Outlook Tips & Tricks - Updating Outlook Categories for Multiple Items
There are times when you want to update or change the Category assignments of several Outlook items at one time. You might for instance want to replace all the occurrences of a misspelt category name with the correct spelling. Download the Article in PDF Format

Assume for this example you want to change all contacts with Category “Key Customer” to “Key Client”. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. In Outlook, choose Tools->Advanced Find.

  2. In the Look For drop-down list, select the type of Outlook item for which you want to search.

  3. In the Advanced Find dialog box, click the More Choices tab.

  4. Type the old category name in the box beside the Categories button, and click Find Now:

  5. In the search results area, select all the items for which you want to change categories.

  6. Use Shift+Click or Ctrl+Click to select them. Then click Edit->Categories:

  7. In the Item(s) Belong To These Categories list, highlight the portion of the category you want to change, retype it, and click OK:

  8. Outlook reassigns the categories accordingly:

Note: If an item is assigned multiple categories, Outlook doesn’t make changes to any categories that don’t appear in the Item(s) Belong To These Categories list. So you can change a single category without changing others.

Updating the Category from a View

Assume you have created a view displaying all the contacts that meet a certain criteria. You now want to update the Category field to a certain value for each item that appears in the view. (A possible reason is that another application only uses Categories to filter items). So what you would do is as follows:

  1. Select the View, e.g. in this case Managers:

  2. Select all the items in the view and right click, and select Categories:

  3. Set the Category to a value that you can then use to filter these items for the other application. In this example we’re setting the value to Mailing List because we want to be able to identify all contacts that have a category “Mailing List” for our mail merge program. Click OK.

  4. The Categories are updated accordingly: