine to your Read Later folder or mark the receipts from your recent purchases as important.

Hotmail isn't the only email service that filters mail. Learn how to filter emails in Gmail and how to filter emails in Yahoo if you also have a Gmail or Yahoo email address.

How To Filter Emails In Hotmail Using Rules

Outlook makes it easy to create a rule. All you do is start with a message, tell the mail service how you want it to handle all the messages from that sender, and Outlook does the rest of the work. After you create the rule, all emails from that sender are dealt with the same way automatically.

Here's how to filter emails in Hotmail by creating a simple rule that moves messages from a specified sender to a folder on Outlook web:

  1. Choose a message from that sender.
  2. Select the More icon (the three horizontal dots in the toolbar) and choose Create Rule.
  3. In the Create a rule dialog box, select a folder where you want to move the messages.
  4. Select Done.

You can make changes to your rules so that Outlook does more than move messages to a specified folder. For example, you can also forward messages from a sender to someone else, pin messages to the top of your Inbox, categorize the messages, or mark them as read.

If you use the Outlook desktop app and to access your Hotmail messages, the rules you create in can't be edited in the desktop app.

When you want to make changes to a rule, follow these steps:

  1. Select Settings (the gear icon).
  2. Click the View all Outlook settings link.
  3. Go to the Rules tab.
  4. Find the rule you want to change and select the Edit rule icon.
  5. Make changes to the rule, such as adding a condition, action, or exception.
  6. When you've made the changes, select Save.

You can also create several rules that run in a specified order. After making the rules, use the Move rule up and Move rule down buttons to place the rules in the order you want them to run.

How To Change Spam Filters In Hotmail

Spam messages can be annoying, and the Hotmail spam filter sends most of those emails to the Junk Email folder. If you find that Outlook isn't sending enough spam to the Junk folder, or maybe it marks too many messages as spam, change the email protection level. All you do is tell Outlook which messages to block or allow.

To stop Hotmail from marking messages from a specified sender as spam, go to the Junk Email folder, choose a message, and select Not junk. You're then asked to confirm that you want to move the message to your Inbox. You also have the option to specify that all future emails from that address will not be marked as junk. Selecting this option adds the address to your Safe senders and domains list.

You'll find your lists of safe and block senders in the Outlook settings. To find the Hotmail junk mail filter settings, follow these steps:

  1. Select Settings (the gear icon).
  2. Click the View all Outlook settings link.
  3. Go to the Junk email tab.

Along with adding and deleting addresses from your safe and blocked lists, you can change how the spam filter works. You can change the Hotmail filter so that only emails from Safe senders and Safe mailing lists are delivered to your Inbox, and all other messages go to the Junk Email folder. Also, if you receive emails with attachments, pictures, and links from people you don't trust, tell Outlook to mark those messages as junk unless the sender is on your Safe senders and domains list.

There isn't a way to turn off Hotmail spam filter. If you find too much mail is being moved to the Junk email folder, your best option is to add the senders you don't want to be marked as spam to your Safe Senders lists.

If you use your smartphone to manage your email, you can set up the Android email spam filter or the iPhone email filter to move unwanted messages out of your Inbox.

Clean Email Filters And Rules Make Email Easy To Manage

When you're looking for an email filter service that works with your Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, or other email accounts, Clean Email can do the job for you. Along with filtering your mail, Clean Email can perform other organization and management tasks that save you time and keep your Inbox uncluttered.

Filter your Hotmail emails with Clean EmailFilter your Hotmail emails with Clean Email

The Clean Email Auto Clean feature works like rules in Outlook web. You can set up Auto Clean rules that apply an action you specify to your incoming emails. For example, you can mark social notifications as read, move messages to your Read Later folder, or archive messages in your Inbox that have been sitting there for six months.

Create Auto Rules for your emails with Clean EmailCreate Auto Rules for your emails with Clean Email

Here's how to filter incoming emails using Clean Email:

  1. Select the message for which you want to create a rule.
  2. Go to the toolbar and select an action, such as Trash, Mark Read, Read Later, or other.
  3. Organize Hotmail emails with Clean EmailOrganize Hotmail emails with Clean Email
  4. In the dialog box that appears, choose Selected and future similar emails.
  5. Send emails to Trash automatically with Clean EmailSend emails to Trash automatically with Clean Email
  6. Select Move to Trash and Create Rule button and the rule is set.

To see the rule, go to the left pane and select Auto Clean. From here, you can pause, resume, edit, and delete the rule.

Auto Clean feature in Clean EmailAuto Clean feature in Clean Email

Another way to keep your Inbox tidy and organized is to use Smart Views, found in the left pane. These built-in filters sort your mail automatically into pre-defined categories like Travel, Top senders, and Mailing lists, and more.

Smart Views feature in Clean EmailSmart Views feature in Clean Email

Do you receive promotional mail that you don't read or don't want? Use Unsubscriber to get rid of newsletters and promotional emails.

Unsubscribe from emails with Clean EmailUnsubscribe from emails with Clean Email

You'll never have to worry about Clean Email reading your messages. Only the message headers, such as the sender's email address and subject line, are used to filter, sort, and manage your mail.

Follow our guide on how to filter emails in Apple Mail.

How to Filter Email on Hotmail - FAQs

How do I view my filters in Hotmail?

When you want to view the list of rules you created, go to Settings, select View all Outlook settings, and select the Rules tab. The order in which rules appear is the order in which the rules are processed when new mail arrives in your Inbox. To run a rule, select the Run button to the right of the rule name.

How do I change filter settings in Hotmail?

When you want to change how your rules filter your messages, go to Settings, select View all Outlook settings, and go to the Rules tab. From here, you can add, edit, and delete rules. You can also change the order in which rules are processed and turn off rules temporarily.

What does filter mean in Hotmail?

Filters are how Hotmail sorts, organizes, and manages your mail. Hotmail contains some built-in filters, and you can create your own filters by setting up rules that specify the conditions messages must meet, the action to be performed, and any exceptions to the rule. These rules are then applied to messages as they arrive in your Inbox.

How do I turn off the junk filter in Hotmail?

You can't turn off the junk filter in Hotmail, but you can choose which messages to mark as spam. To prevent messages from being marked as spam, add those email addresses to your safe senders list. To mark messages as spam and send them to the Junk email folder automatically, add those email addresses to your blocked senders list. Go to Settings, choose View all Outlook settings, and select the Rule tab to find these lists.

Coletta Teske Whitehead Updated on Aug 3, 2022
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