What are custom email filters?
Custom email filters let you automatically sort incoming messages based on rules you set up. You can have messages sent to different folders or forwarding addresses, bounce back to the sender, or be deleted automatically based on where the message is from, which address it was sent to, keywords in the body or subject line, and file size. You can also send automatic replies to messages matching filter criteria.
You can add, delete, or rearrange custom filters in the Custom Email Filters section of Spam Filtering.
Why would I want to use custom filters?
Filters provide a powerful way to automatically organize your incoming email and protect yourself from spam. Here are a few examples of how you could use filters:
- If your friend is going to email you and will expect a response, but you know you won't be able to get to your email for several days, you could set up a filter that sends an automatic reply to messages received from that person.
- If you are receiving lots of unwanted email, you could set up several filters based on the characteristics of those emails. For instance, you could filter by typical spam keywords in the subject line that you know you don't want, like "XXX" or "debt," and send all of those messages to your Junk folder.
- If you have a disposable address forwarding to an account with very little storage space (for instance, a cell phone), you could set up a filter so that all messages sent to that address that are larger than 500 KB will be saved in your Mailshell account rather than forwarded.
How do I create a new filter?
To create a new custom filter, go to the Custom Email Filters section of Spam Filtering and click the "Create" button. Use the menus and entry fields to choose the filtering criteria you want to use; to ignore criteria, leave the entry fields blank.
To filter by words or phrases in the header or body of the message, choose how you want to look for them (equals, contains, does not contain, etc.) and enter the words or phrases in the field provided. You can use the "match case" checkbox if you want capitalization to be considered (e.g., if the box is checked, "Mailshell" would not be the same as "mailshell").
- From header filters by the sender's name and/or email address.
- To/Cc header filters by the recipient(s)'s name and/or email address. This is particularly useful if you want the filter applied to only messages sent to one of your disposable addresses.
- Subject filters by words or phrases in the subject line.
- Body filters by words or phrases in the main body of the message.
You can also filter by another aspect of the message:
- File size filters by the total size of the message; you can choose to look for messages larger than or less than a particular size. (Note that sizes must be given in kilobytes.) This is particularly useful if you want to send messages with large attachments to a different folder or forwarding address.
After you have selected your criteria, use the "Deliver To" menu to choose where you want messages matching those criteria delivered. You can also choose to send an automatic reply to senders whose messages match your criteria: to do so, check the "Send Auto-Reply" box and enter the message you would like to send.
Be sure to click the "Save Settings" button when you are done, and don't forget that the order of your filters matters.
Why does the order of my filters matter?
Custom filters are applied in the order they are listed in the Custom Email Filters section of Spam Filtering (i.e., every incoming message is first checked against Filter 1, then against Filter 2, and so on). A message may match more than one filter, but it will be handled only according to the first filter it matches.
For example, if your Filter 1 says, "If From contains 'hotmail.com' then deliver to Folder: Hotmail" and your Filter 2 says, "If From contains 'firstname.lastname@example.org' then deliver to Folder: Jane," if you receive a message from email@example.com, the message will go to your Hotmail folder because it matched Filter 1 first. If the order of filters were reversed, a message from firstname.lastname@example.org would go to your Jane folder while all other messages from a Hotmail address would go to your Hotmail folder. As a general rule, you want to have more specific filters placed earlier.
How do I move a filter?
You can move a custom filter in the Custom Email Filters section of Spam Filtering by using the arrows on the left side to move a filter up or down in the order. (You would want to do this because the order of your filters matters.)
How do I edit a filter?
You can edit a custom filter in the Custom Email Filters section of Spam Filtering by clicking the "edit" link on the right side. Change the information however you wish, then click the "Save" button.
How do I delete a filter?
You can delete a custom filter in the Custom Email Filters section of Spam Filtering by clicking the "delete" link on the right side.