How to Whitelist a Domain in Mac OS X Mail

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Mac OS X Mail's spam filter is good, and preventing it from catching mail from known senders is easy. But not all is well in Mail land: you can only protect individual senders ("heinz@example.com") that way, not entire domains (every address ending in "example.com"), or so it seems.

Fortunately, the action Mac OS X Mail's spam filter takes is but an ordinary rule, applied after all other rules have been applied.

If we can catch all mail from a domain before the spam filter even sees it, we have already won.

Whitelist a Domain in Mac OS X Mail

To put a complete domain on your Mac OS X Mail white list:

  • Select Mail | Preferences... from the menu in Mac OS X Mail.
  • Go to the Rules category.
  • Click Add Rule.
  • Type a Description:, such as "Whitelist: example.com".
  • Make sure the criteria read: If any of the following conditions are met: From Ends with.
  • Enter the domain name you want to whitelist after Ends with.
    • You can add a '@' sign before to make the filter more specific. To whitelist all mail from the "example.com" domain ("heinz@example.com") but not from its sub-domains ("heinz@heinz.example.com"), for instance, type "@example.com").
    • Of course, you can filter multiple domains with one rule. Click the plus sign next to the last condition and add another domain with the same criteria. Maybe add the additional name to the rule Description, too.
  • Make the actions read: Perform the following actions: Move Message to mailbox: Inbox.
    • You can also choose a different target folder, of course.
  • Click OK.
  • Make sure the rule is executed before other rules that might act on the same message for other reasons by dragging it near the top of the rules list.
    • If you have a filter that color-codes certain messages based on keywords in the subject, for example, make sure the domain whitelist rule is above that labeling rule.
  • Close the Rules window.