Rules in SharePoint Online/Microsoft Lists

Rules in SharePoint Online/Microsoft Lists

Microsoft is rolling out a feature using which you can create rules in SharePoint Online and Microsoft lists to set reminders and send notifications to users based on changes to list information, Roadmap. In this blog I will explain how to create a rule in SharePoint Online modern list or Microsoft lists.

Previous options to send notifications

Before this feature, if you wanted to send notifications about changes in a SharePoint Online or Microsoft List, you had below two options:

Create an alert

SharePoint alerts are email notifications that are sent to SharePoint users when something changes in a list or library. You can create an alert for:

  • Whole list or library
  • Folder, file, or list item
  • SharePoint search criteria

However It doesn’t provide the ability to send notifications for column level changes. This is where you will find list rules very helpful.

Create a Power Automate/Microsoft Flow

Another way of getting notifications for file or list item changes is to use Power Automate with the SharePoint connector.

Using Power Automate, users can create simple change notifications as well complex, multiple condition-based notifications. However, some users may find it difficult to create a Power Automate flow from scratch without any development experience or assistance.

Creating list rules

Creating list rules is very easy as compared to creating power automate flow and you have much more control using list rules compared to the existing alerts functionality.

With this feature update, SharePoint users with edit permissions on a list can create and manage simple if/then rules based on changes to list information, to set reminders and send notifications. Users with read-only permissions will not be able create or manage rules.

Follow below steps to create rules in SharePoint online/Microsoft lists:

  • Go to SharePoint Online/Microsoft list where you want to create a rule.
  • Click on the Automate option from command bar and then select Create a rule.
Create a list rule in SharePoint online/Microsoft lists
Create a list rule

There are four different conditions that triggers the rule as shown in the below image:

List rule conditions in SharePoint online/Microsoft lists
List rule conditions
  • Under Notify someone when, select a condition that will trigger the rule. For example, A column changes.
  • Creating rule is like writing a sentence. Select each of the underlined portions of the rule statement to customize the condition by choosing a column, the value of the column, and who to notify.
SharePoint online list rule to notify author when the Status column changes
Rule to notify Author when the Status column changes

For example, to notify Author when a Status column changes, you need to choose the Status column, and then select Author from Suggestions list. Suggestions from this list shows the Person or Group columns from the list.

If you want to notify yourself, you could select Me from Other suggestions. You can also select the users by using Enter a name or email address option.

  • When you’re finished customizing the statement, select Create. You’ll see your rule on the Manage rules page and the rule will be turned on by default.

Now when Status column changes, list rule will send notification email to Author. The notification email will contain a link to display/view form of SharePoint list item. These notification emails will be sent from Microsoft 365. Check below image for reference:

Email notification send by using SharePoint online list rules
Email notification send by using list rules
Notes:
  • Users will be able to create a maximum of 15 rules per list.
  • Currently it is not possible to customize the email notification template

Editing a list rule

You can edit a list rule from the Manage rules page. Follow below steps to edit a rule for a list:

  • Go to SharePoint Online/Microsoft list, select Automate from command bar and then Manage rules.
Go to Manage rules in SharePoint Online
Go to Manage rules page
  • From manage rules page, you can create/edit/delete a rule. You can also turn off the rule by changing the slider to Off.
  • To edit the rule, click on the rule and then change the underlined portions of the rule statement.
Manage rules in SharePoint Online
Manage rules page
  • After making all changes, Click Save.

Deleting a list rule

When you no longer need a rule, you can either turn it off or delete it from the Manage rules page. Follow below steps to delete a rule for a list:

  • Go to SharePoint Online/Microsoft list, select Automate from command bar and then Manage rules.
  • Select the rule you want to delete and click Delete rule at the bottom of the Edit rule page, .
Deleting a list rule in SharePoint Online list
Deleting a list rule

Supported/Unsupported column types

List rules allow sending notifications when a column or it’s value changes. However, it does not support all column types currently.

Supported column types

Currently below column types are supported while using when a column changes and when a column value changes conditions:

  • Single line of text
  • Choice (single & multiple selection)
  • Number
  • Date and Time
  • Yes/No
  • Person or Group (single & multiple selection)
  • Created By & Modified By (while using when a column value changes condition)
Unsupported column types

Below column types are not supported currently:

  • Multiple lines of text
  • Currency ($, ¥, €)
  • Lookup
  • Hyperlink or Picture
  • Calculated
  • Image
  • Managed Metadata

I hope you liked this blog. Give your valuable feedback & suggestions in the comments section below and share this blog with others.

8 thoughts on “Rules in SharePoint Online/Microsoft Lists

  1. Thanks for this article. I have played with this new feature in our tenant and found that visitors can create list rules, edit list rules created by others, and delete rules created by others. This doesn’t seem like its the way it should work – do you agree?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Ganesh, We have also not received any emails from our alerts. We thought it was just slow to get configured, but now realize that something is not quite right, as its been days since the rule was created and an event to trigger it happened.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Mohit,
        Currently Rules pick only the columns with type “Person or Group” from lists to send an email. So, either you have to use Person or Group column, “Me” or hard coded email address.

        Like

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