Custom filters — How to enable message filters on an email address

Message filters are special rules you can create which automatically perform actions on incoming email. This is a simple way to make incoming email easier to sort and categorize. For example, you could label all email messages from your boss as “Important”. The filter could then add the word IMPORTANT to the subject of emails with boss@example.com in the from field.

Filters can be created only for fully-hosted email addresses. Another option is to enable anti-spam filters in the panel. If you do so, the anti-spam filters are applied first, then your custom message filters are applied. You can also add filters on your specific mail client such as Thunderbird, Outlook, or Gmail.

This article describes how to add custom filters in your DreamHost panel.

Enabling message filters in the panel

You can create a custom filter in your panel. A list of all your fully-hosted email addresses will be listed on your Message Filters page.

  1. Navigate to (Panel > ‘Mail’ > ‘Message Filters’).
  2. To the right of an address, click the Edit button to open the filter page.
    01 Message Filters.fw.png
  3. If you have not added filters yet, click the Add New Filter button.
    The add new filter page opens where you can set up a filter:
    02 Message Filters.fw.png
  4. When finished creating your rule, click the Add Filter button at the bottom.

Adding a filter using the mailboxes subdomain

You can also use the mailboxes.example.com subdomain to create a filter:

  1. Log into your mailbox manager at mailboxes.example.com (change example.com to your domain).
    03 Message Filters.fw.png
  2. Click the link under ‘Email Filters’.
    04 Message Filters.fw.png
  3. Enter your new filter settings and click Add Filter.

How does the 'execute' option work?

The last option in the filter is to set 'execute and continue' or 'execute and stop'. Choosing this setting affects how forwarding works. Here are a few examples:

In these examples, email is being sent to admin@example.com while forwarding to forward@example.com.

Example #1 (execute and stop)

Let's say you have two filters:

  • First, forward emails with Test in the subject to admin@example.com and then stop.
  • Finally, add (execute and stop) to the subject of emails with Test in the subject and then stop.

When the original email is sent to admin@example.com, it correctly forwards to forward@example.com without any text being added to the subject.

The second rule is never triggered so the email never arrives at admin@example.com.

Example #2 (execute and stop)

This example reverses the two rules above::

  • First, add (execute and stop) to the subject of emails with Test in the subject and then stop.
  • Finally, forward emails with Test in the subject to admin@example.com and then stop.

When the original email is sent to admin@example.com, it does not arrive, but the subject text is added correctly.

The second rule then forwards to forward@example.com in addition to adding the (execute and stop) text to the subject.

Example #3 (execute and continue)

This is the same as example #1, except the last rule is now 'execute and continue'.

  • First, forward a copy emails with Test in the subject to admin@example.com and then continue.
  • Finally, add (execute and continue) to the subject of emails with Test in the subject and then continue.

When the original email is sent to admin@example.com, it forwards to forward@example.com, but the (execute and continue) text is not added to the subject.

The email also arrives at the original address of admin@example.com with the (execute and continue) text added.

Example #4 (execute and continue)

This is the same as example #2, except the last rule is now 'execute and continue'.

  • First, add (execute and continue) to the subject of emails with Test in the subject and then continue.
  • Finally, forward a copy emails with Test in the subject to admin@example.com and then continue.

When the original email is sent to admin@example.com, it arrives with (execute and continue) added to the subject line.

The email also arrives at forward@example.com with the subject text added.

See also

Did this article answer your questions?

Article last updated .