I am using Mac OS X 10.12.5 with the Mac Mail client Version 10.2 (3259). When I try to add a new rule to account in Mail, the part of the rule where the action to perform on the email is not fully expanded for some odd reason. Here is an example

enter image description here

As you can see, where it says Perform the following actions is just showing a horizontal line instead of the dropdown where you would normally select what action you want to have the rule perform.

I have tried to change my resolution to every setting allowed by my monitor, but it does not seem to change the rules dialog.

I just checked my existing rules that i have added to the Mail client, and all of those rules are showing up the same way :(

Any idea how I can fix this issue with the Rules dialog in the Mail client?

  • btw, Pro Tip - once you've pressed Cmd/shift/4 for snapshot, hit Spacebar & it will turn into a camera. Clicking any window will capture just that window, with nice drop-shadow. See below.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Dec 14, 2017 at 8:17

2 Answers 2


I’ve found quitting and reopening Mail to be the quickest reliable fix. It’s been a known issue for years, persisting through several major Mail upgrades.

I eventually got tired of hearing myself cuss at it and wrote a Service which quits and returns to the rules prefs window with a keyboard shortcut.


This has been happening, on & off, since about Mavericks.

Sometimes you can force it open, sometimes it seems just coming back another day fixes it.

I have a vague recollection of being able to push it wider by tabbing through to it & hitting +
System Prefs > Keyboard > Shortcuts - at the bottom, set to All controls.

Go to your new Rule & click in the address box. From there it is 4 x Tab to reach the + in the hidden box & Spacebar will press it.

If you're lucky, that will spring it open.

enter image description here

It's open for me in the pic, of course, so I can't test for it working here.

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