9 Replies Latest reply: Dec 31, 2012 2:49 AM by bwadma
bwadma Level 1 (125 points)

Since MobileMe has been axed, mail rule syncing does not work anymore.

Is there an alternative to get mail rules to sync with iCloud or other tools? It is STUPID to have different clients using the same (IMAP) account(s) but different rule sets.

iMac 3.2 i3, 8 GB RAM, Mac OS X (10.6.4), MBP 2,66 GHz Intel Core Duo with 10.6.4
  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,942 points)

    The rules are stored in the following file in your home folder:




    You can copy it between Macs, but you would have to relaunch Mail manually afterwards.

  • bwadma Level 1 (125 points)

    Thanks for the answer.

    But this means that I have to keep in mind on which Mac I did the latest modification, and it also means that I need to copy the file to a "cloud server" (like dropbox) manually after I stopped working with Mail.app. This is not what I wanted to do.

  • bwadma Level 1 (125 points)

    Hi Linc,

    one additional question:


    Is it fully sufficient to copy the file


    or would you recommend to copy

    .../RulesActiveState.plist and


    as well?


    Do you have an idea why there is a file named "UnsyncedRules", but no syncing? Can one conclude from the filename that there is hope for mail rule syncing via iCloud in the (near) future?



  • bwadma Level 1 (125 points)

    Thanks for the tip, but this does not work for me.

    My impression is that Matt Parkinsons blog is (unfortunatly) wrong.


    I am in front of my office iMac (10.8.2). I did change a rule, waited a while, and quit mail on the iMac.

    Booted my MBP (10.8.2), opened Mail.app, and checked the rules list. The modification in the rule changed on the iMac was NOT there.

    I created a new Smart mailbox, waited a while, and quit Mail on the MPB.

    Checked on the iMac after opening Mail. The new Smart mailbox does not show up.


    Since I am doing the "propagation of my rules" since quite some time via dropbox, I am also sure that the change dates of the three files MessageRules.plist, RulesActiveState.plist and UnsyncedRules.plist stays as is on one Mac even if rules are edited on another. The same conclusion results from searching (a copy of) the file MessageRules.plist using TextEdit to compensate for the lack of a find/search/locate function in rules with Mail.app.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,942 points)

    I don't use Dropbox and I can't comment on it. I wouldn't expect copying those files while Mail is running to work. Other than that, I have nothing to add to my comments above.

  • bwadma Level 1 (125 points)

    Since iDisk is gone, Dropbox is a valid alternative.


    Did I (somehow implicitly) state that I would do anything to files in Library/Mail/V2/MailData/ while Mail.app is running? Sorry! NO, I never touch this folder when Mail.app is an active application!


    I simply (and manually) copy the three files mentioned above to Dropbox after I quit Mail on Mac-1, and before I start Mail on Mac-2 I copy the files to Library/Mail/V2/MailData/


    (I was planning to try to create my first AppleScript to automate this action in two steps, but had no time so far to begin to work with AppleScript Editor.)

  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,942 points)

    The problem with syncing smart mailboxes is that they're identified internally by a random number, not by name. You'd have to sync the Mail preferences file as well.

  • bwadma Level 1 (125 points)

    Don Morris provided this hint:


    OS X Mountain Lion: Use the iCloud Documents & Data service

    => http://support.apple.com/kb/PH11454


    "If you use iCloud Mail together with Documents & Data on more than one Mac, your mail rules, signatures, flag names, and Smart Mailboxes are available no matter which Mac you use."


    - I am now testing this option.

    - Mail accounts & boxes are (still) NOT synced

    - It seems that the rules are not available in the web-version of Mail, although it is possible to enter rules via the mail web interface at www.icloud.com.