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how to filter emails by category in outlook 365

How to Filter Emails by Category in Outlook 365

Outlook 365 is a powerful email management tool that offers a wide range of features to help users stay organized and efficient. One of the key features of Outlook 365 is the ability to filter emails by category. By categorizing emails, users can easily prioritize and sort their inbox, making it easier to find and respond to important messages. In this article, we will explore how to filter emails by category in Outlook 365, providing step-by-step instructions and valuable insights to help users make the most of this feature.

Understanding Categories in Outlook 365

Before we dive into the process of filtering emails by category, let’s first understand what categories are in Outlook 365. Categories are labels or tags that you can assign to emails to help you organize and prioritize them. You can create your own categories and assign them to emails based on your specific needs and preferences. Categories can be color-coded, making it easier to visually identify and differentiate between different types of emails.

Categories in Outlook 365 can be used in various ways. For example, you can use categories to:

  • Organize emails based on projects or clients
  • Prioritize emails based on urgency
  • Sort emails based on specific topics or themes

By using categories effectively, you can streamline your email management process and ensure that important messages are not overlooked or buried in your inbox.

Creating Categories in Outlook 365

The first step in filtering emails by category is to create the categories that you want to use. Outlook 365 allows you to create and customize categories to suit your specific needs. Here’s how you can create categories in Outlook 365:

  1. Open Outlook 365 and go to the “Home” tab.
  2. Click on the “Categorize” button in the “Tags” group.
  3. A drop-down menu will appear. Click on “All Categories” at the bottom of the menu.
  4. The “Color Categories” window will open. Click on the “New” button to create a new category.
  5. In the “Name” field, enter a name for your category (e.g., “Important”, “Client A”, “Project X”).
  6. Choose a color for your category by clicking on the color swatch next to the “Color” field.
  7. Click “OK” to save your new category.

Once you have created your categories, you can start assigning them to emails and filtering your inbox accordingly.

Assigning Categories to Emails

Now that you have created your categories, it’s time to start assigning them to emails. Outlook 365 provides several ways to assign categories to emails, making it easy to categorize your inbox efficiently. Here are three methods you can use to assign categories to emails:

Method 1: Categorize from the Inbox

The simplest way to assign categories to emails is to do it directly from your inbox. Here’s how:

  1. Open Outlook 365 and go to your inbox.
  2. Select the email or emails that you want to categorize by clicking on them.
  3. Right-click on the selected email(s) and choose “Categorize” from the context menu.
  4. A drop-down menu will appear with your categories. Select the category or categories that you want to assign to the email(s).

The selected email(s) will now be assigned to the chosen category or categories, and you will see the category color displayed next to the email(s) in your inbox.

Method 2: Categorize from the Reading Pane

If you prefer to categorize emails while reading them in the reading pane, you can use this method:

  1. Open Outlook 365 and go to your inbox.
  2. Double-click on the email that you want to categorize to open it in the reading pane.
  3. In the reading pane, click on the “Categorize” button in the toolbar.
  4. A drop-down menu will appear with your categories. Select the category or categories that you want to assign to the email.

The email will now be assigned to the chosen category or categories, and you will see the category color displayed next to the email in your inbox.

Method 3: Categorize from the Ribbon

If you prefer to use the ribbon interface in Outlook 365, you can categorize emails using this method:

  1. Open Outlook 365 and go to your inbox.
  2. Select the email or emails that you want to categorize by clicking on them.
  3. Go to the “Home” tab in the ribbon.
  4. In the “Tags” group, click on the “Categorize” button.
  5. A drop-down menu will appear with your categories. Select the category or categories that you want to assign to the email(s).

The selected email(s) will now be assigned to the chosen category or categories, and you will see the category color displayed next to the email(s) in your inbox.

