Why You Should Use iCloud Email Rules And Not Mail Rules On Your Mac

Mail rules in the Mail app on your Mac are robust and powerful but they no longer work well in a world where we get email on multiple devices. Instead, use iCloud email rules, or filters you can set on your email server. These rules will be applied on the server before the messages get to yoru devices, so they will work properly and consistently.

Comments: 9 Responses to “Why You Should Use iCloud Email Rules And Not Mail Rules On Your Mac”

    Doug
    4 months ago

    Gary, really appreciate this information on Mail rules. I started doing Server Side Rules and it just works better across all my devices. Like you said, Apple’s Server Rules could be more robust, but they are adequate for my needs at this time. Thanks for all you do.

    Nate
    4 months ago

    Hi Gary, I have 64 rules in Mail/Preferences/Inbox Rules and 144 folders, including subfolders (not counting smart folders). It is a pretty smooth running system, except for the occasional glitch which you describe, but I also understand the basis for your recommendation. So I am wondering if there any practical way to transfer this structure to iCloud in one operation? Otherwise, it would be impractical to do this one rule and one folder at a time.

    4 months ago

    Nate: No way to transfer them. They probably wouldn’t all translate anyway. I would maybe look at moving a few key ones over. Then later moving more. Steps. Then eventually you may find that only rarely-used and unimportant ones remain as local rules.

    Christian
    4 months ago

    Hi Gary, can I write a rule that deletes a message after reading on one device but keep it on another?

    ed adams
    4 months ago

    I use apple mail as the client for 3 email systems – apple, google, and yahoo so I can see all my mail in one location. Google and Yahoo are seen as accounts on my mac so if I understand correctly they are not passing thru my apple incoming or outgoing mail servers so the rules there wouldn’t apply? What if I set them both to forward mail to my apple mail then would the apple servers side rules affect all? Or do I have to set up separate rules on Google and Yahoo?

    4 months ago

    Ed: Right. Google and Yahoo email won’t go through Apple’s iCloud email server so rules there won’t apply. Gmail has its own rules (filters) which are excellent. But I can’t remember if Yahoo does anything like it. If you forward all mail to your iCloud email address then yes, iCloud rules should be applied.

    4 months ago

    Christian: No. Email doesn’t really work like that. Email clients view the content on am email server (iCloud/Google/IMAP, etc). You can download an email as a file on one computer and delete the original, but a rule can’t send out instructions to other devices like that. Why not just archive that email into a folder? If it is important enough to keep, then why isn’t important enough to have access to it on all of your devices?

    Max
    3 months ago

    I’ll move my Mac Mail rules over as you suggest – thanks for this.

    Related: any videos on how to slim down the space Mail takes up on my desktop Mac 10.13.6? Had a quick look but couldn’t see any and the situation is now bad – it’s over 95Gb! Thanks

    3 months ago

    Max: That all depends on what type of mail server you have and your settings. POP? SMTP? Gmail? iCloud? Maybe ask, but with all of the details, in the forum: https://macmost.com/forum

Comments Closed.