How to make filters work across multiple email accounts

Discussion of general topics about Mozilla Thunderbird
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Joined: April 28th, 2019, 11:43 am

Post Posted April 28th, 2019, 11:50 am

I have quite a few filters written that I would like to run across every email account in Thunderbird. ( I have 7 of them). IOW I don't want to copy or rewrite the filters for each email account.

Is this possible?



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Post Posted April 28th, 2019, 3:15 pm

You can copy the file msgFilterRules.dat from the account where the filters are initially created to other accounts. See this articel -- ... ng_filters

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Post Posted April 28th, 2019, 7:30 pm

DanRaisch: Thanks for the info.

I'm hoping not to do this, since if I make a change or a new rule, I have to do the entire copy process again.

So I'm taking this to mean there is NO WAY to run ALL FILTERS against all emails automatically? Boy, I can't imagine why this can't be done..but so be it.

Thanks again.


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Post Posted May 1st, 2019, 1:08 pm

The restriction is because filters are meant to be account specific, not global. If your 7 accounts were POP accounts configured to use a global inbox that would be one way to use a single set of filters for every account. There is no equivalent for IMAP accounts, or for a mixture of POP and IMAP accounts. See

You could try replacing six of the msgFilterRules.dat files with a symlink to the remaining msgFilterRules.dat file. That will fool Thunderbird into thinking there are six files when there is only one. However, that might not work if Thunderbird creates a file lock. You'd have to experiment. See ... -or-linux/ for information about creating and using symlinks.

However, I think a much easier solution would be to create a batch file that copies the contents of the master msgFilterRules.dat over the other files. Run it after you edit a message filter, and have exited Thunderbird.

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