How to Apply Categories in Microsoft Outlook

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In Brief...

You can use categories with email messages as a way to organize them. See the five steps below to apply categories in Outlook.

This feature works the same in all modern versions of Microsoft Outlook: 2010, 2013, and 2016.


  1. Select the message you want to categorize.

  2. From the Home tab of the Ribbon, in the Tags group, select Categorize.
    Select Categorize

  3. Select a category from the drop-down list.
    Select Category

  4. You have the option to rename the category.
    Rename Category

  5. The message or other item will display the category information.
    Display Information

Author: Margaux Judge

Margaux Judge has worked as an e-learning editor and instructional designer for over ten years, writing and editing a wide variety of courses, from technical topics to soft skills. She has a Bachelor's degree in English and Textual Studies from Syracuse University and a Master's degree in Television Writing from Boston University.