How to use filters

Filters are sets of rules that allow you to organize your encrypted ProtonMail inbox and custom folders. In this article, we show you how to create a simple custom filter. 

Learn how to create an advanced sieve filter 

Users with Plus, Professional, and Visionary plans can create an unlimited number of custom filters (basic or sieve), with up to 100 active filters at the same time. Free users can also create as many filters as they like but are limited to 1 active filter.

How to create a custom filter

1. Log in to mail.protonmail.com, go to SettingsProtonMailFilters Custom filters, and click Add filter.

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2. Give your new filter a Filter Name, then click Next.

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3. Specify the conditions that will trigger the filter. The Statement specifies if the filter will trigger when All or Any of the conditions are met.

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Click Insert to add additional text or keyword parameters.

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Click Add condition to build a complex filter. 

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There is no limit to how many conditions you can attach to a filter.

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When you are happy with the conditions that will trigger your custom filter, click Next

4. Specify the actions that you would like to perform on emails that meet the conditions you just specified. 

 

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Users with a paid ProtonMail plan can Send auto-reply. This option is not available to free users. 

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You can click the Preview tab to see an overview of the filter you have created or simply click Save

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Managing filters

To manage your filters, log in to mail.protonmail.com and go to SettingsProtonMailFilters Custom filters.

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From here, you can Edit and Delete filters using the Action menu. The Status of filters can also be set to active or inactive. 

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Filter order

You can change the order in which your filters will be applied to messages. When a message arrives, filters are applied in order from top to bottom of the filter list. Where multiple filters apply to a message:

  • All non-conflicting actions will be applied to the message. 
  • If there are actions that conflict, the last action to be resolved (from lower down the list) will be applied to the message.

Example: You have created 2 active custom filters that apply to a message.

  • Filter 1 moves the message to Folder A and marks it as starred.
  • Filter 2 moves the message to Folder B and adds Label X.

Filter 1 is applied before Filter 2, with the following result:

  • The message is starred (Filter 1)
  • The message is given Label X (Filter 2)
  • The message is moved to Folder B (Filter 2)

You can change the order filters that will be applied by dragging them using the hamburger icon (4 bars) on the left of each filter.

Spam filters

ProtonMail offers smart spam detection, which can be customized by adding email addresses to your personal Allow List and Block List.

Learn more about spam filtering

It is also possible to use custom filters to provide even greater control over spam by allowing you to send emails directly to your Spam folder that meet parameters set by you (as described above).

Particularly useful is the ability to send all mail from an entire domain to the Spam folder. To do this, set:

  • Conditions to If Sender contains [example.com]  
  • Actions to Move to Spam.

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34 comments

  1. Richard

    This really needs to be available on the Plus account in order to get proper notifications. Mail cannot just be divided into Spam and Non-Spam. In many cases there are newsletters you must be subscribed in order to use your email to register for a service, etc. I get all sorts of non-important notifications of protonmail on my Watch then I really do not need to see. So bsically I end up ignoring them all.

  2. ProtonMail Support

    We are currently testing this, and only the Visionary users have access to it. Once the testing is done the custom filters will be available to the rest of the users.

  3. Anonymous

    Any update on this? Being able to disable notifications on filtered emails would be a huge quality of life improvement.

  4. ProtonMail Support

    You can disable notifications for messages going in custom folders. To disable the notifications, go to Settings > Folders/Labels and set the Notification slider to OFF for the desired folders.

  5. Wassen

    Please update your pemium users, this is really compeling feature ..

    Thanks,

    Charles

  6. Nico

    Waiting for this feature to come to Plus account, hopefully very soon :-)

    Regards,

    Nico

  7. tridy

    This feature is really needed. That was one of those “what? where is it?” when I finally switched to Proton with my domain and started using on the daily basis.

    Thanks!

  8. GG

    Hope this will be available to every one included free account! the switch from an other “nosy” mail providers is harsh without a proper set of filters to order mailing list and more.

  9. Jose

    I am waiting for this feature to become plus user. This is a must, but I find the visionary account way too expensive for just my personal use. Filters are really, really, really needed.

    Some suggestions:
    * Tool to migrate mail easily (from gmail for instance)
    * Be able to download the whole mailbox to your computer to make your own backup
    * 2-step authentication
    * Export the GPG key AND allow to import YOUR key.
    * Change PGP key (this should be done by downloading all mail, uploading the key and uploading again the mail encrypted with the new key, maybe a program?).
    * Allow to download gpg keys from the public servers and encrypt the outgoing email semi-automatically
    * A desktop client or connector to use Thunderbird, Outlook, K-9 Mail or another program (there is a github project with a connector but it is non-oficial)
    * Tool to sync contacts and calendar (please, standard, so it works in your phone and your computer)
    * A tor (.onion) address. Maybe with an official program or plugin to prevent mitm attacks. Or maybe include the option to connect through tor network in the official apps you develop.
    * Login using certificate (i.e. IMAP)
    * Extra domain alias (in the plus account)

    And it would be great to see in the long future a messaging app like telegram (both in the web and in the app) if it’s jabber standard even better and some storage space (virtual drive).

