MsgFiler 3

The support page for MsgFiler 3.

This section covers the previous version of MsgFiler on the Mac App Store.

System Requirements

MsgFiler 3 supports the following Mac operating systems:

  • Snow Leopard (10.6) to Ventura (13.0)

Looking for MsgFiler 4, the new version of MsgFiler that supports macOS Sonoma? Click here!

MsgFiler helps you declutter your inbox and tame the email dragon. Here’s how it works.

Launching MsgFiler

When you purchase MsgFiler from the Mac App Store, it will be placed in your Applications folder. Opening MsgFiler for the first-time will display the welcome window.

Add MsgFiler to your Login Items in Systems Preferences / Users and Accounts to ensure that MsgFiler is running when you open and use Mail.

Mail must be running in order to operate MsgFiler. If you have not yet started Mail, do so now. When MsgFiler detects Mail is running, it will retrieve the list of mailboxes from Mail.

macOS Mojave to Ventura

When you first launch MsgFiler, macOS will display an alert asking allow to control

  1. Open System Preferences.

  2. Click Security & Privacy.

  3. Click Privacy.

  4. Click Accessibility.

  5. Click the Lock icon. Enter your admin password.

  6. Check

Using MsgFiler

Using MsgFiler is very simple:

  1. Select a message you wish to file in Apple Mail.

  2. Invoke MsgFiler by pressing the default keyboard shortcut, command-9 or the custom oneyou set up in Preferences.

  3. Type a few characters of the mailbox into which you wish to file the message.

  4. When the mailbox you desire is selected in the mailbox results list, press Enter or Return. If there are multiple matches, use the down arrow to select the correct mailbox before hitting Enter or Return.

Note: If you file frequently to remote IMAP mailboxes, you may notice a delay between the time you press Enter and the time at which the message is actually filed by Mail. You can speed up filing to remote IMAP mailboxes by installing the MsgFiler Engine Mail Plugin and activating it from MsgFiler’s Filing Preferences panel.

Wildcard Matching

Inserting a space character in the search field instructs MsgFiler to perform a wildcard search. For instance, suppose you entered:

Peo Vi

This will match any mailbox that contains those characters:

People/Victor Jackson

People/Vincent Young


Master the use of the space character to quickly drill down to find the correct mailbox.

Hot Keys

While in the mailbox results list, you can use the number keys, 0-9, to quickly select between the first ten mailboxes.

Pressing a number key while holding down the Fn key or command-option-control will instantly file your message into the desired mailbox. Assign numbers to your favorite mailboxes for even faster filing.

Keeping MsgFiler Open

Previous versions of MsgFiler closed the window after filing a message. For version 3.1.2, Apple’s App Store Review Board made us change MsgFiler so that the MsgFiler window stays open after filing. For optimal performance, we recommend unchecking this preference. This will cause MsgFiler to hide itself after filing.

Click on the action menu to display a list of configurable options for MsgFiler. Choose Keep MsgFiler open after filing.


As you file messages using MsgFiler, recently used mailboxes will rise up to the top of your results window, granting you quick access to these mailboxes during subsequent filing operations. Recent mailboxes are denoted in a blue font color.

If you haven’t filed to a recent mailbox after a period of time, the mailbox will move away from the top of the results list.

If you find yourself filing often to a mailbox, consider making it a favorite mailbox.


Marking a mailbox as a favorite will move the mailbox to the top of the results list. Favorite mailboxes are denoted by a bold font.

To mark a mailbox as a favorite, select it in the results list and press command-equal or choose Add To Favorites from the MsgFiler Action menu.

To remove a mailbox from favorites, select the mailbox and choose Remove From Favorites or press command-minus.

Mail Navigation

You can use MsgFiler to navigate within the frontmost Mail message viewer. Hold down the command key and use the arrow keys to move the current selection up or down and to open and close threads.

Select multiple messages at once by holding down the shift key while using the arrow keys.

NOTE: This feature is only available on MsgFiler 3 on Snow Leopard. It has been disabled due to OS X Lion, Mountain Lion, and Maverick’s App Sandbox restrictions.

Action Menu

The action menu is located next to the search field in the MsgFiler window. It provides quick access to commonly used settings and reveals additional filing options.

