Has anybody found an easy way to manage server-side rules from Mac OS X?

Here's a brief list of what I know doesn't work:

  • Entourage 2008 - it supports client rules, but not server rules. No good, there are certain actions that should happen before I open my laptop or check my email on my iPhone.
  • Apple Mail - same as Entourage, but at least I don't get as frustrated since, unlike Entourage, this isn't a Microsoft product.
  • Web mail (aka Outlook Web Access) - perhaps you can manage rule in the fancy version which Exchange serves to IE, but not with the browsers available on a Mac.

I manage this now by launching a VMWare virtual machine running Windows XP and Outlook. I don't count that as an easy way.

Update, post release of Office 2011

Does MS Outlook 2011 have the ability to manage server-side rules?

Update, post installation of Office 2011

No. Outlook 2011 doesn't have this ability.

I've already removed my account from Outlook and switched back to Apple Mail and iCal

Update, now on Outlook.com/Office365

Yes, yes, yes! Outlook 2011 (version 14.3.5) can do this. The web client for Office365 is also much better on mac browsers.

The short answer to my original question is: get your company to update to Office365!

  • Outlook 2010 on Winddows can make server-side rules, so I can't see why MS would have excluded that ability from Outlook 2011 on MacOSX. – paradroid Nov 9 '10 at 20:39
  • And you can also do it via IE on Windows. That means that there's likely a simple API on the server side. There's no good reason why MS wouldn't put a UI within Mac Outlook to communicate with that same API. – Doug Harris Nov 9 '10 at 23:17
  • For what it's worth, I usually manipulate rules now by using CoRD to make a remote desktop connection to a windows machine and then connect to Outlook Web Access using IE. – Doug Harris Mar 22 '11 at 14:27
  • This should belong to apple.stackexchange.com - still there is no flag option for moving it to this SE site. – sorin Jun 27 '11 at 8:22
  • 1
    @Sorin - additionally, when I asked the question, apple.stackexchange.com wasn't yet live. – Doug Harris Jun 27 '11 at 18:02

To the best of my knowledge, changing server-side rules from pure OSX is not possible. When our Mac users request this at work, we help them through setting up the rules in a full Outlook client. Microsoft hasn't exposed these APIs to non-MAPI clients, and as you've already discovered the non-IE OWA doesn't have this support either.

The IE OWA version can do rules (at least in Exchange 2007 and higher), but even that functionality is somewhat reduced. But Server-side rules (folder sorting and the like) are able to be created.

  • From what I have heard OWA from Exchange 2010 works on non-IE browsers just as well as IE (although I cannot confirm this, as I am still using Exchange 2007). – paradroid Nov 9 '10 at 20:40
  • That is not the case paradroid. – Jason Tholstrup Mar 13 '11 at 20:06

Since this question was first asked, Microsoft have released Office 2011 service pack 1.

The editing of server-side rules is supported in Outlook 2011 SP1 when used with Exchange 2010, SP1 (and later). See:


I can confirm that this works (I use this set-up at work).


With Exchange 2010 Outlook Web Mail works in Safari, Firefox and Chrome and will allow you to edit server-side rules from a Mac.


With Exchange 2010 OWA onwards, Server side rules can be added under Options > Mail > Automatic Processing > Inbox and Sweep Rules > Inbox rules

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.