About filtering items and files in a view

A view filter is an easy way to see only those items or files stored in Microsoft Outlook folders that meet conditions you specify.

Filtering is different from sorting. When you sort items, you rearrange the current items in a view. For example, in the Inbox, if you click the name Joanna Fuller, all the messages in the Inbox will appear in alphabetical order with all the messages from Joanna Fuller at the top of your view. However, all the other messages are still there in the Inbox, listed before and after Joanna Fuller in alphabetical order. If you scroll, you will see them all.

When you filter items, you selectively choose what items will appear in a view, and only those items will appear in the view.

The Filter dialog box offers you a variety of ways to select and organize your criteria.


For example, you can filter all items with "Joanna Fuller" in the From box to see only items from Joanna Fuller. All of the other items are still in the folder and can be seen again by removing the view filter.

Before and after a filter is applied

When a view filter is applied to a selected folder, the status bar (status bar: A horizontal bar at the bottom of the screen that displays information about the current condition of the program, such as the status of items in the window, the progress of the current task, or information about the selected item.) displays the words Filter Applied in the lower-left corner of the screen. Multiple Filters Applied displayed indicates that both a synchronization filter and a view filter have been applied. A synchronization filter allows you to choose which items are downloaded or kept in your Offline Folder file (.ost) (Offline Folder file: The file on your hard disk that contains offline folders. The offline folder file has an .ost extension. You can create it automatically when you set up Outlook or when you first make a folder available offline.).

Applies to:
Outlook 2003