Apple Mail custom rules

I know there’s plenty of Mac power users here so hopefully someone can point me in the right direction.
The rules system in Mac Mail is woefully inadequate. Is there a 3rd party rules addon that:

  1. Isn’t a subscription?
  2. Can create rules that delete messages after a certain time?
  3. Can create rules with BOTH And and Or parameters?

I understand that rules can be created using AppleScript. Don’t want to deal with that language, can they be created in Xojo or anything else?

Thanks for any help you can offer! Don’t want to use another mail program if I can help it.

in general rules are applied to incoming mail - not run as a periodic task which you’d need to remove mail after X many days etc

That said you can add rules that are based on date received so a rule to delete mail that was received X many days ago seems possible

I’m not aware of any add ons for mail that enable a third party rule engine ot the usr of languages other than applescript - however you CAN get an AS to run whatever app you want

You’d think so, but no. The closest I can get is a smart folder that shows all the messages that need to be deleted and then I have to select all and delete. No rules allow deletion of mail.

Applescript is screwy as hell - looks like Cobol! I would rather not try to learn yet another language, but if only AppleScript has access to e-mails and can delete them, then maybe that’s the only way? I’d be happy to pay for a 3rd party app that can do the sort of filtering and rules that Outlook can.

dunno if any of these would help or not

there are app extensions for Mail on the app store as well
its just a pain to search through them

  1. You have to identify the subscriptions yourself.
  2. As Norman said the rules are only for incoming emails. Deleting emails sucks with AppleScript because Mail is so screwed up. My app Mail Archiver can delete emails that are older than a specific date or age.
  3. Either And or Or. But not both at the same time. Either you do simple or you do complex.

Do other email clients have more complex rules? I doubt that.

Good morning,

the rule-system of almost all email programs is crap, believe me. And the standard use-case is, that you use different devices and email priograms to access your mostly server-side stored emails (imap).

But let me take you to the enterprise side of life:

The right place for rules, white- and blacklists is always the server-side with sieve-rules or even before your email server at your email-gateway. This is where all your emails already exists as files in their corresponding maildir folders. It would be stupidity to transfer these mails to the client and to the server back and forth.

Of course this depends on your infrastructure and to the fact, that you have your own mailserver with your domain and MX nameserver record. This is what I am offering my customers, in recent years mostly kicking ancient Microsoft Exchange Servers by replacing them with Linux Standard Mailservers. See my latest blog post here.

Regarding email deletion: Emails esp. in commerce (invoices, quotes, proposals, contracts etc.) are considered as business documents and companies or business owners (software developers!) have the obligation to keep them for a certain duration. For most documents in Germany this duration lasts 6 years. Your milage may vary but I am sure that tax and financial authorities have similiar rules in your country too.

This is where professional email archieving and quality standards kicks in. In short: Manipulation must be ruled out, every mail must have an index etc. Of course this can’t be done client-side either is expected to do this manually. This is completely done server-side.

So you got an eagle-eye’s view on emails and you may decide, where you are located with your current solution.

Rules in client-side email-programs are toys. it may be okay for private usage, but fails in professional use-cases.

Is that a program or something you wrote?

Absolutely. Apple mail is the first program I’ve used that had such limited rules.
Outlook and Thunderbird (2 very popular Mail programs) can do most anything with filters/rules. I was pretty surprised to see how weak Apple was in this regard and that I guess most people just “live with it”…

That’s great that you’ve come up with a solution for your customers.

Only in Apple Mail it seems. I was quite satisfied with the solutions in Thunderbird and Outlook. I guess if that’s what I have to use then so be it.
From what you’re saying though, it sounds that I’m not alone in desiring a better rules system for e-mail, so there must be a solution.

Do you have a suggested solution for me? (Using my own Mail server may not be a solution, as I get my e-mail from several sources and servers)

Thanks, Norm. I’ve looked at all those in the past. Nothing useful to me there, unfortunately.

Mail Archiver is my application to archive emails. After archiving you can delete emails.

Outlook’s rules are more or less the same as in Mail. You can do rules for Sent messages and you have negative rules. Other than that you have the basic all/any. I thought I had done a blog post on rules in Thunderbird/Postbox. But I can’t find it right now.

Not sure where you get that from. Outlook’s rules are vastly more capable than Mail’s.

Errr, let me take a quick look into my Ticketsystem… how many fails on simple out-of-office mails and email-redirections to collegues… so nope! Believe me, all client-side rules are crap and not fit for professional use. If you want to do it right use a server for your rules.

Well, that’s exactly the purpose of an internet mailserver, isn’t it?

Because I had a look?

As I said: all/any/unless all/unless any. And you can have different rules for IMAP/Exchange/POP and Sent. Those are the big differences.

we have been using thunerbird for the last 9 years and loving the rules feature

Don’t really understand your reply. Outlook has a LOT more capabilities than Apple Mail for rules. Used Outlook for many years while on Windows.

I’m afraid you’ve lost me.
Do you have a specific detailed solution you can suggest?

Outlook/Windows is not Outlook/Mac. Did you have a look at the blog post I linked? There aren’t really many differences between the rules in Mail and the rules in Outlook.

I did, but unfortunately, I didn’t see anything helpful.
Did you have a suggested solution?