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I subscribe to a Yahoo Group that sends out hundreds of messages a day (or dozens of "digests"). Of these, I want to read about 3 messages.

So, I have some criteria to filter out the cruft, but Thunderbird won't seem to let me create a filter with the kind of logic I need. Here are the rules:

  1. The To field must be GroupName@yahoogroups.com.

  2. If the sender is in a list of quality posters (goodUser1, goodUser2, etc.), always keep the message.

  3. If the sender is on the putz list (badUser1, badUser2, etc.), always delete the message.

  4. Otherwise, if the Subject starts with Re: or [GroupName] Re:, delete the message except if the Body contains a keyword.

  5. Keep all other messages (New subjects by unclassified users).

  6. Obviously, it would be bad to need more than one copy of the goodUser list, or the badUser list.


Seems simple enough, but it's beyond what Thunderbird seems capable of.

How do I create a Thunderbird filter that does all of that? Preferably just one filter so that maintenance doesn't become a nightmare. I've scoured the innerwebz for answers and/or extensions to no avail.

Or is there another Windows desktop email client that will do this kind of filtering?

Or are there alternative approaches that can be accomplished solely with Windows programs, or programs that can easily be installed on a shared-hosting account?

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2 Answers

Are you deadset against Outlook? I have my bones to pick with it (namely search-related), but it does allow you to set up complex filters. See http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook-help/filter-items-and-files-in-views-HA010223099.aspx

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Thanks, but that link doesn't make it clear that Outlook could meet this question's requirements. (Also, note that link-only answers are frowned upon.) –  Brock Adams Jul 26 '12 at 1:59
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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Still hoping for a better solution, but here's a compromise that seems to work (mostly, the occasional mail with the group in the CC or BCC field still slips through)...

  1. Set the Yahoo group to send individual messages, not the "digest".
  2. Optionally, create a triage folder, _Yahoo group, triage.
  3. Create 4 filters, as follows:

    Filter, "Yahoo group 1, Ignore bad users":

    1. Set to Match any...
    2. Set filter conditions to From, is, badUser1@yyy.zzz, etc.
    3. Set actions to Mark As Read, then Move Message to Trash.

    Filter, "Yahoo group 2, Keep good posts":

    1. Set to Match any...
    2. Set the first filter condition to To, isn't, GroupName@yahoogroups.com
    3. Set filter conditions of From, is, goodUser1@yyy.zzz, etc.
    4. Set filter conditions of Body, contains, keyWord_1, etc.
    5. Important! The action should just be Stop Filter Execution.

    Filter, "Yahoo group 3, Kill Re:":

    1. Set to Match any...
    2. Set filter condition 1 to Subject, begins with, Re:.
    3. Set filter condition 2 to Subject, begins with, [GroupName] Re:.
    4. Set actions to Mark As Read, then Move Message to Trash.

    Optional Filter, "Yahoo group 4, Move unknown posts to triage folder":

    1. Set to Match any...
    2. Set filter condition 1 to To or Cc, contains, GroupName@yahoogroups.com.
    3. Set filter condition 2 to Bcc, contains, GroupName@yahoogroups.com.
      If you do not know how to set the Bcc filter, don't worry about it, for now.
    4. Set actions to Mark As Read, then Move Message to _Yahoo group, triage (The optional folder, you set up for this purpose).

  4. Because one of the filters stops the filtering process, it is very important that these four filters be placed, in order, at the bottom of the Message Filters list (so that they run last) -- because the second filter will prevent any but the Yahoo group filters from running after it.

    Obviously, if any previous filters might fire a Stop Filter Execution, on a Yahoo Group email, then this whole approach will fail.

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This works but it's a bit of a PITA. If someone makes a better answer, I will give it the Check of answery goodness. ;) –  Brock Adams Jan 29 '13 at 0:05
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