Creating Email Filter Rules In iCloud and Gmail

If you want to effectively filter email you need to do it on the server. Here is how to set up mail rules using iCloud and Gmail filters. If you use another email service, it is just a matter of finding out how to set them up with that service.

Comments: 14 Responses to “Creating Email Filter Rules In iCloud and Gmail”

    Rob
    3 months ago

    Great advice as usual.

    I have tried setting up a rule in iCloud.com which moves messages from an email address.
    I like to make use of the ‘today’ smart folder on my mac and on iOS (phone and iPad).
    When the message arrives, it shows fine on Mac but the ‘today’ smart folder on iPhone doesn’t see it – it only seems to look in my inbox on the iPhone which defeats the object. My work around is to create a copy rule but I then have to delete the duplicated message from my inbox.
    But

    3 months ago

    Rob: The email Smart Folder only exists on your Mac. Your iPhone is a completely separate device, so it doesn’t see it.

    Rob
    3 months ago

    Thanks. But what use is the ‘Today’ option on iPhone mail? I suppose it filters my inbox for mail from today but it only seems to look in my Inbox. But if I have set up a rule server side on iCloud.com to move messages, the iPhone doesn’t prompt me that I have some new email in the folder the message has been moved into.
    The confusion is that there appears to be a ‘Today’ smart folder on mac and iPhone but they mean different things.

    3 months ago

    Rob: I’m not sure what it is you are seeing in your iPhone Mail app that is “Today.” I don’t see anything named “Today.”

    Rob
    3 months ago

    Gary, I see it as one of the options on iPhone. Select Mailboxes, then Edit and its on the left.
    I have also tried ‘unread in these options’ but it seems clear that iOS is just checking the inbox. On my mac, I have a ‘Today’ smart folder. I don’t know whether this is a default or a mailbox that I set up ages ago. But it polls every mailbox just with the condition ‘Date received is today’. Hope Apple get iOS and macOS mail apps working better together. (MacOS rules automatically in iCloud?)

    3 months ago

    Rob: Ah, I see what you mean. iOS doesn’t have Smart Mailboxes, but it does have those special ones.

    Norm Bradley
    3 months ago

    Gmail labels (filters). I have had a dickens of a time deleting old label / folders. Not a problem adding but deleting is problematic. I have read the “how to” info but it seems I am missing a step.

    3 months ago

    Norm: I would do that from the Gmail web interface.

    Ed Adams
    3 months ago

    Good video but the problem I’ve had is that the rules control in iCloud is capable of only a fraction of what I can do in macOS rules. They also apply against all 4 mail services I use – iCloud, yahoo, google, and exchange. Since my iMac is on all the time don’t those rules apply as well as if I look at my mail via iOS or iPadOs?

    3 months ago

    Ed: You Mac can only check email and apply rules every so often. So what if you view the messages on your iPhone first? And that can vary for each of these services.

    Rob
    3 months ago

    Gary, big problem is that MacOS and iOS do not inform me that a new mail has arrived unless it is in the inbox. So if I set up a rule to move an email into another folder, I don’t know it has arrived unless I check out the folder, just in case. This even applies to the little red circle on the mail icon. I thought about ‘copying’ rather than moving (and then deleting the inbox email after reading) but iCloud.com only allows move (no copy option). So I have now abandoned mail rules!

    3 months ago

    Rob: Well, if you makes you feel any better, I don’t use rules either. Anything new comes into my Inbox and I view it and take an action.

    Bob
    3 months ago

    Excellent – explains why my fisters in mail don’t always work. Quick question, can you use wild card characters in the gmail filter?

    3 months ago

    Bob: I don’t think so. But you should be able to search for partial words and use logical operators. Experiment and see.

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