  • Keep MsgFiler Open After Filing

    • Enable this when filing dozens or hundreds of emails in a single session.

  • Pressing Enter Always Performs Default Action

    • If a mailbox is selected, pressing Enter/Return will always perform a move, copy or show operation.

  • Restrict Search to Selected Accounts

    • Only show mailboxes that belong to the currently selection Mail account. Useful when you have mailboxes with the same name across multiple mail accounts.

  • Match on Mailbox Name Only

    • MsgFiler will ignore the mailbox path and only search on the mailbox name.

  • Move Message

    • Moves the selected messages in Mail to the currently selected mailbox.

  • Copy Message

    • Copies the selected messages in Mail to the currently selected mailbox.

  • Label

    • Assign or remove a color label from the selected messages in Mail.

  • Show Mailbox

    • Sets the frontmost message viewer to display the contents of the selected mailbox.

  • Show Mailbox in New Viewer

    • Opens a new Mail message viewer focused on the selected mailbox.

  • New Mailbox…

    • Creates a new mailbox underneath the currently selected mailbox.

  • New Top Level Mailbox…

    • Creates a new mailbox at the top-level of a mail account.

  • Reload Mailboxes

    • Instructs MsgFiler to reload the list of Mail mailboxes it is searching on.

  • Add To Favorites

    • Adds the selected mailbox to the favorites list.

  • Remove From Favorites

    • Removes the selected mailbox from the favorites list.

  • Clear Recents History

    • Clears the list of recent mailboxes.

  • Preferences

    • Adjust additional MsgFiler settings and options.

  • About MsgFiler

    • Displays the welcome about screen for MsgFiler.

  • MsgFiler Web Site

  • Quit MsgFiler

    • Quits MsgFiler.

Creating New Mailboxes

With MsgFiler, you can quickly create new mailboxes, either underneath an existing mailbox or at the top-level of a mail account.

Choose New Mailbox or New Top-Level Mailbox from the MsgFiler action menu or press command-shift-N or command-option-control-n respectively to bring up the new mailbox sheet.

Enter the name of the new mailbox and click OK. MsgFiler will update the search field and results list to focus on the newly created mailbox.

If you chose to create a new top-level mailbox, the sheet will have an additional popup menu from which you can select the mail account for the new mailbox.


MsgFiler is highly configurable to your needs. To adjust its settings, choose Preferences from the MsgFiler menu or press Command-, while in MsgFiler. The Preferences window has four tabbed sections:

Note: This documentation is for MsgFiler 3.1.4.

General Settings

Hide Dock Icon

Since MsgFiler is an application, it appears in your Dock when running. Check this box if you wish to hide the MsgFiler icon from the Dock. You may need to restart MsgFiler in order for your changes to take effect.

Hide MsgFiler Menu

The MsgFiler menu appears in Apple Mail to show you that it is running. Check this preference if you want to hide the MsgFiler menu in Mail.

List Font

Adjust the font used by MsgFiler in the mailboxes results list.

Pressing Shortcut

Pressing the keyboard shortcut to open MsgFiler can do one of two things:

  • Focuses between MsgFiler and Mail: This alternates focus on the Mail application and the MsgFiler window.

  • Toggles MsgFiler: This will open and close the MsgFiler window.

  • Shows MsgFiler: This will always open MsgFiler window.

Depending on your workflow, you may prefer one of these settings over the others. By default, this preference is set to toggle MsgFiler on and off.

MsgFiler Shortcut

The default shortcut is command-9 and only works while in Mail. If you change it, be sure to choose a keyboard combination that does not interfere with the operation of Mail.

To change the shortcut, click the field next to the label MsgFiler Shortcut. A prompt will appear in the label to choose a new shortcut. Type your new command. The change will be immediate.

Search Settings

This section configures how MsgFiler searches for mailboxes in Mail.

Restrict search to selected accounts

This option allows you to file messages only to mailboxes contained in the currently selected account. For instance, suppose you have two mail accounts, all of which have a mailbox called Archive. When filing a message in one of the accounts, typing “Archive” will show matches for both mailboxes in all both mail accounts.

