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Email filters use the criteria that you specify to determine how to handle email messages. The following cPanel interfaces allow you to configure email filters:

  • The Global Email Filters interface (cPanel >> Home >> Email >> Global Email Filters) — Global email filters affect the cPanel account's email addresses.
  • The Email Filters interface (cPanel >> Home  >> Email >> Email Filters) — User-level filters affect specific email addresses on the cPanel account.


In these interfaces, click + to add a rule, or click - to remove rules.

Filter rules and criteria

The first set of options specifies which part of the email message the system examines to determine whether the message matches your filter parameters.

You can choose from the following options:

FromThe message sender's address.
SubjectThe message's subject line.

The address to which the sender sent the message.


Generally, the recipient does not receive the BCC field in an email's header. For this reason, you cannot use the BCC field in a filter.

Reply AddressThe address at which the sender receives replies.
BodyThe message's content.
Any HeaderAny part of the message's header.
Any recipientAny recipient of the message.
Has not been previously deliveredThe system only examines messages that remain in the queue for delivery.
is an Error MessageThe system only examines error messages that an auto-response system sends.
List IDThe account's mailing lists.
Spam StatusWhether Apache SpamAssassin™ marked the message as spam. The Spam Status line begins with Yes or No.
Spam BarThe content of the Spam Bar header that Apache SpamAssassin generated for this message. The more plus signs (+) that Apache SpamAssassin assigns to a message, the greater the likelihood that the system marks the message as spam.
Spam Score

The total number of plus signs (+) in the Spam Bar value, expressed as an integer.

For more information about the Spam Score option, read the Spam Score section below.


After you select the portion of the email message that the system will examine, select the type of comparison between that portion of the email and the criteria that you enter.

You can choose from the following options:

equalsThe message exactly matches a defined string.
matches regex

The message matches a regular expression that you define.


The filter text box accepts regular expressions when you select this option, rather than commonly-used wildcard characters (for example, * or ?).
containsThe message a string that you define.
does not containThe message does not contain the defined string.
begins withThe message begins with the defined string.
ends withThe message ends with the defined string.
does not beginThe message does not begin with the defined string.
does not end withThe message does not end with the defined string.
does not matchThe message does not exactly match the defined string.

Spam Score

The following options are only applicable when you select the Spam Score option:

is above (#s only)The message's Spam Score is greater than the number that you define.
is not above (#s only)The message's Spam Score is equal to or less than the number that you define.
is below (#s only)The message's Spam Score is less than the number that you define.
is not below (#s only)The message's Spam Score is greater than or equal to the number that you define.


When you create a filter that uses several operators, the system processes the and operator before the or operator. For example:

  • The system processes A or B and C as A or (B and C).
  • The system processes A and B or C as (A and B) or C.


Enter the criteria to use in the text box under the Rules menus. The type of data that you enter determines the comparison that the system performs.

For example, if you select the From and Equals filters, enter user@example.com as the criteria. The system determines that any email from user@example.com matches the filter, but does not match seconduser@example.com because it contains additional letters.


Exim converts newlines into spaces in the $message_body field. Do not add \n characters to any body filters that you create.


When cPanel determines that an email message matches your filter, it handles that message with the any of the following actions that you specify:

Discard MessageThe system discards the incoming message with no failure notice.
Redirect to emailThe system forwards the message to another email address that you specify.
Fail with messageThe system discards the message and automatically send a failure notice to the sender.
Stop Processing RulesThe system skips all filter rules.
Deliver to folderThe system delivers the message to a specified folder.
Pipe to a programThe system sends the incoming message to a specified program. For more information, read the Pipe to a Program section below.


Pipe to a Program


Make certain that your script uses the proper file permissions (0700). To change your script's file permissions, run the chmod 0700 myscript.php command, where myscript.php represents your script's location and file name.

Use the Pipe to a Program option to parse and enter email information into a different system. For example, use the Pipe to a Program option to pipe email information to a program that enters email information into a ticket system.

  • STDIN pipes email and headers to the program.
  • Pipes can accept variables from the $_SERVER array and variables on the command line.

  • The language or environment that you use may cause memory limit issues.
  • If your script produces any output, even a blank line, the system will create a bounce message that contains that output.

When you use the Pipe to a Program option, enter a path that is relative to your home directory. For example, to use the /home/user/ script.pl script, enter script.pl in the Pipe to a Program text box, where user represents your username.


If you use PHP, make certain that you appropriately wrap your code in start and end tags.

Additional documentation

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