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Server-Side Mail Filters

Many people use the mail filters (also called mail rules) in their email client software to automatically file incoming mail into separate folder. This would allow all incoming email from a mailing list (for example) to be stored together in the same folder. But what if you often use 2 different computers to check mail, or if you have an iPhone, for example? You would need to setup mail filters on each computer individually. The iPhone doesn’t even support mail filtering.

One of the best new features of our new mail system is it’s ability to filter mail on the server, without your email client software involved. Server side message filtering can be setup using the webmail interface.

Before setting up a new filter, we recommend setting up your email client to use IMAP (as opposed to POP). Filters will still work with POP accounts, but anything that is filtered out of the INBOX will not be downloaded to your computer. Tips on converting from POP to IMAP can be seen here

You can create new mail folders from within webmail, or from your own IMAP client software. Once you have the mail folders you need to filter incoming mail, then:

  • Login into webmail
  • Click the Filters link at the top of the page.
  • Click the “Add a New Rule” button.

This is where you define how a message is to be identified. It can work with any header, such as the email address of the sender, or a string of text in the Subject. Then, you click the “Move message into” button and tell the server where you want these messages filed.

There is also an easy way to create a new mail filter right from an email message. If you open an email from within webmail, you will see in the top a link to “Create Filter”

Clicking “from” (for example) will create a new mail filter to act on all incoming messages from this same sender. Then you can specify which mail folder you want the messages filed into.