Enabling this preference ensures that only the mailbox named “Archive” of the currently selected mailbox account will be visible in the search results list.

Match on mailbox name only

By default, MsgFiler searches the entire mailbox path for matches. Check this box if you want to restrict MsgFiler to search on only the mailbox name itself.

You can also access this setting from the action menu of the MsgFiler window.

By default, MsgFiler performs a case-insensitive search when matching mailboxes. Two mailboxes named “archive” and “Archive” are considered identical for search purposes. Enable this preference if you wish to make MsgFiler perform a case-sensitive search.

You can also access this setting from the action menu of the MsgFiler window.

Manage Excluded Mailboxes

You can exclude certain mailboxes and accounts from appearing in the mailboxes results list. Clicking on the button Manage Excluded Mailboxes… will bring up a sheet where you can add or remove excluded words. Any mailbox or account that include these words will be hidden from the results list.

Filing Settings

Keep MsgFiler open after filing

Enabling this option prevents MsgFiler from closing after performing a filing operation. This is useful when you want to file dozens or hundreds of messages at a time. Having the MsgFiler window stay open after filing allows you to quickly type the next mailbox and hit Return to file.

You can also access this setting from the action menu of the MsgFiler window.

Use MsgFiler Engine to file messages

MsgFiler Engine is an Apple Mail plugin that you can install to make filing to remote IMAP mailboxes faster. It is strongly recommended for use with MsgFiler 3 on Lion to Ventura. Learn more about the MsgFiler Engine here.

Enter/Double-click performs

Pressing the Enter or Return key or double-clicking in the mailboxes results list will perform the default filing action. By default, this is Move Message, but you can change it to Copy Message, Show Mailbox or do nothing.

  • Move Message: Moves the selected messages in Mail to the selected mailbox.

  • Copy Message: Copies the selected messages in Mail to the selected mailbox.

  • Show Mailbox: Opens the frontmost message viewer in Mail to the selected mailbox.

  • Nothing: You must click the buttons Move, Copy or Show to file your messages.

You can also toggle between the different default buttons from within the MsgFiler window by pressing these keyboard shortcuts:

  • Command-[: Sets Show mailbox as the default action.

  • Command-]: Sets Copy mailbox as the default action.

  • Command-|: Sets Move mailbox as the default action.Command-Option-Control-Sets no default action.

After typing in the mailbox name in the search field, pressing Enter/Return can do one of two things:

  • Performs filing action: MsgFiler will file to the currently selected mailbox.

  • Focuses on the results list: MsgFiler will move focus from the search field to the mailbox results list.

Note: If only one item is visible in the mailbox results list, pressing Enter/Return will always perform the default filing action.

After filing, select

  • Selection up: Moves the cursor up one message in the frontmost Mail message viewer.

  • Selection down: Moves the cursor down one message in the frontmost Mail message viewer.

When Mail reaches the end of the list of messages, it loses focus in the frontmost message viewer.

When MsgFiler Engine is used to file messages, this preference is disabled.

This feature is only available on MsgFiler 3 on Snow Leopard. It has been disabled due to OS X Lion, Mountain Lion, and Maverick’s App Sandbox restrictions.

Label filed messages

You can label filed messages with a color so you know that they have already been filed. By default, MsgFiler labels filed messages in green. You can adjust this setting so that MsgFiler:

  • None: Does not label filed messages with any color]

  • Remove label: Removes any color labels on filed messages

  • Blue, Gray, Green, Orange, Purple, Red or Yellow: Labels filed messages with selected color

Advanced Settings

Remember recent mailboxes

By default, MsgFiler will remember and display recently accessed mailboxes at the top of the mailboxes results list. Uncheck this box if you do not want MsgFiler to keep track of recently used mailboxes.

Display total number of filed messages

Show off to your friends with the number of messages you’ve filed with MsgFiler. This is a great way to see how much time you’ve saved over dragging and dropping.

Show welcome message on startup

When MsgFiler is first installed, a welcome message is displayed to the user. Check this box if you want the message to appear every time you launch MsgFiler.

  • Closes MsgFiler: Pressing escape at any time will close MsgFiler.

  • Clears the search field: Pressing escape a second time will close MsgFiler.

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