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How can I automatically filter incoming mail using Hermes?

Hermes provides a straightforward filtering mechanism for automatically filing messages into appropriate mail folders based on sender, recipient or subject. For example messages from mailing lists can be stored and browsed separately from ordinary messages. If you are specifically looking for information on filtering spam (junk email), see What is junk mail and what can I do about it? for further information.

Any messages that are not processed by mail filters are saved into your normal INBOX folder as usual. Once you have set up filtering remember to check the relevant folders periodically as messages can accumulate, filling up your Hermes quota without you realising it is happening.

To automatically filter incoming mail messages:

Hermes Webmail

  • Use a web browser to go to https://webmail.hermes.cam.ac.uk/ and login.
  • Select Settings from the Application bar, then Mail Processing then Filters.
  • To add a new filter, select an option from the list, enter the required email address or subject as appropriate, and select the Target Mailbox (you can choose whether to keep a copy in your Inbox or not - this is not usually a sensible option as you end up with two identical messages).
  • Select the Add Filter button.
  • If necessary select the relevant Remove this filter link to delete a filter. Filters that need to be modified should be deleted and recreated.

Blocking is similar to filtering. Select Settings from the Application bar, then Mail Processing then Blocks. Enter the address you want to block and select the Add Block button. Note that this will only block direct emails from the person.

Old Hermes Webmail

  • Use a web browser to go to https://old-webmail.hermes.cam.ac.uk/ and login.
  • You will see the message 
    No filter action defined at the current time 
    or a list of the filters that have been previously set.
  • To add a new filter, select an option from the list, enter the required email address or subject as appropriate and select the Add Filter button.
  • You will be asked to select the required Target Mail Folder (you can choose whether to keep a copy in your Inbox or not - this is not usually a sensible option as you end up with two identical messages).
  • You then have the option to add another filter or select Back to Options Screen.
  • If necessary select the relevant Remove this filter link to delete a filter. Filters that need to be modified should be deleted and recreated.

In general the order in which your filtering actions are performed is; 
BLOCK (Blocks
SPAM (Junk Email) score filtering (messages that end up in your spam folder) 
VACATION (Vacation) auto-replies 
SENDER or RECIPIENT or SUBJECT (filtering described in this FAQ) 
REDIRECT (Redirect) forwarding. 
The aim is that vacation auto-replies aren't sent to spammers.