What triggers email rules in the Mojave Mail app?

PinkyMacGodess

macrumors 601
Original poster
Mar 7, 2007
4,542
1,127
Midwest America.
I thought I had it figured out. I'd use my fastest/newest machine to filter out junk mail with some Rules, and I'll be danged, the rules aren't being triggered for some reason. Simple rules too.

Yet, if I remote in to the 'rule mac', and right click and 'Apply Rules', the messages disappear, like they are supposed to in the first place, but don't. It's damned frustrating...

Anyone with any ideas? I read that icloud.com doesn't support rules, so that just makes it that much more special. I've got rules of one form or another on all of my macs. None of them seem to work reliably. (I leave mail open on the 'rule mac')

Grrrr...
 

elnbrg

macrumors newbie
Nov 24, 2018
24
6
Mail applies rules automatically only to unread messages. If you use IMAP and a message has been already read on another device, the rules will not be applied automatically.
 

Tech198

macrumors G5
Mar 21, 2011
14,620
1,679
Australia, Perth
Mail applies rules automatically only to unread messages. If you use IMAP and a message has been already read on another device, the rules will not be applied automatically.
incorrect..

I just tried it.. Created rules applies to read messages. Mojave "asks if you wish to apply the rule to selected mailbox"

but not to edited rules.
 

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elnbrg

macrumors newbie
Nov 24, 2018
24
6
Yes, you can apply the rules manually, but Mail automatically (without taking any actions or clicking buttons) applies only to new and unread email.
 

PinkyMacGodess

macrumors 601
Original poster
Mar 7, 2007
4,542
1,127
Midwest America.
Yes, you can apply the rules manually, but Mail automatically (without taking any actions or clicking buttons) applies only to new and unread email.
Than something isn't working quite right. I woke up to junk email from the evening and early morning that were still in the inbox and junk folders. It appears that the rules aren't triggering, or if they are, aren't running to completion. It can't be that hard for the process to work. I mean, a message comes in, the rules are run on it, and then it's filed. if the rule says delete it, than delete it. That's not happening. Yet if I tell it to apply the rule, it works.

There seems to be either a setting I'm unaware of, or a hiccup in the process. Back, years ago, I'd see messages in the inbox, or junk, and they would disappear as the rules worked, and now, it's like they don't work at all.

I do have it processing the rules before junk determination, if I read that choice right in the settings.
 

Honza1

macrumors 6502
Nov 30, 2013
437
145
US
Than something isn't working quite right. I woke up to junk email from the evening and early morning that were still in the inbox and junk folders. It appears that the rules aren't triggering, or if they are, aren't running to completion. It can't be that hard for the process to work. I mean, a message comes in, the rules are run on it, and then it's filed. if the rule says delete it, than delete it. That's not happening. Yet if I tell it to apply the rule, it works.

There seems to be either a setting I'm unaware of, or a hiccup in the process. Back, years ago, I'd see messages in the inbox, or junk, and they would disappear as the rules worked, and now, it's like they don't work at all.

I do have it processing the rules before junk determination, if I read that choice right in the settings.
I think this is bit different. It is not applied to unread, but to messages which were not yet downloaded to other clients/devices. So, if your phone/tablet or other device has already downloaded message, it is marked somehow and filters do not apply.
Now, it is driving me nuts also. I am desperate to find solution how to force easily my inbox filters applied to every mail piece I get... I have even got MailSuite, which adds lot more automation to Mail.app and see no fix for this issue there also.
However, I understand the choice here.
Imagine the confusion, if your second client/device had list of messages (may be unread) and while you are looking at them, your other client/computer elsewhere would start applying filters and deleting/moving e-mails for you. Most people do not remember what filters/rules they setup within few days... Can you imagine the confusion when your e-mails on the second device would be disappearing in front of you without you doing anything? People would think they have virus or [>name your favorite secret agency<] is taking away their e-mails ;-)

So, - as far as I can say - once e-mails are downloaded to ANY client mail application, filters do not get applied and you need to do it manually. And yes, it is driving me nuts and I would really like my mails to get filtered first.

The only way to do this is on the server side - so one would need to apply this on Exchange or Google or whatever servers. Google server has easy to use filters for this - so if this is gmail, do it on Google servers.
Exchange, I did not try.
 

