Two Steps to an Organized Mail Inbox

No matter how private you attempt to keep your email address, chances are you still receive an unwanted email every now and then. And if you’re the type who loves keeping a clutter-free inbox, you’ve probably spent a lot of time deleting these unsolicited emails.

Well, did you know that there’s a way to prevent these pesky emails from appearing in your inbox at all? It’s as simple as creating rules in the Mail app. Here’s a walkthrough of the rule-creating process in OS X’s Mail app.

1)     Create a mailbox for unwanted emails.

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Creating a new mailbox (image from

  • Choose Mailbox from the Menu bar and click the ‘New Mailbox’ option. You’ll be prompted to choose a location and a name for your new mailbox. Make sure the location you choose is associated with an existing email account; do not choose the option ‘On My Mac’. This way, the folder will be visible on all your devices, from your office iMac to your MacBook Air at home.

2)     Create a Rule for the mailbox you created.

  • Choose an example of an unwanted email and click on ‘Mail’ on the menu bar. Click the ‘Preferences’ option, choose ‘Rules’ on the top right, and click the ‘Add Rule’ button on the right.
  •  Type in a name for your rule. Below that field, the statement ‘If any of the following conditions are met’ is displayed; click on the ‘Any’ button and choose the ‘From’ option.  The sender’s address from the unwanted email you chose will automatically appear.

 Tip: You can add more conditions for the rule by clicking on the ‘+’ sign. You can also set filters based on other criteria, such as the ‘To’, ‘CC’, and ‘Subject’ fields, whether or not the sender is in your contacts, or the type of attachment that comes with the message, if any.

  •  For the next section, choose the ‘Move Message’ option and select the Mailbox you recently created. Make sure your new Mailbox is indicated on the button before you click ‘OK’. This saves your new Mail rule.

Choosing your new mailbox (image from


  • After you click OK, you’ll be prompted with a message that asks if you want to apply your new rule to messages already in your inbox. If you’d like to retroactively apply the rule to all unwanted mail that has accumulated in your inbox, click ‘Apply’.

And that’s it! All unsolicited emails should now go straight to the folder you’ve created, leaving your MacBook’s inbox neat and clutter-free. Mail rules are particularly useful for weeding out emails from vendors or even from that one friend who keeps sending you annoying memes.  You can create as many mailboxes and rules as you want, but Mac experts recommend sticking to a few basic rules to ensure the smooth, fast performance of the Mail app.

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