Rule to sort out “on behalf of” messages

I regularly receive messages which are “on behalf of” messages. When I try to create a rule for these messages, Outlook only seems to look at the first address and not at the “on behalf of” address.

However, this “on behalf of” address is usually more interesting to me as that is the actual responsible person for the content and not “only the messenger”.

Is there any way to make Outlook’s sorting rules to look at the second address when a message is sent “on behalf of”?

On Behalf Of buttonYou indeed cannot do this with a regular “From” rule but you can achieve it when you use the rule condition: "with specific words in the message header" condition and then have it look for the address in the message header.

Look at the header for the “specific words”

Message Header buttonRather than to only specify the address to look for, take a closer look at the actual message header. Depending on how the header is written, you usually can recognize one of the following “Sent on behalf of” methods so you can get quite specific when setting up your rule;

  • X-Sender: <address>
  • envelope-from=<address>
  • From: "Display Name" <address>

To see the message header, open the message with a double click and choose; File-> Properties.

Creating the rule

Manage Rules & Alerts buttonTo create a rule which looks at the message header for specific words, make sure you start with a blank rule rather than using a template.

Depending on the “on behalf of” method, the rule will look like this:

  • Rule type
    Apply rule on messages I receive
  • Condition
    with specific words in the message header
    Example: From: Roady [MVP]
  • Action
    move it to the specified folder
  • Exception (optionally)
    except if from people or public group
    This is to prevent that emails sent directly to you by this person are also caught by the rule.

To create a “on behalf of rule”, you'll need to look in the message header.
To create a “on behalf of rule”, you'll need to look in the message header.

Sperry Software
Use "BH93RF24" to get a discount when ordering!