Message filters allow you to set up Thunderbird to organize your messages automatically. Each account has its own set of filters. Filters can move messages to folders, delete them, forward them to other email addresses, and more.
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When do filters execute?
When you receive new mail - This is when Getting New Mail is selected (the default). Filters are applied to new mail in the inbox. This can occur either before Thunderbird does its assessment of the mail as junk, or after. If you have difficulty with filtering the message body, select after classification.
When you send mail - This is when you select After Sending. These filters only apply to an email being sent.
When you archive email - This is when you select Archiving and applies to all mail included in the archive action.
Filters are executed in the order they appear in the list of filters, except when that order is not possible, in which case you will see the message Note: Filter actions will be run in a different order, and the link See execution order. If you click the link, you will see which order is used. For example: If you have a filter that moves a message to another folder, and then further down the list a filter that replies, the reply filter will not work because the message is gone from the folder. In this case, Thunderbird will change the order, so the reply filter will be executed before the move filter.
What folders are filtered?
When you select to run a filter manually you can apply the filter to a specific folder. This is not possible for the automatic execution of filters.
Automatically applied filters are applied only to the inbox, with the exception of Archive and after send filters, which apply only to the mails involved in the action to send or archive. Other folder types are not affected.
Create a new filter
1. Click the Application menu button and thenfollowed by .
2. Click. A Filter Rules dialog box will appear.
3. In the "Filter Name" field, type a name for your filter.
4. Under "Apply filter when", check one of the options or both.
5. In the "Getting New Mail: " dropdown menu, choose either Filter before Junk Classification or Filter after Junk Classification.
6. Choose a property, a test and a value for each rule you want to apply:
- A property is a message element or characteristic such as “Subject” or “From”
- A test is a check on the property, such as “contains” or “is in my address book”
- A value completes the test with a specific detail, such as an email address or keyword
7. Choose one or more actions for messages that meet those criteria.
8. Click OK.
9. In the Message Filters dialog box, at the top line, select the account (from the dropdown list) that the filters are to apply to
10. Clickif you want the new filter to be applied to messages you’ve already received. The filter will automatically be applied to all new messages after it's saved.
Add a star
You might want to automatically add a star to all messages from your workplace domain, making them stand out from the rest of your Inbox messages. You could create this filter:
Move to a folder
You may like to filter out lower-priority messages from your Inbox to reduce clutter. For example you may have chosen to receive notifications from businesses you patronize, but like to keep them in a separate folder.
First, create a folder called “Promotions” (or something similar) by clicking. You could then create a filter like this:
Because you selected the "Match any of the following option", all messages that meet any one of these criteria will be automatically be moved from the Inbox to the Promotions folder:
- Are from the address email@example.com, or
- Have “discount” in the subject line, or
- Have the word “customer” somewhere in the address or display name (“customer.service”, “Customer Support” etc.)