Home > Managing Accounts > Rules, Forwarding and Vacation Message
  Automatic processing of messages is handled by Webmail’s Rules system. Rules are used to filter junk mail, handle mail forwarding, and send automatic (vacation) replies.

To access the Rules processing page, click on the Rules button icon on the main button bar:

Mail Redirection

You can redirect (forward) all your email to a different email address. You may wish to do this to consolidate all of your mail in a single account, or possibly if someone else will temporarily be reading and responding to your mail.

To enable mail redirection, place a checkmark in the Enable box and enter the email address you would like all of your email sent to. You may enter multiple email addresses, separated by commas.

If you wish, you may place a checkmark in any of the other three checkboxes:

Preserve To/Cc fields: Enable this option if you want the redirected messages to still show as being addressed to your fdu.edu email address. If you do not enable this, the messages will be rewritten to be addressed to the address(es) you entered above.

Do not Redirect Automatic Messages: Enabling this will stop automated messages, such as those from mailing lists and delivery confirmation or failure notifications, from being sent on.

Keep a Copy: If this option is selected, redirected messages are also saved in your account like normal. Use this with caution. If you enable this but do not check your mail on the Webmail system, your account will fill up and you will be unable to receive new messages.

Note that this redirection rule, while not visible in the general listing of rules at the bottom of the page, is treated as a rule with the lowest priority (a priority level of 1.) This means that any other rules that affect a message will act on it before this one. While this can be useful, for example, to prevent redirecting junk mail to another account, it means that messages may continue to accumulate in your FDU account. Depending on your needs, you may want to disable all other general rules. See the rules section below for more information.

Make sure to save your changes ( ) when finished.

Vacation Messages

A Vacation Message is used to send an automatic response to messages when you will not be reading your mail for a period of time.

To enable your vacation message, first enter the reply you would like to send in the text box, then click on the Enable button.

If you have previously used the vacation feature, you will probably also want to click on the “Clear 'Replied Addresses' List” button. The replied addresses list tracks who has received your vacation message to ensure that the reply is only sent once to each sender.

The Webmail system will attempt to determine if a message is not human-generated (e.g., a delivery failure message) and will not send vacation replies to such e-mail.

To disable your vacation message, clear the checkmark from the Enabled box, and click on the Save ( ) button. You might also want to click on the “Clear 'Replied Addresses' List” button now so you don’t need to worry about it the next time you enable the vacation message.


Rules are used to automatically perform actions on messages. Each Rule has a name, a priority, a set of conditions, and a set of "actions". If a message meets all of a rule’s conditions, the rule actions are performed, and automated processing either stops or proceeds checking other, lower-priority Rules. The higher priority Rules are checked first: a Rule with the priority level of 9 (Highest) is applied before a Rule with the priority level 1. Setting a rule’s priority to Inactive will prevent it from being applied.

Adding and Editing a Rule

To add a new rule, enter a name for the rule and click the Create button. As an example, let’s say you receive a weekly report from someone and want that automatically moved to a mailbox (folder) in your account. You might name the rule TPS Reports.

The new rule is added with a priority level of 5.

You now have a new, empty rule, and will need to edit it to add the conditions and actions you want it to perform. Click on that rule’s Edit button and you will see the empty rule:

You can add a comment to a rule to make it easier to identify.

Defining the Conditions

Using the Data, Operation, and Parameter fields, you will set up the conditions for when this rule will be applied to a message. The Data field is the item you want to match on, such as the name of the sender or the subject line from the message, and the Parameter field is where you enter the information to be matched, such as an e-mail address, date, or keyword.

Continuing our example, we know that the weekly report always has the same subject line, so we can select Subject in the Data pull-down, then type the subject to be matched in the Parameter field.

Just to be safe, we want this rule to only act on messages that come from the person we know is sending the report, so click on the Save button ( ) to update the rule and add an additional condition by selecting From as the data type and entering in the email address of the sender as the Parameter. After saving this addition, the rule would look like this:

Some of the commonly selected fields to match on include:

  • From: matches the email address of the sender
  • To: matches who the message is sent to. Normally this is your address, but it may also be a mailing list name.
  • Subject: the subject of the message
  • Header Field: this allows matching something found in any header field

Selecting the Operation

In most cases, you will select either “is” or “is not” to control whether an item should or should not be present. “Greater than” and “less than” can be used with numbers and dates. Select “in” or “not in” to match one of a number of possibilities in the Paramter field separated by commas. For example, a rule condition set to match on subject using the “in” condition and a parameter of hello, goodbye will match on a subject containing either the word hello or goodbye.

Defining the Actions

After defining what messages to act on, one or more actions to be taken must be assigned. The Action pull-down menu details the available actions that can be taken on a message, and any action that requires a parameter, such as a destination mailbox name, is entered to the right of the selected action.

For our example, we want to move the message to a mailbox in our account. To do this, we would first select Store In as the Action to take, then enter in the name of the mailbox to store the message in as the Parameter.

Because the “Store In” command stores a copy of the message but doesn’t remove the original, if we stopped here we’d still get a copy of the message in our Inbox. To prevent this, save the rule if you haven’t already, and add a second Action of Discard. Discarding a message requires no target parameter. Save this again and the rule would look like this:

When editing a rule, you can remove a condition or action by selecting the “---“ entry and saving the rule.

Some of the commonly selected actions include:

  • Store in: store a message in a mailbox (folder)
  • Mark: flags a message as described in the parameter field (e.g., Flagged)
  • Tag Subject: insert additional text into the subject line
  • Discard: remove the message and stop processing rules
  • Stop processing: stops any further rules from being applied to this message
  • Forward to: send this message to one or more other accounts

Rule Priorities

The Rules in your account will be listed from highest priority to lowest, with disabled rules at the bottom of the list. This is the order that they will be applied to your messages. Rules that are more specific should be given a higher priority than rules that are more general.

To change the priority of a rule, select the new priority from the pull-down priority menu for that rule. Remember to save ( ) the changes you make.


Copyright © 2006 Fairleigh Dickinson University of 1000 River Road, Teaneck, NJ 07666
All rights reserved Page last revised May 17, 2006 (v1.0)