I cannot seem to get the following rule working.

Requirement: I want to run a mail filter which says:

If the mail is in Account X, and has subject Y, was received less than 10 days ago, and has no MailTags, I want to move it to the Trash folder.

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It seems to work partially - it moves some mail to trash and not some other.

Can anyone suggest assistance? The rule is located at the top of the rules list, so it should be applied first?


  • Thanks for drive-by-suggesting MailTags to me!
    – myhd
    Aug 16, 2012 at 10:31
  • You're welcome. It's great software, but still not powerful enough for me. Aug 17, 2012 at 12:30
  • Telling us what version of Mail.app you're using may shed light on this problem.
    – gosmond
    Feb 26, 2013 at 18:30

3 Answers 3


Please be aware that mail only applies rules to new messages. So deleting old messages may not work as expected, since the rule is checked once when the message is new the "date received" test fails. From the doc:

Rules are automatically applied to incoming messages, but you can apply a new or modified rule to selected messages you’ve already received.

You may apply rules to selected messages by:

Select the messages and then choose Message > Apply Rules.

You may be able to write an applescript to automate the last step.


Try changing the Subject beings with to Subject contains and see what happens.

  • Hi, thanks. I have tried it before, and again just now and no joy. I find that non-trivial filtes in Mail.app often do not work.. Jan 12, 2012 at 20:09
  • You don't happen to have a MailTags rule that is adding a tag before the Apple rules get processed? Jul 20, 2012 at 22:04
  • Hi there, no I don't. I have deleted the rules and trying again. I wish Apple Mail.app had more powerful rules. Aug 17, 2012 at 12:29

Try adding the Stop Evaluating Rules action at the very end. When you apply rules, there may be another rule that overrules this one.

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