8/26/209:00 am 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. Video Transcript: Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. Today let me show you how to set up email filter rules using either iCloud or Gmail. MacMost is brought to you thanks to a great group of more than 700 supporters. Go to MacMost.com/patreon. There you can read more about the Patreon Campaign. Join us and get exclusive content and course discounts. Now if you've ever wanted to filter your email to automatically send some email to special folders or to the trash then you may be tempted to do that in the Mail app on your Mac. You can go to Mail and then Preferences and then click on Rules. You can add rules here. But you shouldn't do it here. The reason is because these filters will then happen on your Mac. Now you probably get email on more than just your Mac, right. You get it on your iPhone too. Some of us get it on our iPhones or iPads maybe a second Mac. But what will happen if you use a rule here on your Mac is that this Mac will be in charge of filtering your email. What is this Mac is turned off or not connected to the internet? What if you simply quit the Mail app? Then there will be nothing to run these filters. Even if your Mac is on and the Mail app is running your iPhone may get the message before your Mac has a chance to run the filter. The proper place to filter email is on the Server. Email, after all, is a server based service. Your mail apps whether on the Mac or iPhone or iPad are really little more than just viewers to view the mail that is on the server. If you're using iCloud for email you could setup rules on Apple's iCloud servers. Those rules will be implemented right there on the server where the mail actually goes to. Only after those filters are applied will you see your email in its filtered state on your various devices. Creating rules for iCloud email is as simple as going to iCloud dot com and logging on. Then click on Mail. Once you're in Mail you can get to the Rule section one of two ways. You can click on this little Settings button here and click on Rules. Or you can click on Preferences and at the top you can click on Rules. Now you can click here to add a rule. First you set the criteria. You can use where the email is from. So the address of the sender. You can use who the email is going to or who it is Cc'd to. So if you get business email sent to a whole group you may only be Cc'd on the email. In that case your email address isn't the one that the email is addressed to but you're just Cc'd or carbon copied to. If you want you can say is addressed or Cc'd to. In other words the emails just coming to you. Now you may think all the email is coming to me. But if you have aliases in iCloud you can specify if the email is coming to a specific address or if you've given somebody an email address like my email plus and then a word at iCloud dot com then you can filter based on that. You could also look for words or phrases in the subject of the email. The last one looks for a specific thing in the message called list-id. It's hard to see those. You can view Source on emails and see if there's a list-id there. Looking through all of my recent email I see very few emails actually use list-id anymore. But if you get email in a corporate setting it may be that certain emails go out to a certain list-id. You may already know about this and this is handy to be able to set. So let's say I choose is from and then say okay if it's coming from my boss, and that's their email address right there, then what should happen. Well, you can choose from many different actions. You can choose to move it to a specific folder. A folder that you've created and you should create those folders here in iCloud Drive. You can see the Plus button here on the sidebar to Create New Folders. So this rule will kind of sort this email and get it out of your Inbox. You could also just say Move to Trash which is handy if you're getting messages from a legitimate place but you can't seem to stop them. Or it could be useful in situations like say you get a weekly list of all the garage sales in your neighborhood and you rarely ever use them. Maybe have it go directly to the Trash and if you decide you want to go to the garage sales this week you know to look into the trash. Otherwise the email doesn't bother you. You could also choose to have these messages automatically Forwarded to either another email address that you use or to somebody else. Then you can simply choose to have them Mark as Read. So they still go to your Inbox but instead of being Unread they're already read. Then you have a set that actually combines the first three with Mark as Read. So you can have it moved to a folder and marked as read. Which is probably what you want when you're moving to a folder or the trash or forwarding. You want to mark them as read at the same time. So using one of these last three is probably the best bet for most situations. So if I choose Move to Folder and Mark as Read I then get to choose a folder. You can see here I can actually have it go to the iCloud Archive folder. I can have it go to one of these two folders that I created here. Or I can have it go to Junk for instance. I could also create a new folder right here. So let's say I create this first one here that's going to send any messages from this email address to my Travel folder. At any time here I can click i and