How to Delete a Rule in Outlook 2016: A Step-by-Step Guide

Deleting a rule in Outlook 2016 is a simple process that involves a few clicks. Whether you’ve created a rule that you no longer need or it’s causing some unexpected behavior with your emails, removing it can help you organize your inbox better. Here’s a quick guide on how to do it.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Delete a Rule in Outlook 2016

Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to understand that deleting a rule will permanently remove it. Make sure you’re certain that you no longer need the rule before proceeding.

Step 1: Open Outlook 2016

Open your Outlook 2016 application. This is where all your email magic happens!

When you open Outlook, you’ll typically be in your inbox or another folder where you view your emails. From here, you’ll navigate to the Rules section, which brings us to our next step.

Step 2: Click on ‘File’

Click on the ‘File’ tab located in the upper left corner of the Outlook window.

The ‘File’ tab is like the control center for Outlook. It’s where you can access your account settings, manage your mailbox, and tweak other options like rules.

Step 3: Select ‘Manage Rules & Alerts’

In the ‘File’ menu, click on ‘Manage Rules & Alerts’ to view your current rules.

This option will bring up a new window displaying all the rules you’ve created for your email. It’s the central hub for rule management.

Step 4: Choose the Rule to Delete

In the ‘Rules and Alerts’ window, select the rule that you want to delete.

Be careful when selecting the rule you wish to delete. Make sure it’s the correct one as there might be several rules with similar names.

Step 5: Click ‘Delete’

After selecting the rule, click on the ‘Delete’ button.

Once you click ‘Delete’, a prompt may appear asking you to confirm your action. Confirm that you want to delete the rule, and it will be removed from the list.

After you complete the action of deleting a rule in Outlook 2016, the rule will no longer be active. This means that any emails that would have previously been affected by the rule will now stay in your inbox or wherever they are typically delivered.

Tips: How to Delete a Rule in Outlook 2016

  • Make sure you have a backup of your rules before you start deleting them, just in case you need to revert any changes.
  • If you’re unsure which rule to delete, consider editing the rule instead to make it more suitable for your needs.
  • Keep in mind that once a rule is deleted, it cannot be recovered. Double-check before you confirm the deletion.
  • If you have a lot of rules, it’s a good idea to name them clearly so you can easily identify them when needed.
  • Consider reviewing your rules periodically to remove any that are no longer necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I undo a rule deletion in Outlook 2016?

No, once a rule is deleted, it cannot be undone. Make sure you’re certain before you delete it.

Will deleting a rule affect my previous emails?

No, deleting a rule will not affect emails that have already been sorted by the rule. It will only affect future emails.

What happens if I delete the wrong rule?

If you delete the wrong rule, you’ll have to recreate it from scratch. That’s why it’s important to be careful when selecting which rule to delete.

Can I temporarily disable a rule instead of deleting it?

Yes, you can disable a rule without deleting it by unchecking the checkbox next to the rule in the ‘Rules and Alerts’ window.

How many rules can I have in Outlook 2016?

Outlook 2016 allows you to create up to 256 rules. If you reach this limit, consider consolidating or deleting some rules.


  1. Open Outlook 2016.
  2. Click on ‘File’.
  3. Select ‘Manage Rules & Alerts’.
  4. Choose the rule to delete.
  5. Click ‘Delete’.


Deleting a rule in Outlook 2016 is a process that can help you maintain a cleaner, more organized inbox. By following the steps outlined above, you can quickly and easily remove any unnecessary rules that may be cluttering your email experience. Remember to double-check before confirming the deletion, as this action cannot be undone. With a well-managed set of rules, you can ensure that your emails are always sorted exactly how you want them, saving you time and hassle. If you ever find yourself with a cluttered inbox or facing email management issues, revisiting and tweaking your rules can often be the solution. Happy emailing!

Get Our Free Newsletter

How-to guides and tech deals

You may opt out at any time.
Read our Privacy Policy