There is a rule in Mac Mail that I cant seem to get to work: "Date Received is Greater Than 1 Day Old". I'm expecting this to apply to messages from yesterday (and so on). Mac Mail rules only seem to apply to messages as they arrive, so of course new messages wont trigger the rule I am trying to make work.

Has anyone else run into this? How would you work around this limitation? I found a similar topic on superuser, Apple Mail doesn't apply rules unless I choose "Apply Rules" manually, but that didn't get any results. Thanks!


The Apple Mail help says that you can manually run your mail rules …

To apply rules to messages you’ve already received, select the messages in the
viewer window and then choose Message > Apply Rules.

All I can suggest is that select all of the messages in your Inbox and then click on Message->Apply Rules. Presumably, messages which were received more than one day ago will by processed by your rule.

  • After a lot of research, there is no built-in way to accomplish what I am trying to do. Manually applying rules seems to be the only way. Thanks! – user29358 Mar 1 '10 at 18:54
  • Surely there must be a way to set Automator or write an Applescript that will automatically run the "apply rules" command on a somewhat regular basis? Sadly I don't know enough about either to tell you whether it's possible. – geodave Dec 8 '10 at 5:07

I am not sure what you are trying to do with this, but for what it's worth, you may be looking for a smart mailbox. This will not move the message, but it will filter all of your messages that meet a certain criteria into a mailbox (in apple land, they call folders mailboxes).

If you are looking to do this in order to visually organize your messages for yourself, this may be the way to go.

To do so, click on the + in the lower left hand corner of the mail window and select "New Smart Mailbox..." give it a name and set your specified criteria. For example, in your case, you would say date received is not in the last 1 days (may be 0 days, I am not sure).

Here is a good Apple support article explaining what a smart mailbox is as well as how to create one, and here is a YouTube video of basically the same thing.


It's simple: Create this Smart Mailbox rule: Date Received--is not in the last--1 days.

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