Apple Mail - Must Make Folders

Apple use the word Mailbox instead of Folder.

It’s confusing, but don’t be concerned… all we’re doing here is making folders.

In Apple Mail, you can create 2 kinds of folders; a Mailbox or a Smart Mailbox.

  • A Mailbox looks and acts like most folders you’re familiar with. Mail can be moved in and out with no restrictions.
  • A Smart Mailbox is a folder where the contents are determined by rule(s) that you set.

This will make more sense as we look at both types.

Creating A Mailbox

  • Open Apple Mail
  • Go to the Mailbox Menu and choose New Mailbox.

Apple Mail - Create New Mailbox

  • A dialogue box opens:
    • Under the Location drop-down, choose where you want the Mailbox to reside. Do you want it On Your Mac, on the iCloud, in GMail, etc,., Consider how your other devices are set up when you make this decision.

Apple Mail - New Mailbox - Location

    • Under Name, type a name for the Mailbox.

Apple Mail - New Mailbox Name

  • Click OK.
  • Your new Mailbox appears in the left-hand sidebar listed alphabetically.

Apple Mail - New Mailbox in Sidebar

You can now drag mail in and out of this Mailbox.

If you’ve created a Mailbox that resides on an external server, like Apple’s iCloud or Googles GMail, go easy on the amount of mail you move around.
The results of the actions you take on your Mac have to be replicated on the servers. If you decide to grab 1,000 emails and move them to the new Mailbox, it may take a few hours or crash Apple Mail.

Creating A Smart Mailbox

  • Open Apple Mail
  • Go to the Mailbox Menu and choose New Smart Mailbox.

Apple Mail - New Smart Mailbox

  • A dialogue box opens:
    • Type a name for the Smart Mailbox.
    • Decide whether messages must meet the conditions of all rules, or just the condition of any one rule. This is easier to determine after you have created the rule(s) in the next step.
    • Use the drop-down boxes to create rule(s). There are dozens of useful combinations.
    • To Add another rule, click the plus button. Clicking the minus button, deletes a rule.
    • Check the boxes to either include or exclude messages that are in the Trash or Sent Mailbox.
    • Click OK.

Apple Mail - New Smart Mailbox Rules

The new Smart Mailbox appears in the left-hand sidebar listed under Smart Mailboxes.

Apple Mail - New Smart Mailbox in Sidebar

Smart Mailboxes reside on your Mac only and are specific to each machine. They do not appear on Apple’s iCloud or Google’s GMail.

Inside a Smart Mailbox, the actual location of an email is listed directly under the time stamp.

You cannot drag mail in and out of a Smart Mailbox. Remember, the contents are determined by rule(s) not by moving messages around.

Deleting a Smart Mailbox will not delete it’s contents.

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If you have questions, please use the Comments section below.

John Carroll - No Problem Mac

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