actually go and Edit this or Delete this rule. I also have this little handle here and if I have more than one rule I can set the order. So, for instance, I can have one rule execute before the other. So if the message is coming from my boss they can be moved to a certain folder. Otherwise if it has something in the subject then I can have it go somewhere else. Those rules will be executed in order. The first rule that matches will be the one that runs. Now I know a lot of people will want to use this to try to filter out junk or spam email. But it doesn't work for that. The reason is that spammers don't use legitimate things like a from address. They fake those. So you might get one piece of spam today from a spammer that's from a certain email address but the same spammer will send you a piece of junk mail tomorrow from a completely different email address. It's not actually from either of those. That is simply faked. It's as easy to fake that as it is writing a different return address on a physical envelope when mailing something. So they don't really reuse from email addresses. So blocking one is really not going to prevent spam in the future. If you're getting email from a real place but you consider it to be junk, like maybe you're getting a marketing email from a company all the time, look for the Unsubscribe link in the email and unsubscribe. Any legitimate company is going to provide that and that's the way to stop those emails. Not creating filter after filter after filter for every case. Now if you don't use iCloud then you have to go into the email system you're using and see what they have for rules. One of the most common email providers, of course, is Goggle with Gmail. So if you're in Goggle here then these are not actually called rules but they're called Filters. So one of the easiest way to setup a filter in Gmail is to do a Search. Instead of just typing here click this little Search option button and now you have a more complex search. You can Search the From field, To, Subject, the words Has the words in the body of the message, or it Doesn't have the words. You can search by Size. You could see it's a lot more complex here in Gmail. You can even combine these things. So say it's from somebody with the subject and has an attachment. Then create a filter. Let's just do a simple filter here for our boss and instead of clicking Search now click on Create a Filter. Now you go to another screen and you get to specify what happens when this filter matches. So you can Skip the Inbox and go right to Archiving. Mark as Read. You can add a Star. So email technically doesn't call things folders or mailboxes. It calls them Labels. So you can choose or create a new Label. But this corresponds to what we see in the Mail app on your Mac or on your iPhone as a folder. You can choose to Forward it, Delete it, you can choose to never send it to spam so if somebody keeps sending an email and it keeps going to Spam you could actually check this off and Gmail knows to always have that in your Inbox. You could do various other things. So let's just say we'll skip the Inbox and Archive email and I'll create the filter. Now that I've created the filter I may want to go in and check all my filters and see which ones I've got. Click on the little Settings button here and See All Settings. Then click on Filters and Block Addresses and you'll see a list of all of your filters. You could choose to Delete. Use Edit to go in and change the filters as well. So that's how to do it in iCloud and do it in Gmail. If you're using another service like say Yahoo it's going to be something different. Here I am in Yahoo Mail, for instance. I can go into Settings and then I can click on More Settings. I can see Filters here. I can Add a New Filter and you can see how to set that up here in Yahoo. Another service it's going to be different. If you don't know where to find it look on the Support site for either the email service or for your ISP if you're using ISP email as to where you go to setup server side filters for your email.Related Subjects: Mail (82 videos) Related Video Tutorials: No related posts. Comments: 14 Responses to “Creating Email Filter Rules In iCloud and Gmail” Rob 3 years 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 Gary Rosenzweig 3 years 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 years 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. Gary Rosenzweig 3 years 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 years 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?) Gary Rosenzweig 3 years ago Rob: Ah, I see what you mean. iOS doesn't have Smart Mailboxes, but it does have those special ones. Norm Bradley 3 years 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. Gary Rosenzweig 3 years ago Norm: I would do that from the Gmail web interface. Ed Adams 3 years 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? Gary Rosenzweig 3 years 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 years 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! Gary Rosenzweig 3 years 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 years ago Excellent - explains why my fisters in mail don't always work. Quick question, can you use wild card characters in the gmail filter? Gary Rosenzweig 3 years ago Bob: I don't think so. But you should be able to search for partial words and use logical operators. Experiment and see. Comments Closed.