InboxRuler help
  1. Version history
  2. General
  3. Home Screen
  4. Settings
  5. Rules
  6. Log
  7. Help
  8. Examples
  9. Miscellaneous
  10. Issues

Version history

Version 2.0:

Version 1.6


Welcome to InboxRuler v2.0, the application which helps you to manage your inboxes!

With help of rules, you can specify what needs to be done with incoming mails in one or more of your mail inboxes.
In iOS 8 and later, InboxRuler runs in the background and sorts your mails for you in the background according to your rules.

How to set-up rules for your mail accounts is explained in Rules. Before you can create a rule however, you should first set-up your mail accounts. After all, if InboxRuler has no access to your mail there is not much to rule..
In the Settings tab you can set-up the mail accounts you want to use.

Home Screen

On the home screen you can run or test all rules you have created; the output of every rule will be given while the rule is executed.

Normally the rules will run in the background and you check the output of the rules in the Log tab when bringing InboxRuler into the foreground.
Only new messages since the last run will be processed, the same as running in the background. When you save a rule, all messages in the inboxes associated with the rule will processed.



For every mail account where you want to apply rules on, you need to enter the mail address, the name of the imap server and the username and password.
However, InboxRuler tries to get the imap and smtp settings automatically from the entered email address by checking if there is configuration information available. If not, you need to add the configuration manually.
If you want to forward or copy messages from an email account, you also need to enter the address of the outgoing smtp server.
If the username and password for the smtp server are not the same as for the incoming mail you need to enter these as well, otherwise the name and password which are given for the imap server will be used.
Furthermore, you can set the 'deleted folder' in the accounts screen. For existing accounts of previous versions, InboxRuler will try to set a sensible deleted folder, but as always please check in the accounts screen.

General Settings


Rules overview

In the rules overview screen you can add, delete and reorder the rules. Rules are executed in the order of the rules overview list, which can be changed by editing the list and move the rule to the proper position.
To add a new rule, simply press 'Add rule'. To delete a rule, simply swipe or press the Edit button and delete the ones you don't need anymore.

Add rule

Basically, a rule consists of 3 parts:
  1. The selection criteria
  2. The accounts where to execute the rule for
  3. The action to take with the messages selected.

Selection criteria

A selection for messages can be done on a combination of:
Note that all comparisons are case insensitive. 
To fill in the selection criteria, you can use the 'Selection criteria' , where you can fill in all selections as described above. The selection criteria provides a drop-down or so-called picker view which closes again when a tap is done outside the selection view. Alternatively, you can use the 'Selection wizard'  screen.

Selection Wizard

In the selection wizard screen you select a message from one of your inboxes. When the message has been selected, all parameters for the selection such as subject, date, size and email address are retrieved from the email message selected. Before you can select a message, you need to specifiy from which account you want to select an email message. However, the resulting selection can be used for multiple accounts.


A rule can be executed for one or more email accounts, here you can specifiy for which accounts the rule needs to be executed.


Actions for a rule are:

Test Rule/Run Rule

You can test or run a rule individually on the 'Edit Rule' screen. When executing the rule, all messages in the inboxes associated with the rule will be processed.


The log tab gives an overview of all messages, including the output of the rules which have been executed in the background.
You can search for messages using the search bar. If you click on one of the lines, a detailed window will open with all text given by the logged message.  The output of rules which have been processed in the background are given in italics.


The help tab you are reading now.


Example 1

You want to move mails with the subject line contains the word netbeans and is from the mail address to the folder SubFolder/Netbeans News, but only when the mail already has been read.
In order to do this, select 2 conditions in the Edit Rule screen, in the Subject selection , the condition 'Contains' and in the Mail Selection the condition 'Mail from'.
The Action to take is the 'Move to folder' with the email account where you want to move the message to.
Note that:

Example 2

You want to archive mails to an archive folder when the mail size exceeds 100000 bytes, but only when the message has been read. In order to do this, select the size with as selection criteria 'greater then' and fill in the Min box the desired size. Again, you can specifiy to either move or copy the mail, in this case it would make sense to move the email to the specified folder.

Example 3

When you are on the cc: list, you'd like to move the mail to an archive folder, such as 'for information only'. 
Use the mail selection entry and select 'On cc: list' selection. The action to take is using the 'Move to folder' again with the appropiate account and folder.

Example 4

Suppose your children have separate mailboxes and receive mails from their sports or other club. They get mail about upcoming events, but they do not always read their mails regularly. You don't want to scan their emails everytime and read it while you only want to know about changes in their schedule of their sport club. Just apply a rule with the subject or date from and forward those kind of mails to your own account. You don't need to have your children's mailboxes active on your iPhone or iPad as the interesting mails are automatically forwarded to you.


  1. There is a dedicated website for the InboxRuler app which contains screenshots, tips and tricks and feedback of other users. You can get in touch with the developers of InboxRuler via the website or by directly sending an email to
  2. Currently only imap/smtp servers are supported.
  3. If you upgrade from a previous version, you need to save your accounts again
  4. Operations between different email accounts use more network bandwidth; if an email needs to be moved or copied to another email account the email content needs to be copied entirely. This implies that the email will be transferred twice of the network, downloading to your iPhone/iPad and uploading again to the other mail server. If you have a limited bandwidth plan and not on WiFi, check your rules for this situation.
  5. You can set InboxRuler to only execute the rules when on WiFi, hence no data usage for your data plan.
  6. Normally, a rule which runs in the background will only run on new incoming messages since the last run of the specific rule. If you run or test a specific rule from the 'Edit Rule' screen all messages in the inbox will be processed.
  7. When testing a message from the 'Edit Rule' screen, all messages will be processed but the corresponding action will not be performed.
  8. A delete action moves the message from the inbox folder to the trash folder, including when you set the 'delete after forward' checkbox when forwarding a message.
  9. When running or testing the rules from the main screen, all messages in the inboxes from the specified accounts will be processed and all rules are applied in order of priority. When running in the background only the messages since the last run will be processed.
  10. Since version 1.60 InboxRuler support two factor authentication for gmail accounts. This implies when you select 'OAuth2' in the authentication type and press 'Save', you will be automatically forwarded to the login page for your google account and be asked if InboxRuler is allowed to access your email details. Note that you can only select OAuth2 for gmail accounts.


  1. Yahoo does not support the negation of a search expression and hence the search expressions such as 'does not contain' will not work as expexted. It looks like the 'not' functionality is not implemented by Yahoo.
  2. Starting with version 1.4, accounts are automatically migrated to include the connection and authentication type, based on the previous SSL setting. Furthermore, the 'deleted folder' will be automatically selected which you always can change in the Accounts screen.
  3. Only one gmail account is supported with 2 factor authentication.
  4. As the background execution is dependent on the scheduling algorithm of the iOS operating system it does not always schedule on the specified interval. In an upcoming release the mechanism will be changed drastically in order to have a reliable background process.