Inbox Filters

A filter stops every message as it enters your email inbox, evaluates it against a set of rules you have established, and acts upon the message in some way. Filters can be used to:

  • Sort incoming messages into folders.
  • Tag messages with a label.
  • Flag messages for importance.
  • Trash messages.


How a Filter Works

Filter Anatomy A filter rule consists of two things:

  • Conditions: The distinguishing characteristic(s) of a message that decide if it “matches” or not. If the message does not match the conditions, it gets ignored.
  • Actions: What action(s) Zimbra should perform if the message matches the conditions.

If you are new to the idea of filters and want to start with some “preset” rules, check out the Zimbra Activity Stream as a great way to start managing your inbox.

Filter Conditions

A filter can contain one or more conditions. For example, if someone sends you email messages from more than one email address and you want to direct all messages from the person into one folder, you can create one filter that has two conditions, one for each email address, and one action to move the email messages to the same folder.
The order of the conditions is not important. You can choose whether the email message must match all conditions or just meet any one of the listed conditions.

You can base a filter condition on any of the following:

  • Specific email addresses in the From, To, or Cc fields
  • Words found in the subject or body of the message
  • Size
  • Dates
  • Attachment
  • Calendar invitation

For more detailed instructions, visit Zimbra’s user guide on this topic.

Filter Rule Actions

A filter rule can contain one or more actions. If the email message matches the specified conditions, actions are applied in the order in which they appear in the filter. Examples of filter rule actions are:

  • Keep the message in your Inbox
  • Move the message to a specific folder
  • Tag or flag the message
  • Discard (trash) the message before it reaches your Inbox
  • Forward or redirect the message to a specified email address