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I recently switched to Windows Live Mail and I found out that it doesn't support adding rules for IMAP accounts.

Without talking about how absurd this is (especially because WLM does support rules for POP accounts), I decided to add the rules on the server (in this case, in my Gmail account settings), since changing to POP is not (and will never be) an option for me.

But now that made me think: isn't it better to add the rules on the server rather than on the client? At least if I change email client or computer I won't have to set up the rules again.

So my question is: what are the pros and cons of setting up email rules on the email client as opposed to on the server?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Dave, CharlieRB, Olli, Shekhar, Heptite Feb 10 '14 at 21:13

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

up vote 1 down vote accepted

You have asked a very open question here, but (and I'll let you decide which is a pro or con):

Rules on the server may affect all devices which connect to the email client (pop3 and imap depending etc), such as multiple desktops, mobile phones, tablets etc.

Servers are typically always on so rules occur at 'real' time.

Less likely for local users (desktop users) being able to change the rules (in a business set up).

Server rules can be applied globally (ie, to all user accounts of that domain/server etc)

It may be easier to configure user specific rules on the local PC instead of the server.

You can consider global settings on the server, local / specific settings with the desktop and can have both running rules together (and then consider how you manage this!)

You can change the rules in 'offline' mode with it being created locally.

Rules on the server may not be desired for each local user. For example, moving an email based upon a rule to a certain folder may not be ideal based upon the users job type (I may want the "sales" emails to go to my sales folder as an accountant (as I don't care) but as a sales person, I want it in my inbox so I can't miss it).

My personal opinion is, unless you need access from individual PC level, and are confident to make the changes on the server, then making the changes on the server is probably the better option. One negative though may be, for example, if using IMAP. Let's say you have a rule on your server to move an email to a certain folder based upon your criteria. This then means your web client must sync to all folders!

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That's exactly what I was thinking about. Why would I want to configure rules on an email client then? – user1301428 Jul 30 '13 at 11:41
@user1301428 - I think my suggestions have pros and cons from both sides! :) For example, the IT team side may need this extra control of it being local... A PC may have a specific use in the office etc. I admit I've tried to make my answer possibly broader than you need here as it may help others in the future! – Dave Jul 30 '13 at 11:52
I see many more advantages in using server rules though :) Thank you! – user1301428 Jul 30 '13 at 12:16

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