User Level Filtering  Print this Article

cPanel allows you to manage filters for each email account in your domain. You can use this feature to discard spam, redirect mail, or pipe messages to a program. 

  • To search for a specific account, type a keyword in the Search box and click Go.
  • Click Manage Filters to create or edit a filter for an email account.

Best Practices

We strongly recommend that you use multiple, simple filters instead of a single, monolithic filter. Exim, your server's mail transfer agent, handles many small rules more efficiently than it handles a single large rule.

Exim has an implicit limit on how large an error message can be. Excessively large filters can exceed that limit whenever an error is encountered, making debugging impossible.

Add a User Level Filter

It is important to give the filter an appropriate name, as it will make the task of managing existing filters easier in the future.

To create a new filter:

  1. Click Create a new Filter.
  2. Enter a name for the filter in the Filter Name box.
  3. Select a message characteristic (from, subject, to, etc.) from the first pull-down menu.
  4. Select an operator (equals, contains, etc.) from the next pull-down menu.
  5. Enter the characters or words you wish to use as a filter.
    • Note: This field will accept regular expressions (when you select the matches regex operator), rather than more commonly used wildcard characters (such as * or ?).
  6. You can add and subtract rules by clicking the + and - buttons.
  7. Select an action from the pull-down menu under the Actions heading. You can add and subtract actions by clicking the + and - buttons.
  8. Click Activate to initialize the filter.


When you create a filter using several operators, it may be useful to note that cPanel will always process the "and" operator before the "or" operator. As a result, email filters will be processed as follows:
  • A or B and C will be processed as A or (B and C).
  • A and B or C will be processed as (A and B) or C.

If you wish to create a filter such as (A or B) and (C or D), you would have to create it like so:

  • (A and C) or (A and D) or (B and C) or (B and D). 

Test a Custom Filter

Once a filter has been created, it can be tested.

To test your filter:

  1. Enter a test email message in the text box below the Filter Test heading.
    • Be sure to include the characters or words that you have set your filter to catch.
  2. Click Test Filter.

Edit a Custom Filter

You can also modify an existing filter.

To edit an existing filter:

  1. Click Edit next to the appropriate filter name.
  2. You can adjust any of the fields displayed — the message characteristic, operator, term to filter, or resulting action.
  3. Click Activate to initialize the filter.

Remove an Existing Filter

To delete a filter:

  1. Click Delete.
  2. Confirm that the filter should be deleted on the following page.

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