I have some rules set up in OS X mail to forward important messages (by containing a particular string in the subject) as MMS text to my phone.

Obviously when the machine is off, internet is down, or Mail isn't running, the rules will not work, but I want to be certain I am considering all other circumstances where rules might not be forwarded.

Will OS X Mail forward messages when the computer is asleep, and are there other factors or situations I need to consider?

Running OS X High Sierra.

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    I do not think that mail.app will process rules during sleep but I am not sure. A random thought occurred to me, "can you set up any rules via the webmail interface to your email account." I know you can do that in Gmail, not sure about iCloud email. Aug 24, 2018 at 11:46

1 Answer 1


macOS mail app only runs rules when it’s fully powered up (not just power-nap checking mail) and connected to the internet. You would need a server side rule processing provider like Outlook / Exchange / O365 to have rules trigger when your local mail client isn’t running to have a robust mail rule engine to work 24x7.

  • Would you say a sleeping Mac would be considered powered up and connected?
    – BBaysinger
    Nov 4, 2018 at 4:05

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