Using Mail Rules on

Apple's Mail app has some really powerful tools to help you keep organized. You can create mail flow rules for just about any situation you can think of. For example: you can highlight mail from your mom with a purple background to make them stand out, set the Mail icon to bounce (like an obnoxious child trying to get your attention) on the system Dock when you get an email from your boss, or even have OS X run a custom AppleScript when you get mail with a specific subject. Needless to say, you can get pretty creative with rules.

ne of the most common ways I see people using rules in Mail is to filter mail (especially junk mail). It's great for that too. The problem is, these rules only work when your Mac is online and processing mail. If you set a rule to delete mail from a specific person, for example, and your computer is off, those emails will still come through to your iPhone, iPad, etc. This can be frustrating.

ortunately, (the web interface to your iCloud mail, calendar, contacts, etc) also allows you to set rules that run on the mail server (albeit a subset of what you can do in Mail on your Mac), before it even has a chance to hit your devices. This is great because these rules don't require your Mac to be online.

To begin creating rules on, we first need to log in to Once logged in, navigate to the Mail section of the site. From here, you will click on the "Actions" icon in the top right corner (the icon that looks like a gear), then "Rules...".

At this point, all you need to do is click "Add a Rule..." and begin creating rules. Now is the time to let the creative juices flow!


By the way, while you're in the settings, you may also want to check out the other things you can do like sending auto-responses (great for sending "Out of Office" replies when you're on vacation).

Posted on April 9, 2015 and filed under How To, Mac.