I have a pack of rules, which are intended for automatically marking as read & deleting messages when some criteria is met. They work fine when applied manually, but sometimes they are not applied automatically when new messages are received and I have to run them manually. And as I wrote, all rules are active. Is it possible to fix this behavior?

Probably related: Rules in Mail randomly don't apply

upd.: All rules that I have are simple and not using AppleScript or anything similar.

  • This has been happening at least since Lion, my take is they simply have not bothered to fix this bug, which is somewhat ridiculous.
    – oarfish
    Apr 21, 2015 at 13:26
  • Did you try swapping the rule order? I've known that fix things.
    – Tetsujin
    Apr 21, 2015 at 16:00
  • @Tetsujin not yet. I have about 10 rules in total. Which strategy for swapping them should I try? Or just swap any two of them? Apr 21, 2015 at 16:18
  • I've no tried & tested method, tbh, I'd lift the last half to the top & drop the first half underneath, or totally reverse 1-10 as 10-1. One additional thing may be to always add 'Stop evaluating Rules' as the last action in each Rule, unless there's any specific reason any mail must pass through more than one Rule.
    – Tetsujin
    Apr 21, 2015 at 16:21
  • Okay, I will try this Apr 21, 2015 at 16:30

2 Answers 2


What i did was to delete all the rules. Quit Mail. Restart mail. Create and apply rules again.

Alternatively, you can right click on a particular email, and choose apply rules (if there are rules already configured, of course).


As I wrote on the Apple forum, if you have rules that run AppleScripts, it may help if you add 'Stop evaluating Rules' to those rules, as I suspect that Applescripts won't always run if further rules keep getting evaluated.

  • The OP stated they don't use Applescript and there's no mention of Applescript in the question. You might consider editing or deleting your answer.
    – fsb
    Feb 17, 2017 at 14:23
  • He also did not say that he does NOT use AppleScript, hence my suggestion using "if". Keep in mind that this question may also be found by others with similar problems, and since the OP's question was very broad, you should also accept broad answers, in order to maybe help OTHERS. You may now delete your unhelpful comment, and I will do so with mine then, too ;) Feb 18, 2017 at 15:04
  • The Help Center rules clearly state that answers should answer the question asked. Your answer, while helpful for those using AppleScript, does not answer the OP's question. I would recommend that you use the search function to find questions like this that do use AppleScript and apply your helpful answer there. Doing that will definitely help others while providing that answer here will not.
    – fsb
    Feb 18, 2017 at 15:25
  • I disagree. I believe my answer fits the question, as I answer a possible case that the broad question includes (and does not explicitly exclude). Feb 19, 2017 at 15:29
  • Well I have clarified that bit in my question now. Sep 1, 2017 at 6:16

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