How to Create Rules in Roundcube Webmail to Filter Emails

Roundcube is a browser-based email client that makes it possible to create sophisticated inbox management automation rules, and we explain how to do so in this article. Because Roundcube is based on the IMAP protocol, the client is compatible with third-party tools like Clean Email, which simplifies the creation of Roundcube rules.

What Are Roundcube Filter Rules?

Roundcube filter rules are sets of instructions for the Roundcube email client to automatically perform when certain conditions are met.

Users can create Roundcube filters to save time on routine inbox management tasks, such as labeling emails, archiving old messages, and so on. With the right filters, achieving and maintaining Inbox Zero, a state when there are no unprocessed messages in the inbox, becomes much easier.

Because Roundcube email rules are executed by the server on which the mail client is installed, they are triggered even when you’re not logged in. That means you can leave your inbox unattended for a week or even longer without being greeted by a huge pile of messages.

Create Filter Rules in Roundcube Webmail

To explain how Roundcube webmail filters work, let’s create a Roundcube rule to move messages to a specific folder:

  1. Log in to Roundcube.
  2. Click the Settings icon on the left.
  3. Select Filters.
  4. Click the Create button.
  5. Name the new filter and choose its scope (defines which messages will be affected by the filter).
  6. Click the drop-down menu under Actions and define the filter triggering condition.
  7. Click Save.

Your mail rule should now be active. You can create multiple rules to automate different aspects of your digital life. We highly recommend you give each rule you create a descriptive name so that you can easily tell what each rule does when you come back to them in the future to disable, delete, or modify them.

Disable Rules in Roundcube

Any rule that no longer serves its purpose can be disabled with a simple click:

  1. Log in to Roundcube.
  2. Click the Settings icon on the left.
  3. Select Filters.
  4. Select the rule you want to disable.
  5. Click the Filter enabled toggle.
  6. Click Save.

The option to disable a filter comes in handy when you want to temporarily stop filtering certain messages. To resume their filtering, all you need to do is put the Filter enabled toggle to the ON position, which beats having to create the same filter again from scratch.

Delete Roundcube Email Rules

To delete an unnecessary rule in the Roundcube email client:

  1. Log in to Roundcube.
  2. Press the Settings icon on the left.
  3. Select Filters.
  4. Select the rule you want to delete.
  5. Click the Delete button.
  6. Click Save.

It’s a good idea to delete all Roundcube webmail filters you positively won’t ever need again. The fewer filters you have, the easier they are to manage, and your email server will thank you as well because each deleted filter is one less condition to check when a new message arrives.

Create Rules to Filter Emails with Clean Email

Roundcube’s mail filtering capabilities are useful, but they’re not exactly convenient, and they’re also lacking in terms of flexibility. Fortunately, the mail client is based on the IMAP protocol, so it’s possible to create rules with a third-party inbox organizer — Clean Email.

Clean up your inbox with Clean EmailClean up your inbox with Clean Email

Clean Email brings to the table several important advantages:

But enough talking about Clean Email’s merits. It’s time to demonstrate them in practice on an example. Here’s how easy the inbox organizer makes it to move all messages that are older than 1 year to a dedicated folder:

  1. Go to:
  2. Enter your email address and click Continue.
  3. Enter your account password and your IMAP hostname.
  4. Once you’re logged in, select the “Emails older than 1 year” Smart View.
  5. Click Select all.
  6. Click Move and choose the New Folder option.
  7. Create a new folder for the matching emails.
  8. Choose to apply the action to all selected and future similar emails.
  9. Click Move and Create Rule to confirm.

From now on, the inbox organizer will automatically move all messages to the selected folder when they become older than 1 year.

These features make Clean Email a great choice for all Roundcube users, and there’s even more. The Unsubscriber feature can easily unsubscribe you from any unwanted emails that may be cluttering your inbox, while the Keep Newest feature is perfect for managing messages that are only relevant until the next one comes in.

Clean Email is a freemium tool, so you can try it for free to see what makes it so useful.


Roundcube is a mature web-based mail client that provides out-of-the-box support for mail filters. Because the client uses the IMAP protocol, it works with third-party inbox organizers like Clean Email, which provides a streamlined filter creation workflow and offers a number of advanced features that Roundcube doesn’t have.


Why is the Filters category not visible?

Some web hosting providers disable filters in Roundcube because they provide a different method for the creation of mail rules.

Is Clean Email safe?

Yes, Clean Email is designed with its users’ privacy and security in mind. The inbox organizer never downloads full emails—it only analyzes the metadata contained in email headers.

Can Roundcube filters delete large messages?

Yes, they can, but only if you create them using a third-party tool — Clean Email.

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