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Many email services have the ability to set up rules to filter out unwanted emails. There are many different ways to do it.

I run IE 9 under Windows 7 although I've had the same problem with IE 8. It's this: I create rules in IE 9 to send some incoming emails to my deleted folder using IE 9's rules and alerts facility. I can't get it to work. For example, I have one using the email address of someone who worked for me years ago which I'm trying to block, but her emails still end up in my inbox. I created a rule that says if her email address comes up in the "To" box then send it to the Delete box. No luck. Someone said a while ago that only the first 40 rules work. Any after that are ignored. I only have about 12 rules that I want to intercept and send to the Delete box. Your help would be appreciated.

In this excerpt from Answercast #53, I look at some confusion as to how email is being read in a browser and how consequently to set up email spam rules.

Email filtering rules

One thing we need to clear up from the beginning: IE 8 and IE 9 are not email programs. They don't have rules for filtering email. IE 8 and IE 9 are your web browsers. They're what you use to visit web pages on the internet.

Now, one of those web pages may very well be your email.

Web pages run in your browser

You haven't indicated what email service you're using. If you're using a service like Hotmail and Gmail (those kinds of things), they do have rules. But the rules are part of the web page itself.

In other words, that rules facility is an option, but not in the browser.

  • It's an option being provided by the web page that you happen to be visiting.

  • The web page that is the email service that you're using.

So none of this has anything to do with IE, or IE 8 or 9 or, even Chrome or Firefox or whatever web browser you're using.

Email rules

Now, unfortunately, because I don't know what email service you are using, I really don't know how to solve this particular problem.

The issue is that while many email services have the ability to set up rules to filter, exactly as you describe, they do not do so in the same way. In other words, the way I would describe setting up a rule in Gmail would be different from the way than the way I set up a rule in Hotmail.

Also, many people tend to confuse the ability to "block" an email sender as being a rule. It's not. Email blocking is something separate - and to that there is indeed a list; there's a limit (I should say something like a couple hundred in Hotmail.)

Email blocking

In Gmail, they don't have that facility and instead, you end up setting up rules. I believe Yahoo also has rules and if you're using your ISP's email service, then they may very well have a different interface for setting up rules.

So, the first thing to do to resolve this particular issue is to identify what email service you are using and then go to the online help for that email service to understand how to properly craft the rules associated with it.

I think we're potentially being misled here by focusing on the browser, which has nothing at all to do with the problem.

Article C5815 - September 15, 2012 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

September 19, 2012 9:58 AM

Might try bypassing the 'browser' confusion by using a desktop client. Regardless of which email service (yahoo, gmail, hotmail, etc) is being used, I would suggest using a desktop email client (i like thunderbird). It makes configuring 'blocked' email addies easy.

September 19, 2012 12:02 PM

Yes. I agree with curtis. I have a couple of online email accounts for junk, but my desktop email client, Thunderbird, follows all the rules I give it.

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