How to use filters

Filters provide the ability to automatically have your encrypted ProtonMail inbox organized when sending and receiving new mail by creating a set of rules in your account Settings. Filters can be accessed by going to Settings –> Filters.

ProtonMail paid plan users can create up to 100 custom filters. Free users are limited to one custom filter.

Adding new Filters

image showing the button to add a new filter

The Name of a filter is what you will see in the filters list. It is used for organizational purposes only, and does not have any effect on the filter you are creating.

Filters are comprised of 2 components Conditions and Actions. 


Provide the instructions of what the filter will look for in the new messages or sent messages. This includes: email addresses (including the sender and the recipient address), words in the subject line, and whether a message has attachments or not.

Filter conditions: Subject, Sender, Recipient, Attachments

Conditions can range in complexity based off your needs. The most simple condition is to select one of the options and enter one input. For instance: select Sender, Contains, and the enter the term “SALE.”

image of a simple condition filter containing one term

The OR and AND attributes allow you to add more complex conditions to fit your specific need.

OR attributes allow you to apply an action if any of the inputs you have provided are present in a new message or sent message.

For example: If you would like to perform an action on any new messages that contain either of the inputs “SALE” or “SPECIAL,” you would select the + button to add the input “SPECIAL.” You can add as many inputs as you need.

image showing 2 inputs being added to a condition

AND attributes allow you to apply an action if all of the inputs you have provided are present in a new message or sent message.

For example: If you would like to perform an action on any new messages that contain either of the inputs “SALE” or “SPECIAL,” you would select the ADD CONDITION link to add the input “SPECIAL.” You can add as many inputs as you need.

image showing to click "Add condition"


Actions cause the message to either get a label(s) applied, be moved to different folder, or marked as read or stared.

Actions menu: apply labels, move to, mark as

You can apply as many actions to the same filter as needed. You can choose to apply multiple labels, move a message to a new folder and mark a message as starred all at once. However, messages can only live in one folder at a time so you can only select one folder to move a message to.

image showing a message being moved to spam folder

Editing Filters

You can edit any existing filter by selecting the Edit button next to the delete button in the filter list. This will allow you to see the existing conditions and actions on that filter, as well as make any edits you need to make.

image showing "Edit" button on filter

Enabling/Disabling Filters

You can turn filters on and off at any time. When a filter is ON the filter will be implemented on every new message that arrives in your inbox. If your filter is OFF that filter will not be implemented on any new incoming messages. Once the filter is turned ON, the filter will only be applied to new incoming messages.

Image of the ON/OFF button for individual filters

Organizing Filters

When a new message is sent or received and sent all filters that are active will be applied to the message. We start at the top of your filter list and execute each filter down the rows. If multiple filters apply to the same message, they will all be executed, with the exception of conflicting actions, such as moving to different folders. In this case, the “Move To” action from the last filter that executes on the message will apply. Any other non-conflicting actions from all filters will also be applied.

Filter execution order example:

A user has 2 filters, sorted in this order:

  • filter 1 is moving the email to folder A and stars the email;
  • filter 2 is moving the email to folder B and adds the label X.

If both filters are active, the email will first be executed against filter 1 and then against filter 2. In case of conflict, as here, the last action is kept. Thus, the result will be:

  • Email is starred (filter 1)
  • Email has label X (filter 2)
  • Email is moved to folder B (filter 2)

To change the order of your filters, you can click and drag the filter up or down to a different position in the list.

image showing to drag and drop to change the order of the items

Deleting Filters

Manually delete individual filters by selecting the DELETE button found next to each filter in our Custom Filters list.

Image of delete button next to your filter

CLEAR ALL found next to the ADD NEW FILTER button within the Filters tab provides the ability to quickly delete all existing filters. Please note, these filters will be permanently deleted without the ability to automatically restore them. You will have to manually recreate the filters you want after you have deleted them.

Delete All Filters Warning Message

Spam filters

Receiving spam in your inbox is one of the worst aspects of email. In addition to our smart spam filter, we have built manual controls that allow you to add email addresses to Block Lists or White Lists for improved customization of the spam filter. You can learn more about how the feature works here.

The filters section allows for even more customized spam filtering by allowing you to send emails directly to spam that meet a variety of different parameters, as seen above. One particular useful filter is the ability to send all mail from an entire domain to the spam folder. You can accomplish this by setting the Condition to Sender -> Containing ->, and setting the Action to Move to -> Spam.


For Advance Filters, please see: Sieve Filtering.

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  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 ..



  6. Nico

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



  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.


  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

  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, 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: “” and “” – and I want to add an “” which gets sent to both of them.

  29. Alexander

    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,

  30. ProtonMail Support

    Please contact our support team to troubleshoot this issue:

  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

  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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