    And even greater if you designed a token key with a secure access to the certificate.

    I know I’m asking the world for two pennies, I’m just giving ideas of my idea of a perfect service.

    The project is great, I hope that at least you add those filters ASAP :)

  10. C

    I created a Plus account because finally I was able to use my own domain. After I had it all configured, filters were literally the first thing I looked for (and I didn’t find them, obviously). I was disappointed when I realized there was no such option. Now guess how disappointed I was when I found out that there actually was an option available, but not to my kind of premium account. I mean, really?
    I was happy with the service, but now I feel neglected. I understand the visionary accounts get new and not-done-yet things first, and I’m totally okay with that, but filters are not a new gimmick or beta feature to be offered like this! They are not only a basic feature on any modern email account, but depending on what kind of emails you get and how you use your inbox, they are pretty much essential. It’s like releasing an email service that doesn’t allow you to compose a new message. It’s a fundamental part of the service, and you are not giving it to people who doesn’t want to / cannot pay 30 bucks a month for an email account.
    I always thought highly of you, but this really shattered my opinion about the service.

  11. ProtonMail Support

    This was only for the testing part, and Visionary users get access to some new features firs. The custom filters have since been made available for all users.

  12. Rubix

    I would like it if there was a possibility to forward specific emails to other email addresses.

  13. Ray

    Filters are not available in my Plus account like you say… What do I need to do?

  14. ProtonMail Support

    Please contact us at contact@protonmail.ch.

  15. Stef

    I would like to apply a filter to all existing emails in my inbox. As I understand I can only apply rules to new emails but I would like to automatically organize existing emails as well.

  16. ProtonMail Support

    We will try implement this in the future.

  17. Jonas

    Has multiple filters become available to Plus subscribers yet – and if not – when will it?

  18. ProtonMail Support

    Yes, you can have up to 50 active filters on your account.

  19. Patricia Callebaut

    i am creating filters and don’t work, i have a protonmail plus acount, can you help me? i am not sure i am using it in the right way

  20. ProtonMail Support

    Please contact us at contact@protonmail.ch, we will get back to you shortly through there.

  21. Volkan

    How do I apply filters to messages that already exist in the inbox?

  22. ProtonMail Support

    Filters are only applied to incoming/outgoing messages. They cannot be retroactively applied to existing messages.

  23. Ulrich

    Can I actually apply the filters I just created ? I want to retroactively order my mails.

  24. ProtonMail Support

    Unfortunately, filters cannot be activated retroactively, they are automatically used on all new messages.

  25. Tom

    filters does not work on spam folder, I want option to auto move to trash or delete message (also if its in spam folder)

  26. ProtonMail Support

    The spam filter is global and takes precedence over custom user filters. To have your filters apply to spam messages, you will need to whitelist the sender so that messages from that address go to the Inbox and your custom filters will be applied then.

  27. JHau

    > Filters are only applied to incoming/outgoing messages. They cannot be retroactively applied to existing messages.

    Bummer, this is soooo useful.

    A great feature to have would be to create folder AND filters at the same time, and not juggle back and forth between each features.

  28. Sam

    I could really do with one of the available actions to be for forwarding to another account within my organisation. That or some form of routing at the address level.

    For example I have two users on my domain: “alice@ex.com” and “bob@ex.com” – and I want to add an “info@ex.com” which gets sent to both of them.

  29. Alexander

    Hi,
    Auto reply for filters doesn’t seem to work.

    I have a filter which marks an email with label and should auto reply.
    The labelling works as expected, but the auto reply is not sent.

    Best regards,
    Alex

  30. ProtonMail Support

    Please contact our support team to troubleshoot this issue: https://protonmail.com/support-form.

  31. Ryan Waters

    I just want to see what you can get it to me and you can get it to me and you can get it to require “fileinto”;

  32. ProtonMail Support

    If you need help setting up a filter, contact our support team using the support form at https://protonmail.com/support-form.

  33. Will Brownsberger

    This documentation appears to be confusing as processing of conflicting filter instructions.

    It says:

    In this case, the first filter that executes on the message will apply. If the filter that provides the action “Move to trash.” is further down the list of filters than the one that provides the action “Move to spam.” your message will be moved to the trash folder.

    These two sentences are contradictory.

    My testing says that if have two rules, one that says move to Folder X and the other to Folder Y, and they are presented in that order, the second rule is executed last and the message appears in folder Y.

    The documentation should be corrected in the first quoated sentence by changing the word ‘first’ to ‘second’.

  34. ProtonMail Support

    Actually, all applicable filters will run, but for conflicting actions such as moving to different folders, the last filter that is executed will be the final folder where the message is stored. If you want to prevent other filters from running after a specific filter has been applied, you can edit the Sieve script and add a stop; command to the desired filter.

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