PinkyMacGodess

macrumors 601
Original poster
Mar 7, 2007
4,542
1,127
Midwest America.
I think this is bit different. It is not applied to unread, but to messages which were not yet downloaded to other clients/devices. So, if your phone/tablet or other device has already downloaded message, it is marked somehow and filters do not apply.
Now, it is driving me nuts also. I am desperate to find solution how to force easily my inbox filters applied to every mail piece I get... I have even got MailSuite, which adds lot more automation to Mail.app and see no fix for this issue there also.
However, I understand the choice here.
Imagine the confusion, if your second client/device had list of messages (may be unread) and while you are looking at them, your other client/computer elsewhere would start applying filters and deleting/moving e-mails for you. Most people do not remember what filters/rules they setup within few days... Can you imagine the confusion when your e-mails on the second device would be disappearing in front of you without you doing anything? People would think they have virus or [>name your favorite secret agency<] is taking away their e-mails ;-)

So, - as far as I can say - once e-mails are downloaded to ANY client mail application, filters do not get applied and you need to do it manually. And yes, it is driving me nuts and I would really like my mails to get filtered first.

The only way to do this is on the server side - so one would need to apply this on Exchange or Google or whatever servers. Google server has easy to use filters for this - so if this is gmail, do it on Google servers.
Exchange, I did not try.
When it works, it works well. When it doesn't work, GRRRR...

I have seen what Mail does to messages deleted on the 'fast system'. They turn gray, and if I reload the window in mail, they are gone. Prior to Mojave, the messages would just disappear. I did have a rule once that basically put everything into a folder, so seeing messages deleting in real time was surprising, frustrating, and I was sure there was a bug somewhere. Apple really could flesh out the rule part of Mail, and make it easier and a hell of a lot more informative. And yeah, that will happen... I feel like there are no real options, and I want to stay with Apple software, but they are sure making that hard to do.
 

PinkyMacGodess

macrumors 601
Original poster
Mar 7, 2007
4,542
1,127
Midwest America.
Now, after an update last night, all Mail does when I right click 'Apple rules' is die.

Application Specific Information:
*** Terminating app due to uncaught exception 'NSInvalidArgumentException', reason: '-[__NSCFString replaceCharactersInRange:withString:]: nil argument'
terminating with uncaught exception of type NSException
abort() called​

I give up... It shouldn't be this hard to deal with junk mail!
 

Honza1

macrumors 6502
Nov 30, 2013
437
145
US
Now, after an update last night, all Mail does when I right click 'Apple rules' is die.

Application Specific Information:
*** Terminating app due to uncaught exception 'NSInvalidArgumentException', reason: '-[__NSCFString replaceCharactersInRange:withString:]: nil argument'
terminating with uncaught exception of type NSException
abort() called​

I give up... It shouldn't be this hard to deal with junk mail!
Update last night? There was no update last night to Mail.app. Apple does not release updates Friday night.
Let me just ask different question: Would you happen to have any Mail Plug-ins installed?
My experience has been that every time I had Mail crashing, it turned out to be one of my Mail plug-ins. May be you have MailSuite or some other plugin installed? I have MailSuite and while current version seems to be very stable, I had my Mail crashed by early versions quite a lot.
If you do, remove all plugins first and try again. It Mail works, it is the plugin.
Actually, if you have plugins installed, it is very, very likely that plugin. If not, you may have corrupted local mail storage, there is instructions on line how to resent those and get that sorted out. I had to do that once also.
 

PinkyMacGodess

macrumors 601
Original poster
Mar 7, 2007
4,542
1,127
Midwest America.
Update last night? There was no update last night to Mail.app. Apple does not release updates Friday night.
Let me just ask different question: Would you happen to have any Mail Plug-ins installed?
My experience has been that every time I had Mail crashing, it turned out to be one of my Mail plug-ins. May be you have MailSuite or some other plugin installed? I have MailSuite and while current version seems to be very stable, I had my Mail crashed by early versions quite a lot.
If you do, remove all plugins first and try again. It Mail works, it is the plugin.
Actually, if you have plugins installed, it is very, very likely that plugin. If not, you may have corrupted local mail storage, there is instructions on line how to resent those and get that sorted out. I had to do that once also.
I don't think I have any plugins for mail at all. And the update was a surprise, as I thought that I was all up to date. It's odd that sometimes updates that happened weeks prior all of the sudden show up. *shrug*
 

TabithaGrace

macrumors newbie
Apr 10, 2019
1
0
I thought I had it figured out. I'd use my fastest/newest machine to filter out junk mail with some Rules, and I'll be danged, the rules aren't being triggered for some reason. Simple rules too.