Filtering Emails by Category

Now that you have assigned categories to your emails, you can start filtering your inbox based on those categories. Outlook 365 provides various options for filtering emails by category, allowing you to focus on specific types of emails or prioritize certain categories. Here are three methods you can use to filter emails by category:

Method 1: Filter by Category from the Ribbon

The ribbon interface in Outlook 365 offers a quick and easy way to filter emails by category. Here’s how:

  1. Open Outlook 365 and go to your inbox.
  2. Go to the “Home” tab in the ribbon.
  3. In the “Find” group, click on the “Filter Email” button.
  4. A drop-down menu will appear. Click on “Categories” to open the category filter.
  5. In the category filter, select the category or categories that you want to filter by.

Your inbox will now display only the emails that belong to the selected category or categories. This allows you to focus on specific types of emails and easily find the information you need.

Method 2: Filter by Category from the Search Bar

If you prefer to use the search bar in Outlook 365, you can filter emails by category using this method:

  1. Open Outlook 365 and go to your inbox.
  2. Click on the search bar at the top of the window to activate it.
  3. Type the name of the category that you want to filter by followed by a colon (e.g., “CategoryA:”).
  4. Outlook 365 will automatically filter your inbox based on the category you entered.

Your inbox will now display only the emails that belong to the selected category. This allows you to quickly find and access emails related to a specific category.

Method 3: Filter by Category from the Quick Access Toolbar

If you have added the category filter to your quick access toolbar in Outlook 365, you can use this method to filter emails by category:

  1. Open Outlook 365 and go to your inbox.
  2. Click on the category filter icon in the quick access toolbar.
  3. A drop-down menu will appear. Select the category or categories that you want to filter by.

Your inbox will now display only the emails that belong to the selected category or categories. This allows you to easily focus on specific types of emails and manage your inbox more efficiently.

Summary

Filtering emails by category in Outlook 365 is a powerful feature that can help you stay organized and efficient. By creating and assigning categories to your emails, you can easily prioritize and sort your inbox, making it easier to find and respond to important messages. Outlook 365 provides various methods for creating categories, assigning them to emails, and filtering your inbox based on those categories. By utilizing these features effectively, you can streamline your email management process and ensure that important messages are not overlooked or buried in your inbox.

FAQs

Q: Can I create subcategories within categories in Outlook 365?

A: No, Outlook 365 does not support subcategories within categories. However, you can create multiple categories and use them in combination to achieve a similar effect. For example, you can create a category called “Project A” and another category called “Urgent”, and then assign both categories to an email related to an urgent task in Project A.

Q: Can I assign multiple categories to a single email in Outlook 365?

A: Yes, you can assign multiple categories to a single email in Outlook 365. This allows you to classify emails based on multiple criteria or themes. For example, you can assign both the “Important” and “Client A” categories to an email that is both important and related to a specific client.

Q: Can I change the color of a category in Outlook 365?

A: Yes, you can change the color of a category in Outlook 365. To change the color of a category, go to the “Color Categories” window (accessible through the “Categorize” button) and select a different color for the category.

Q: Can I filter emails by multiple categories in Outlook 365?

A: Yes, you can filter emails by multiple categories in Outlook 365. When using the category filter, simply select multiple categories to display only the emails that belong to all of the selected categories.

Q: Can I remove a category from an email in Outlook 365?

A: Yes, you can remove a category from an email in Outlook 365. To remove a category, select the email and right-click on it. From the context menu, choose “Categorize” and then select the category you want to remove. This will remove the category from the email.

Conclusion

Filtering emails by category in Outlook 365 is a valuable feature that can greatly enhance your email management experience. By creating and assigning categories to your emails, you can easily prioritize and sort your inbox, making it easier to find and respond to important messages. Outlook 365 provides a range of options for creating categories, assigning them to emails, and filtering your inbox based on those categories. By utilizing these features effectively, you can streamline your email workflow and ensure that important messages are not overlooked or buried in your inbox. So, start categorizing your emails in Outlook 365 today and experience the benefits of a more organized and efficient inbox.

Hanna

I am a technology writer specialize in mobile tech and gadgets. I have been covering the mobile industry for over 5 years and have watched the rapid evolution of smartphones and apps. My specialty is smartphone reviews and comparisons. I thoroughly tests each device's hardware, software, camera, battery life, and other key features. I provide in-depth, unbiased reviews to help readers determine which mobile gadgets best fit their needs and budgets.

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