Outlook Rules: Custom actions – what they are and how to use them

If you're like me - the curious sort - and you've plumbed the depths of Outlook rules, you may have come across the perform a custom action option. If you select it, odds are (unless your organization has written some itself), there are no default custom actions for you to choose from.

Fortunately for power users like us, there are some useful third-party add-ins available such as Tech Hit's EZDetach (free trial available; $40 to license). Have you ever wished you could automatically save off incoming message attachments for easy retrieval and to keep your Exchange mailbox from filling up? This add-on offers the option to do just that.

Once you have it installed, create a blank rule, select the people or distribution lists you want to run this on (I'd recommend only selecting trusted sources, since the add-in doesn't prevent dangerous attachments from malware authors from getting saved to your hard drive!), and then select your custom action:


You may want to include a New Item Alert so that you know to go look for the saved file(s). Be sure to access the EZDetach Advanced Options from your Tools menu to customize where your files are saved, whether they are categorized into subfolders, if they should be printed, and advanced options such as whether to include images from HTML messages:


If you want the capability to remotely send your own files to be printed at your computer, you could create another rule that only works for mails sent to yourself with a special code phrase that only you know in the subject line!


Comments (3)

  1. Gina3 says:

    What I am trying to do is to MOVE an outgoing e-mail to a specific folder.  It shouldn't be that difficult.  I know I can move a COPY, but then I have to take the time to delete all of my sent mail from my "sent mail" folder.  You mention 3rd party software add-ins.  Are you saying that I cannot create my own custom rule?

  2. John Q says:

    Title does not match content at all,

  3. Steve says:

    Hey Suzanne,

    I already have a macro to save attachments – I love it – how can I create a rule to automatically send an e-mail for example ?


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