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

For ProtonMail paid plan users, there is no limit to the number of Custom Filters that can be created. 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. 

Conditions

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

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 received and sent all filters that are on will be applied to the message. We start at the top of your filter list and execute each filter down the rows. If two filters apply to the same message, both will be applied unless the actions provide conflicting actions such as “Move to trash.” in one filter, and “Move to spam.” in another filter. 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.

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 whitelist and blacklist certain email addresses for improved customization of the spam filter. You can learn more about how the whitelist and blacklist 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 -> exampledomain.com, and setting the Action to Move to -> Spam.

image

 

For Advance Filters, please see: Sieve Filtering.

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18 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. Wassen

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

    Thanks,

    Charles

  4. Nico

    Waiting for this feature to come to Plus account, hopefully very soon 🙂

    Regards,

    Nico

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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 🙂

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Rubix

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

  11. Ray

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

  12. ProtonMail Support

    Please contact us at contact@protonmail.ch.

  13. 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.

  14. ProtonMail Support

    We will try implement this in the future.

  15. Jonas

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

  16. ProtonMail Support

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

  17. 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

  18. ProtonMail Support

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

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