How can I get the smart mailbox to filter email correctly? I have the following set:

Contains messages that match ANY:

Subject Contains criteria one

Entire Message Contains criteria two

Entire Message Contains criteria three

The result is no messages found. If I remove the third criteria I get messages. What I thought the ANY would take each criteria and OR them. Instead it appears to be AND ing them.

Any thoughts on how to implement criteria in an OR?

2 Answers 2


You've got your rule set up correctly - if it's an ANY set of predicates it's as if there is an OR between them. It may be slow (and why nothing is showing up) because an Entire Message Contains has to search every email you have.

What happens if you have only criteria three and not criteria two - there may be an issue with criteria three that is causing the search to fail. (Check Console)

You can kludge a smart mailbox with AND and OR rules by using other Smart Mailboxes and the "Message Is In Mailbx" or "Message Is Not In Mailbox" predicate.

  • Console? Where in console? I have chained multiple smart mailboxes together to get the result I want but this shouldn't be necessary if the filters worked the way they should
    – jdiaz
    Aug 18, 2010 at 21:30
  • Console.app in the Utilities folder - if there is an error message it should show up there. I wasn't able to reproduce it on my end - but yes I agree that chaining mailboxes shouldn't be necessary.
    – Chealion
    Aug 18, 2010 at 21:46

For the "Entire Message" and "Contains" combination, you can use AND and OR to add multiple keywords. For example,

Contains messages that match ALL of the following conditions:

Data Received is in the date range "01/01/2011" to "31/12/2011" Entire Message Contains "invoice OR receipt"

This will give you all messages in 2011 that contain either "invoice" or "receipt"

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .