Using Server-Side Filters to Manage/Organize Your E-Mail (Including Accept and Block Lists)
S4325 May 2008
NOTE: A May 2008 upgrade to web mail provided some enhancements, cosmetic changes, bug fixes, and a couple of new features. See May 2008 Changes to Web Mail for more detail. The screen shots in this document were made prior to that upgrade, so you may notice some minor differences between them and what you see on your screen.
You can create server-side mail filters to sort your incoming mail into folders on the mail server. These filters work when the mail is delivered, so they will work on your mail no matter which IMAP e-mail program you use.
Table of Contents
Why Use Server-Side Mail Filters
The advantage of server-side filters, as compared to filters that you set up inside your e-mail program, is that they work on the mail server when your mail is deliveredbefore you access your mail. That's especially helpful if you use multiple programs to access your mail. The filters work, no matter which IMAP program you use to access your mail. (POP mail programs are the exception to this. POP programs download mail from the INBOX only and cannot access other folders stored on the mail servers.)
Here are some uses of server-side filters:
Where Server-Side Mail Filters Work
Server-side filters work on mail as it comes in to your mailbox on the ITS mail servers. When you access your mail, no matter what IMAP program you use, the filtering has already been done for you.
A Note to web.mail.umich.edu Users
You can get to the server-side filters tool from within web.mail.umich.edu.
Using Your Accept List
Put the addresses of people from whom you always want to receive mail on your Accept List. If an incoming message is from someone on your Accept List, that message is put directly into your INBOX before SpamBox or any other content filter can act on it.
Using Your Block List
You can put up to 25 addresses from which you never want to receive mail on your Block List. If an incoming message is from someone on your Block List, that message is either moved to a folder or deleted, depending on what you specify.
Note that the Block List is not an effective spam management tool. We recommend you use SpamBox instead for spam management. See Using SpamBox for E-Mail Spam Filtering (S4314).
Creating a Filter
In this example, a filter rule is being created to look for Alertbox newsletters and put them in a folder called newslettersforlater. You will make different selections depending on what you want your filter rule to do.
Editing a Filter
Deleting a Filter
Working with Multiple Filters
At delivery, an incoming message goes through your filters one at a time in the order they appear in your list. In most cases, when a message matches the criteria specified in a rule, the rule is implemented (that is, the message is moved to a folder or whatever you specified in the rule), and the message is not checked against any rules remaining in the list. (The exception is if you uncheck the Stop checking if this rule matches? checkbox inside a rule. If you do that, the message is checked against all rules in the list, and only the last rule that matches it is implemented.)
If you create multiple filter rules, think about the order in which you want them to operate and use the Move arrows to put the rules in your preferred order.
We recommend that you always keep your Accept List first in your filter rules list. Otherwise, mail you want always to accept could be caught by another rule.
We also recommend that, if you use SpamBox, you keep your SpamBox rule last in your list.
Disabling a Filter Rule
You can turn a rule off without deleting it. This can be useful if you want to turn a rule off temporarily and turn it back on again later.
In the Enabled column, click the green checkmark (which indicates a rule is enabled) to change it to a red X (which indicates the rule is disabled). Click the red X to toggle it back to a green checkmark when you want to enable the rule.
Log Out When You Are Finished
Logging out when you are done protects your privacy and the security of your online information. Click the Log out icon in the icon bar.
The Software Behind Server-Side Filters
The software used for setting server-side mail filters is an open-source product called Ingo. Ingo is written by the Horde Project.
For more information about Ingo, see the Ingo web page.
For more information about the Horde Project, see the Horde Project website.
Visit ITS's Information System to obtain ITS computer documentation and other resources. A list of relevant documents follows:
The ITS Service Center provides a variety of computing help resources.
For further help with this or any other topic, call 734-764-HELP  or submit an online service request.