For those of you who are new users of MailWasher Pro, here are the basic things you will need to know to use custom filter rules with the program.
- MailWasher Pro stores user created filters in a text file named filters.txt
- That file is found in your logged in (Documents and Settings or Users>Roaming) user profile folder, under Application Data > MailWasherPro. The Application Data directory is normally hidden and you must unhide it using the Folder View Options. You can read details about how to unhide it, here.
- When you install MailWasher Pro, a new very basic filters.txt is created inside this Application Data sub-directory This file can either be edited to add new filter rules, or overwritten with one of my downloaded Custom MailWasher Pro Filters. There are currently three separate sets of custom filters on my web page, the differences of which are explained on the web page and in the comments of each filter set. Some of my filters are pretty intense and slow down processing of incoming email. I know about this and try to fix these bottlenecks from time to time.
- Windows Vista has numerous restrictions on user and program permissions and sometimes does not allow filters.txt to be updated immediately after the initial installation. If this happens to you and the error mentions Access Denied, read this thread to resolve the problem.
- If you manually edit or add a rule directly into filters.txt and you mistype or fail to include a required character, MailWasher Pro will delete that rule as the program is opened. It is a very prudent idea to always save experimental filter rules in a notepad, or NoteTab work file, in case you need to go over them for errors. If you don't have a backup and MWP deletes a bad rule, you'll have to start from scratch to recreate that rule.
- The Filters wizard only allow ten input fields for each filter. If you want to add more you must close MWP and manually add the additional rules to the end of the existing one you wish to extend. Always save the existing, working rule to a text file before adding to it, just in case you get it wrong.
- Do not edit filters.txt while MailWasher Pro is still running. Close it first.
- Filter comments are at the top and are proceeded with double forward slashes (//). If you try to add your own comments, or copy mine, they will be overwritten when the program is opened. There is nothing I have found to stop comments from being overwritten. The program's stored filters.txt comments are:// MailWasher Pro filter settings
// If you make changes to this file while MailWasher Pro is running,
// the changes will be overwritten when MailWasher Pro is closed.
- Each rule must occupy one (long) line. Turn off Word Wrap in your text editor. Your editor may have character limits that force text to overflow to a second or third line. This is ok as long as the rule doesn't contain any linefeeds until after the end of the last character.
- After the end of each rule you must have a linefeed. Start the next rule on the next available line under the previous rule. Do not insert a linefeed after the final rule.
- Once the filter rules begin you must not have any blank lines between rules, or after the last rule.
- You must not have blank spaces after the last character of any rule.
- Pay careful attention to double quotes ("). They are always needed if there are any blank spaces inside a rule or it's description areas. As an example, if a rule is named Loans, or contains just the word Loans, then it does not need quotes before and after the Filter name, or Status name, or the portion of the rule only containing that word. However, if the rule is named Loans and Bankruptcy it absolutely must be enclosed inside of double quotes, like this: "Loans and Bankruptcy"
- If a part of a rule contains double quotes, like this: "<a href="http://www.example.com">" you must 'escape' the inside quotes by adding a second double quote to each one inside the rule. Thus, the above example would become "<a href=""http://www.example.com"">"
- When you create a rule using the Filters box from the program interface, it takes care of all the quotes for you.
To get you started I have a relatively new MailWasher filter rule that deletes spam sent from a Botnet template created in the Thunderbird email client. None of my legitimate contacts use Thunderbird, which is about to be spun off by Mozilla. Furthermore, I "Whitelist" all friendly contacts, placing their email addresses into the MailWasher "Friends List." This overrides the custom filters, unless a rule has been specifically set to: "Overrides the Friends list." Finally, I use the built-in MailWasher Pro Recycle Bin and through it I can restore accidentally deleted friendly email (limited by the number of lines scanned when checking for new mail).
Here is my Thunderbird Spam filter, which currently detects at least 20% of incoming pharmaceutical spam over the last few weeks. It marks for deletion, which you must perform manually. It can be set to automatically delete all incoming spam matching this rule. Change this action using the Filters wizard box.
Note, this forum will wrap the long line of code, but the entire rule should occupy only one long line in filters.txt.
Code: Select all
[enabled],"Thunderbird Spam","Thunderbird Spam",16711680,AND,Delete,EntireHeader,contains,"User-Agent: Thunderbird 18.104.22.168 (Windows/20080708)",EntireHeader,contains,"MIME-Version: 1.0"
That's all for now folks!