Yet, if I remote in to the 'rule mac', and right click and 'Apply Rules', the messages disappear, like they are supposed to in the first place, but don't. It's damned frustrating...

Anyone with any ideas? I read that icloud.com doesn't support rules, so that just makes it that much more special. I've got rules of one form or another on all of my macs. None of them seem to work reliably. (I leave mail open on the 'rule mac')

Grrrr...

I wish I had an answer, but you're not alone. After over an hour long conversation with Apple today, they basically said it is not their issue. They blame my work account which is Outlook Exchange....I'm not convinced.

The rules USED to work before my recent upgrade to Mojave. I don't use a lot of rules, but one rule I'm having trouble with has to do with attachments.

Before Mojave, if I had 30 emails with attachments, I could select those in my inbox and click “Save attachments” in the File menu, and all would save to my download folder. That no longer works. Part of the reason it doesn't work is because the emails themselves, even though they have attachments, do not have the attachment icon beside the sender's name. I don't know if that is what triggers the rule or not (I also have a rule for filtering the emails with attachments), BUT...the strange thing is that sometimes they appear at random. Today, immediately after my phone call with Apple, the icons suddenly appeared next to emails in my inbox, but then they disappeared again shortly after that.

I also have a Smart box that filters all emails with attachments for the day, and that seems to be working fine.

In the 20 years that I've had a laptop on my lap, I have never ever had as much trouble with a laptop as I've had with this one! Based on the price of this laptop, I expected better performance than what I am getting.

Oh...and BTW, I do not have any other devices that could be downloading the emails.

I know Apple has never been able to compete with Microsoft when it comes to business apps, but Apple is no longer the same company since Steve Jobs passed.... sigh.
 

PinkyMacGodess

macrumors 601
Original poster
Mar 7, 2007
4,542
1,127
Midwest America.
I wish I had an answer, but you're not alone. After over an hour long conversation with Apple today, they basically said it is not their issue. They blame my work account which is Outlook Exchange....I'm not convinced.

The rules USED to work before my recent upgrade to Mojave. I don't use a lot of rules, but one rule I'm having trouble with has to do with attachments.

Before Mojave, if I had 30 emails with attachments, I could select those in my inbox and click “Save attachments” in the File menu, and all would save to my download folder. That no longer works. Part of the reason it doesn't work is because the emails themselves, even though they have attachments, do not have the attachment icon beside the sender's name. I don't know if that is what triggers the rule or not (I also have a rule for filtering the emails with attachments), BUT...the strange thing is that sometimes they appear at random. Today, immediately after my phone call with Apple, the icons suddenly appeared next to emails in my inbox, but then they disappeared again shortly after that.

I also have a Smart box that filters all emails with attachments for the day, and that seems to be working fine.

In the 20 years that I've had a laptop on my lap, I have never ever had as much trouble with a laptop as I've had with this one! Based on the price of this laptop, I expected better performance than what I am getting.

Oh...and BTW, I do not have any other devices that could be downloading the emails.

I know Apple has never been able to compete with Microsoft when it comes to business apps, but Apple is no longer the same company since Steve Jobs passed.... sigh.
In the 20 years that I've had a laptop on my lap, I have never ever had as much trouble with a laptop as I've had with this one! Based on the price of this laptop, I expected better performance than what I am getting.
I'm with you...

I know Apple has never been able to compete with Microsoft when it comes to business apps, but Apple is no longer the same company since Steve Jobs passed.... sigh.
It's like they aren't even trying anymore. It's sad...

BUT on a tangent, I did notice the 'redirect' choice. I've thought of 'redirecting' all my spam to 'tcook@apple.com' with a note that they SHOULD be doing a better jump handling junk mail. The crap I get is just screaming 'YOU SHOULDN'T BE GETTING THIS, IT SHOULD BE FILTERED FROM APPLE!!!'