Mastering Email Management: How to Customize Rules in Mac Mail

Mastering Email Management: How to Customize Rules in Mac Mail

Automate your email management with Mac Mail by customizing rules. Create, modify, and prioritize rules for a streamlined email experience.

Alex Simmons

Alex Simmons | Jan 1, 2024 | 3 mins read

Managing your email can be a daunting task, but Mac Mail offers a powerful feature to simplify it: custom rules. By setting up rules, you can automate various actions like sorting emails into folders, marking them as read, or even deleting them. This article will guide you through the process of customizing rules in Mac Mail to make your email management more efficient.

The Basics of Customizing Rules

Creating New Rules

Creating a new rule in Mac Mail is straightforward. Navigate to ‘Mail’ > ‘Preferences’ > ‘Rules’ and click on ‘Add Rule.’ You’ll be presented with a dialog box where you can set conditions and actions for your rule. For example, you can create a rule to move all emails from a specific sender to a designated folder.

Modifying Existing Rules

If you need to make changes to an existing rule, go back to the ‘Rules’ tab in ‘Preferences.’ Select the rule you want to modify and click ‘Edit.’ From here, you can change the conditions and actions or even delete the rule if it’s no longer needed.

Rule Priority

Mac Mail applies rules in the order they appear in the list. If you have multiple rules, you can change their priority by dragging them up or down in the list. This is crucial when you have rules that might conflict with each other.

Advanced Customization

Using AppleScript in Rules

For those who require more complex actions, Mac Mail allows the use of AppleScript in rules. This enables you to perform tasks that are not available in the standard list of actions, adding a layer of customization to your rules.

Rule Synchronization Across Devices

One of the advantages of using Mac Mail is the ability to sync your rules across all your Apple devices. If you use iCloud Drive, your rules will be available on any Mac computer that has iCloud Drive enabled, ensuring a consistent email management experience.

Server-side vs Client-side Rules

It’s important to understand the difference between server-side and client-side rules. Server-side rules are applied on the email server and affect all devices, while client-side rules only apply to Mac Mail on your computer. Knowing this can help you decide where to set your rules.

Tips and Tricks

Rule Limitations and Workarounds

While Mac Mail rules are powerful, they do have some limitations. For example, they can’t execute complex logic or conditions. However, you can work around these limitations by combining multiple rules or using AppleScript.

Combining Mac mail customize rules for Efficiency

You can make your email management more efficient by combining multiple rules. For instance, you can create one rule to sort emails from your work contacts into a ‘Work’ folder and another rule to mark them as ‘Important.’

Third-Party Tools for Rule Customization

If you’re looking for more advanced customization options, several third-party tools can help you create more complex rules. These tools often offer features not available in Mac Mail, giving you greater control over your email management.


Mac mail customize ruless not just a feature; it’s a necessity for anyone looking to automate and simplify their email management. With the right set of rules, you can transform your email experience from a daily chore into a streamlined process.


  1. Use rules to manage emails you receive in Mail on Mac – Apple Support
  2. How to create rules in Apple Mail to keep from missing important messages – ZDNet
  3. Change Rule settings in Mail on Mac – Apple Support
  4. Manage email messages by using rules (Mac) – University of British Columbia
Alex Simmons
Alex Simmons

I have always been fascinated by the world of SaaS and technology. From a young age, I found myself drawn to the endless possibilities that email technology offers. The ability to connect with people across the globe and streamline communication processes is something that truly excites me. As a passionate individual, I am constantly seeking new ways to leverage SaaS and email technology to enhance productivity and drive innovation.

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