I am running MacOS Sierra 10.12.6 and I wanted to create a basic rule that would look for the word "Monitoring" in a message subject and move it to a "Monitoring" mailbox if it was found. I created this rule and nothing happened to either my existing messages or new incoming messages.

When I select a message and click "Apply Rules" nothing happens. I deleted all other rules to be sure that nothing was preventing other rules from being applied - and even with my rule as the only rule available messages are not moved under any circumstances.

What do I need to do to get my rules to work?

  • 1
    Make a screen shot of the rule you have created showing all the steps and what account it is associated with. That will help us help you. Commented Mar 26, 2018 at 15:33
  • I suggest using gmail filters. If you can't figure out how to use those, open a question on stack webapps.stackexchange.com and link it here and I'll help there.
    – JBallin
    Commented Mar 27, 2018 at 20:43
  • Any progress on this? Commented May 8, 2018 at 12:06
  • @AlvaroLourenço - I used gmail filters. Only way I could get it to work... Commented May 9, 2018 at 13:25

1 Answer 1


I had a similar issue, although I'm not sure it matches your situation perfectly.

I had some unrelated email issues that required disconnecting and reconnecting my email accounts. After reconnecting them, the email rules stopped working.

Nothing looked out of place in the rules, including the destination mailbox for the message. If you opened them and clicked cancel, the rule would close normally. However, if you opened them and clicked OK, you'd get this error message:


A destination mailbox has not been selected for the Move/Copy action. Select a mailbox or remove the action.

If you then go to the mailbox selector and don't select anything new, it'll switch from whatever mailbox was shown before to No mailbox selected. If you then reselect the mailbox you wanted it to be sent to, it would work again.

Ultimately, I found the fastest way to check on these was to do this for each rule:

  1. Double click on the rule.
  2. Press return. If no error, you're good.
  3. If you get the error, click on the drop-down menu and select the correct mailbox (usually the one already selected).

Apple Support helped me to figure this out and the working theory was that something broke the connection to the mailbox even though the mailbox's name remained displayed until you clicked on the drop-down menu. Clicking on the mailbox again in the drop-down menu must have reestablished the necessary connection.

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