Identifying Emails in My Inbox originating from Following Microsoft Office Group Opening door to use Rules/VBA to handle differently RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am a member of various Microsoft Office Groups at work and some of these I have the option set to "Follow in Inbox" which by doing so has me receiving all group emails and events in my inbox.  It is common for me to receive emails from various firms where all recipients were sent the message as BCC and thus the email does not indicate if I received the email directly or if I received this because I am following a particular group that received the message.  I am wondering if there is some distinguishing factor that identifies to the user that an email in my inbox originated from my membership in a group as opposed to it being received directly by myself.  Ultimately, I would like to be able to use this distinguishing detail to either apply conditional formatting, an Outlook rule, or possibly write up something in VBA.  I would like Outlook to display or handle the emails originating from the group differently than those sent to me, but cannot find a differing characteristic which I can hang this automation on.

    I would imagine that many people would like to be able to do this, but I cannot find any discussion/solution for this in my searches.  I am not sure if this is because what I am looking for is not available or it is very simple to do and I am failing to see where/how this can be done.

    Any help that you can provide wouldld be much appreciated.



    Thursday, February 7, 2019 5:58 PM

All replies

  • It is common for me to receive emails from various firms where all recipients were sent the message as BCC and thus the email does not indicate if I received the email directly or if I received this because I am following a particular group that received the message.  

    Hi Brian,

    From what I know, I'm afraid it is not feasible to be realized when the recipients are in the BCC field. Bcc feature is meant to send the email to one or more people without revealing who they are. The information simply isn’t included in the email message.


    Yuki Sun

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    Friday, February 8, 2019 6:31 AM
  • Yuki Sun:

    Thank you for your response, but I did not describe my question clearly.  If you are on a Microsoft Team and follow this team in your in-box, is there anything that identifies that these emails are from a team that which you are a member.  I especially am looking for a characteristic that identifies this as an email resulting from team following and then which can be used to trigger an action either as a rule or in VBA.

    My original reference to BCC was because I cannot see any difference between an email that I am receiving as a result of following a team or if this email was sent directly to me by the sender and I have simply been Bcced.  Given I cannot tell what type each is I do not know what is the appropriate response from me and thus have to look into further.

    Thanks again and hopefully there is something that differentiates these and I am just failing to see it.



    Friday, February 8, 2019 9:57 PM
  • Don't you think you'd better set a different address for group subscriptions?
    Monday, February 11, 2019 9:42 AM
  • Victor:

    I believe that I may be misunderstanding your response, but maybe not.  In regards to your suggestion, if I am understanding it correctly, I am in a corporate setting and do not imagine that I have the permissions required to set up multiple addresses.  Additionally, this approach would begin problematic given this would necessitate the creation of a new address for every Microsoft Team that I am following and also tracking when these Teams are no longer active and thus the address is no longer needed.  The approach may also possibly lead to the problem of me accidentally responding to one of these emails using one of the additional addresses rather than my primary and thus could have others start responding to these secondary addresses rather than my primary.  This could get quite messy.  In addition, I would not imagine that the functionality that I am looking for require such a work around.  I would imagine that the emails that I am receiving from following any Microsoft Team would expose some piece of information to me that would allow me to know it originated from them.  This could even be a setting in the administration of the Microsoft Team itself, but without having appropriate permissions I can not investigate that option further.  Thank you for your response.


    Monday, February 11, 2019 2:49 PM
  • Brian,

    let's suppose there is no way to distinguish the mails originated from the group and others (I thinks that's true).

    I personally see only one way to solve the problem - using different addresses. It might be someone knows a better solution.

    Thank you for your comment.


    Monday, February 11, 2019 3:30 PM
  • Victor:

    I hope that is the case.  When you are referencing different addresses, would these be just alias that all could point to the same root email or would these be actually fully independent?  I am also wondering how this work with the other functionality in Teams, given I think that everything is tied to the address that you are a member under and thus may also cause issues with other things like Planner, Calendar, OneNote, and the like.  While this may be the only solution, I guess I am surprised that this is even an issue in the first place, given it seems that knowing the source of an email seems fundamental.  Thanks for your help.



    Monday, February 11, 2019 3:48 PM
  • Brian,

    surely I mean an alias address.

    Regarding the rest - I do not know.  Try to experiment yourself.


    Monday, February 11, 2019 4:09 PM