08. July 2019 · Write a comment · Categories: Uncategorized


This article explains how to use message rules in Windows Live Mail.


To create a message rule, open the Rules dialogue: click Message Rules on the Folders tab. (In earlier versions, select Tools > Message rules). The dialogue is largely self-explanatory. 

  • Windows Live Mail’s message rules only work with POP3 server accounts.  For IMAP accounts, set the rules in webmail.
  • The text Apply this rule after the message arrives is not significant.
  • The actions Delete from Server and Do Not Download can only test information in the message header (From:To:CC:, Subject:, message size).  If you test text in the message body or whether it has attachment, the message must first be downloaded for this test to be made, thus negating the action.

    These rules must be the first ones in your list, or a preceding one may cause the message to download.
  • Do not download should be a temporary rule.  If you just leave messages on the server, eventually your mailbox on the server will fill and you’ll not receive any new mail.
  • The order of rules is significant. Rules are processed in the order listed.
  • In most cases, you should select the Stop processing more rules action to avoid the rule being overridden by a subsequent one.
  • There is no wild card support (e.g. * or ?).  However, matching is done based on the specified string appearing anywhere in the field.  The matching is not case sensitive.
  • To match on multiple terms (e.g. “blue” and “sky” rather than the phrase “blue sky”) you have to Add the terms one at a time to the rule (i.e. enter the first word, click the Add button, then enter the second term, click the Add button, etc.)
  • Message Body rules check only displayed text.  The rules will not match on HTML tags.
  • To configure NOTAND or OR logic, click on the Options button for the condition.
  • After making any changes to a rule, you must use the OK button to close the main dialogue that shows the list of message rules. If you use the Cancel button or the ✕ to close the dialogue, the changes you just made are thrown away.

If you are checking on the From: header and the message header has both a Name and an Address, and you are checking for Address, the rule will not work if manually applied (Apply now).

  • It will work if automatically applied as the message downloads from the server. 
  • It will work if checking the Name
  • And it will work if the From: header in the message only contains Address but no Name

    To work around the bug, set up the rule to check for Name OR Address.

[This article's content is largely pinched from newsgroup and other posts by the late Mike Santovec MVP, with grateful acknowledgement]


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