Organize your email messages using rules in FastMail

In FastMail, you can set up rules to automatically perform actions on your mail as it is delivered to your account, such as directing them into a folder, or forwarding them to another account. Once rules are built via the web interface, they continue to function even if you then access your mail via a client.

A rule is built up from a (set of) conditions and the actions to take when a message matches.

Rules only apply to new mail as it arrives. (It is not possible at this time to run a rule over existing mail.

Create a new rule

There are two ways to create a new rule:

Create a rule from the current message

This lets you quickly build a rule based on the sender, recipient, subject or mailing list identifier of the current message. When viewing a message:

  1. Click the More button.
  2. Then select Add Rule from Message... .
  3. Specify the rule's details.

The Condition section lets you choose when this rule is in effect. You can build the condition from multiple aspects of a message, choosing whether all conditions must be met, any (at least one) condition must be met or none (the rule triggers any time that none of the conditions are true).

The Action section lets you choose what will happen to a message if it meets the rule's conditions.

Click Save when you're done. Once the rule is created and saved, you can find the rule in Settings → Rules, where it can be edited or removed.

Create a rule in the Settings screen

To create a new rule from scratch or edit existing ones:

  1. Open Settings → Rules. There are three sections:
    • Discard — if a message matches any of the rules you add in this section, it will automatically be permanently deleted and you will never see it. No other rules will be processed, even if they would have applied to the message otherwise.
      Note: For extra safety, if you use discard rules, tick the option Do not discard messages sent by my contacts. It will help make sure you don't accidentally discard important email.
    • Forward — redirect all or some of your email to another account. If you select the option to delete the message, the message will be permanently deleted from your account after it has been forwarded, unless an Organise rule applies to the message. In this case, it will be delivered to the appropriate folder as specified by the Organise rule.

    • Organise — divert incoming messages to a folder other than your Inbox, and/or automatically mark them as read or pinned. These rules are applied in the order they are created: only the first one to match applies to the message. You can drag and drop rules to rearrange them.

About rule conditions

When you create a rule, you build a set of conditions that the messages have to match in order for the rule to apply to them.

Conditions can be combined within a single rule. Either:

  • all conditions must be met: condition1 and condition2 and condition3
  • any condition must be met: condition1 or condition2 or condition3
  • none when no condition is met: not condition1 and not condition2 and not condition3

Each condition can examine a different part of a message:

  • All messages — the rule always applies to every message
  • Sender
    • Sender's email
    • Sender's name
    • Sender is in my contacts
    • Sender is not in my contacts
    • Sender is a member of group — specify the group name
    • Sender is not a member of group — specify the group name
    • Sender marked message as high priority
  • Recipient
    • Any recipient's email
    • Any recipient's name
    • Any To email
    • Any Cc email
  • The message
    • The subject
    • The message text
    • The mailing list ID
    • The message size — calculated including attachments
    • The message has an attachment
    • The message doesn't have an attachment

The tests to match against a value is tailored. You will see some of:

  • is exactly — for a precise match
  • contains — the match value must be somewhere within
  • begins with — allows for partial matches
  • ends with — allows for partial matches, such as a catchall in a domain
  • matches a pattern — This lets you build a rule looking for text that's not in the mail, as well as looking for matches, via negation.

Rule actions

Once the rule condition has been met, the rule action is applied to the message.

You can:

  • permanently delete the message. There is an option to ensure messages sent by your contacts are never discarded, even if a discard rule matches. For your safety!
  • send a copy to one or more addresses. Optionally also delete the original message, providing it's not being filed into a folder. If you want to send to multiple addresses, separate them with a comma. Ex: address1@foo.com, address2@bar.com, address3@baz.com.
  • move the message to a folder and optionally mark it as read and/or pin it.