Organizing your inbox with rules
Rules can be used to automatically perform actions on mail being delivered to your account, like moving them into a folder, or forwarding them to another account. Rules are created from your settings screen on the interface, but they still function even if you use a mail client to read your mail.
Rules only apply to new mail as it arrives. You can't use rules to make changes to mail that's already in your mailbox.
- Creating a new rule
- Rule conditions
- Rule actions
Creating a new rule
There are two ways to create a new rule:
Creating rules from the current message
When viewing a message, use the grey More button at the top right hand side of the email message, then the
Add Rule from Message... option to open the screen. This lets you quickly build a rule based on the sender, recipient, subject, or mailing list ID of the current message.
The "condition" section lets you choose when this rule will take effect. A condition can include multiple parts of a
message, and you can decide whether
all conditions must be met or
any (at least one) condition must be met for the rule to take effect. You can also choose
none (the rule will take effect any time
that none of the conditions are true).
The "action" section lets you choose what will happen to a message if it meets the rule conditions.
Once the rule is created and saved, you can find the rule in the Settings → Rules screen, where it can be changed.
Creating rules in the Settings screen
To edit rules or create a new rule from scratch, open the Settings → Rules screen. There are three sections:
Discard — if a message matches any of the rules you add in this section, it will automatically be permanently deleted and you will never see it. No other rules will take effect, even if they would have otherwise.
For extra safety if you use discard rules, tick the option "Do not discard messages sent by my contacts". This will help make sure you don't accidentally discard important email.
Forward — send all or some of your email to another account. If you select the option to delete the message, the message will be permanently deleted from your account after it has been forwarded, unless an "Organize" rule applies to the message. In this case, it will be delivered to the appropriate folder as specified by the Organize rule.
Organize — move incoming messages to a specific folder other than the Inbox, and/or automatically mark them as read or pinned. These rules are tried in the order they are created: only the first one to match applies to the message. You can drag and drop rules to change the order.
For advanced users with complex needs, use the edit custom Sieve code link to access the Sieve management page.
Lots of rules? Use the search bar to locate the one you want for easy, fast filtering.
When you discard, forward, or organize your mail, you create a rule that only applies to messages which match a set of conditions.
Conditions can be combined within a single rule. Either:
- all conditions must be met: condition1 and condition2 and condition3
- any condition must be met: condition1 or condition2 or condition3
- none when no condition is met: not condition1 and not condition2 and not condition3
Each condition can examine a different part of a message:
- All messages — the rule always applies to every message
- Sender's email
- Sender's name
- Sender is in my contacts
- Sender is not in my contacts
- Sender is a member of group — specify the group name
- Sender is not a member of group — specify the group name
- Sender marked message as high priority
- Any recipient's email
- Any recipient's name
- Any To email
- Any Cc email
- The message
- The subject
- The message text
- The mailing list ID
- The message size — calculated including attachments
- The message has an attachment
- The message doesn't have an attachment
- The spam score
- A header called ... — test the value of the nominated header
- Any header
- Any SMTP envelope email
- The Sieve condition — for applying custom Sieve
The tests to match against a value is tailored. You will see some of:
- is exactly — for a precise match
- contains — the match value must be somewhere within
- begins with — allows for partial matches
- ends with — allows for partial matches, such as a catchall in a domain
- matches a pattern — we support glob and regular expressions. This lets you build a rule looking for text that's not in the mail, as well as looking for matches, via negation.
Once the rule condition has been met, the rule action is applied to the message.
- permanently delete the message. There is an option to ensure messages sent by your contacts are never discarded, even if a discard rule matches. For your safety!
- send a copy to one or more addresses. Optionally also delete the original message, providing it's not being filed into a folder. If you want to send to multiple addresses, separate them with a comma.
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.
- move the message to a folder and optionally mark it as read and/or pin it.