How To Set Up Apple Mail Rules

  1. Email Rules Can Automate Your Mac’s Email System
  2. How email rules work
  3. Types of mail conditions and promotions
  4. Create your first email rule
  5. Add a rule to the Apple Mail app on your Mac
  6. Add first condition
  7. Add second condition
  8. Add an action to perform

Email Rules Can Automate Your Mac’s Email System

Automate basic email tasks in Apple Mail with Apple Mail Rules. When you create email rules, you tell the application how to handle incoming email fragments. Email rules automate repetitive tasks, such as moving repeated messages to a specific folder, flagging messages from friends and family, or deleting spam emails. With a little creativity and some spare time, you can use the Apple Mail Rules Editor to organize and automate your email system.

The instructions in this article apply to Macs running macOS Mojave (10.14.) and Mail version 12.4. Earlier versions of macOS follow similar processes.

How email rules work

Rules have two components: a condition and an action. Conditions are guidelines for selecting messages that are affected by an action. For example, an email rule that looks for emails from your friend Sean might have an action to flag the message so you can easily see it in your inbox.

Email rules do more than just find and flag messages. Email organization rules. For example, rules can:

  • Recognize bank-related messages and move them to the bank’s email folder.

  • Move spam from duplicate senders to your Junk folder or Recycle Bin.

  • Forward the message to another email address.

In addition to creating simple rules, you can create compound rules that search for multiple conditions before performing one or more actions.

If you know how to create AppleScripts, Mail can run AppleScripts to perform additional actions, such as launching specific applications.

Types of mail conditions and promotions

The list of conditions Mail can check is extensive, but some are more commonly used than others. Mail can use any element in the email header as a conditional element. Some examples are: From, To, CC, Subject, Any Recipient, Date Sent, Date Received, Priority, and Mail Account. Email can also be filtered by:

  • contains

  • Does not contain

  • Start with

  • ends with

  • equal to

Actions available when an email meets the condition include:

  • Move message

  • Copy message

  • Set message color

  • Play sound

  • Dock bounce icon

  • Send Notification

  • Reply to message

  • next post

  • Redirect message

  • delete message

  • Mark as read

  • Mark as marked

  • Run Apple Script

Other conditions and actions are available in Mail Rules, but this list gives you a general idea of ​​what you can do with Apple Mail Rules.

Create your first email rule

This tutorial creates a compound rule that recognizes email from a credit card company and flags the message in your inbox. In this example, a message is sent from the alert service to: jar with example and has a sender address that ends in

Because there are different types of alerts from the sample bank, this tutorial creates a rule that filters messages based on the From and Subject fields. Use these two fields to distinguish between the types of alerts received.

Add a rule to the Apple Mail app on your Mac

The fastest way to start a new rule is to open the message in Mail and base the rule on the information in the message. If a message is selected when adding a new rule, Mail uses the information in the From, To, and Subject fields to fill in the rule’s conditions. The opened message will also display any specific text you need for the rule.

To create a rule based on a selected message:

  1. Go to menu mail and select Settings

  2. in the window Settings select Rules

  3. Select add rule

  4. In a text field Description enter a name for the rule. For example, use Example bank statement as description.

Add first condition

The If statement toggles between two conditions: if there is and I fall † The If statement is useful when you need to test multiple conditions, such as in this example where you want to test both the From and Subject fields of the selected message. If you’re only testing one condition, the If statement doesn’t matter, so you can leave it at its default position.

  1. Click the drop-down arrow if and select Everything

  2. In the conditions section under the If statement, select the first drop-down arrow and select By

  3. Select the second drop-down arrow and select contains

  4. If a message is open (or selected) when you create this rule, the box next to contains automatically filled with the corresponding email address of. Otherwise, enter this information manually. For example, enter

Add second condition

To create complex rules, add a second set of conditions that further filter the message types to which the rule applies. In this tutorial, the rule applies to messages from the specified sender that contain the specified subject line.

To add a second condition to a rule:

  1. Navigate to the right of the first line of the condition and click the plus button () to add a second condition line.

  2. In the second conditions section, select the first drop-down arrow and select Subject

  3. Select the second drop-down arrow and select contains

  4. If the message is open, the box next to the box contains automatically filled with the subject line of the email. Otherwise, enter this information manually. For example, enter Example of a bank statement

Add an action to perform

Now it’s time to select the action to be performed on the messages selected by the rule conditions. In this example, messages that meet the sender and subject rule conditions are marked in red.

To add an action to a rule:

  1. In chapter Do the following select the first drop-down arrow and select Set color

  2. Select the second drop-down arrow and select by text

  3. Select the third drop-down arrow and select red

  4. Click Okay to save the new rule.

You can add more than one action, just like you can add more than one condition. Use different criteria to fine-tune the effectiveness of a rule.

The new rule applies to all subsequent messages you receive. All information including, for example, the From and Subject information specified in the line is shown in red text.

If you want the new rule to handle the current contents of your mailbox, click Command+A to select all messages in the mailbox, go to the menu mail and select Message and select Apply rules

Postal rules are universal. You can create complex rules with multiple conditions and multiple actions. You can also create multiple rules that work together to process messages.

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