PRO features: multiple email accounts and rules

The Mail Attachment Downloader FREE versions offer the ability to download emails from only a single email account at a given time. Furthermore, you are restricted to only a single search or filter criteria.

We will explain how the Mail Attachment Downloader PRO versions differs and overcomes these limitations below with the PRO Features: multiple email accounts and rules.

Multiple email accounts

With the free version, you can run a download session for a single email account at a time. To download from another account you will need to pick another account from the Account dropdown.

With the PRO version, you can select multiple accounts  by selecting <multiple@multiple> option from the Account or email pulldown as shown below.

This will bring up the multiple account chooser after which you can select multiple email accounts that have already been configured.

multiple email accounts

Note that prior to selecting these accounts, you will need to add these accounts to the Account list first as individual accounts and then select the <multiple@multiple> option to choose multiple accounts.

Once selected, when Connect and Download is clicked, the program will download emails from multiple emails automatically.

If you have the PRO Server version and you want to download from multiple email accounts in the background, just select <multiple@multiple> first and then go to the Service tab and then click the Install service button.

Multiple email rules

The FREE version only let you specify a single email rule per email account. For example, you could search for emails starting from a certain date (search tab) and also include a Filter (filter tab)  by Subject. This will download all emails from that date that also match the Subject you provided.

This setting is saved per email account. When you switch accounts, you can specify a different search and filter setting that will be remembered for that account.

But what happens when you want to download this Subject to a folder and maybe a completely different email with a different Subject to a different folder and perhaps also run some actions after downloading the file?

You can do so with the Global Filters tab in the PRO versions as shown in the screenshot below.


The global filters tab lets you add one or more rules (order matters).

Ordering: For every attachment (or .eml if Save as .eml was checked), the program scans rules from topmost down (rule by rule) and checks to see if a rule matches all the criteria. When a match is found and a file is saved, no other rules below it are run for that attachment. Note that other attachments in the same email or body (if body hasn’t been saved already) will scan all the rules again from topmost down to find a match for that attachment/body.  Enable and use rule tracing to find out how or why an attachment or a body did not match a rule.

Applies to all email accounts: These rules apply to all accounts you have defined in the Account dropdown by default.  That is, each rule defined here, by default, will apply and run for every download session regardless of the email account that was selected/used to run the download.

You can, if needed, make the rule run only for a specific email account by adding an Account filter as will be explained below.

When using global filters, certain settings in the Search and Filters tab that were set for individual accounts will no longer be used and the UI for these will be disabled.

This is because the Global filters take precedence over the individual settings specified. You can specify the same exact Search or Filter criteria via a global rule as will be shown below.

To replicate the search and filter settings that you had in your free version in the PRO version, the first step is to click Add new filter and enter a rule name for the new filter. Below we’ve entered then name as ‘Payments FY 2016 Q3’ as an example.

rule filter


Account specific rule: If you want this rule to only apply to a specific email account and not all accounts, you should  specify a filter.

In the filters section of the Rule window, click Add -> Filters -> Account and choose the account from the dropdown (see screenshot below, choose Account instead of Header: SUBJECT).

Not doing so will mean that this rule runs for all accounts.

To add the Subject filter (that was previously in the Filters tab), click the Add button below the filter name in the Rule filters and extractions section and click on the Filters sub-menu followed by the Email Subject sub-menu item.    

This will add a new Subject filter to the Filters list as highlighted below. You can then enter the Subject you want to search much like you could have with the Filters tab in the main program window. Click on the Subject text box or click the … button next to get a help on how to specify this filter.

subject filter added

There are three ways you can specify a “match” in Mail Attachment Downloader PRO in almost any field that does a match (Subject, From, To, etc.).

  1. No quotes: In the field if you just specify Payments without quotes, then it will do a substring match. If the word Payments appears anywhere in the Subject it will be a match.
  2. With quotes: Including quotes like ‘Payments’ will do a regular expression match. If it’s just ‘Payments’ with the quotes it will do a substring match just like in (1) above. You can test out the regular expression by clicking the … button to the right of the text input area as shown above.
  3. With quotes and logical operators: You can also include logical operators such as OR, AND, NOT to combine multiple quoted matches. So an entry like ‘Payments’ OR ‘Invoices’ will match any subject where the words Payments or Invoices appear anywhere in the Subject (i.e. a substring match). You can also use parentheses to group these like: NOT (‘Payments’ OR ‘Invoices’) AND ‘Sales’ will match just Sales and not Payments or Invoices.

Use the button to test out your match criteria for any field to see if that is what you want.

Similarly, you could add other filters like by File type filter. 

Click on the Filter file types list item in the list box below the Add button to reveal the file types you want to select. Example below shows how we can filter by file type of Documents. You can add your own in the Other section (comma separated, like .csv, .jpg etc.).

filter by file type


Similarly, you could also extract data from any email header or body or attachment once the subject and file type matches if you would like as shown below.

Click Add -> Extractions -> (pick the wizard or regular expression option).


For more about extractions, check this in-depth guide on how to extract data from emails and attachments.

Choose save filename or format

Once you have the filters and extractions setup, you can pick the filename format as shown below. Click on the little information button next to the filename format to see a list of templates (enclosed between { and }) to include in the filename.

Save filename and format

CUSTOM FOLDERS: You can also include a \ in the Saved filename format field to indicate that a folder needs to be created. The program would automatically create a folder here whenever needed.

For example, {EMAIL_FROM}\{FILENAME}_{ID}{EXT} would create a folder for every senders emails address. This will be automatically created when a new attachment is downloaded.

Click the [i] information button to the right of the Saved filename format area to bring up a guide of all the fields you can insert in here.

TIP: Just double click the field in that popup window and it will insert the field at the current cursor location into the text area.

A few things to also keep in mind:

  • Always include {ID} in the Saved filename format. Excluding the {ID} will result in inconsistent downloads. This is because the program uses multiple threads to download emails simultaneously. If two filenames happen to clash on the filename, you may notice inconsistent behavior.
  • When you are using a shared folder as the Save folder, it MUST be a UNC path (do not use a mapped network drive as these will not work with the service installation).

READ this blog post on how to set the rules up to save different emails or attachments to different folders.

Downloading entire emails (w/o attachments)

Save filename and format

Also, to download the body or download entire emails (even those without attachments), click the ‘Save as .eml‘ checkbox.

Also make sure the ‘Save inline content’ checkbox in the Global filters tab is checked (or if you are using individual account settings, pick the account in the Account dropdown and check the Save inline content in the Search tab).

This will save the entire email (including attachments) as .eml file. If you want just the .eml file, specific a filter in the rule (like we did for Subject) to include just .eml.

If you want to run actions but not save the .eml, just add a delete file action after saving the file.

Download actions

Next we can add download actions that are run after the attachment is saved.

Lets suppose that the document attached in the email was .docx and we want to covert it to a .pdf. This is possible by choosing Add action in the Actions after save section and then clicking on Document conversion menu item as shown below.

Then we have added the document conversion action and you can add a new conversion by clicking on Add conversion button. Once complete, you will see something like the below indicating that Any doc is now converted to a pdf.

doc conversion action added

Save the rule

Now click on the Save button. That’s it, you have created your first rule.

If you want this rule to only apply to a certain email account and not all accounts, you can specify a filter as we did with the Subject instead choose Account filter as explained below.

In the filters section of the Rule window, click Add -> Filters -> Account and choose the account from the dropdown. Then click Save.

Do this for each rule that applies to that account.

Create unlimited number of rules and actions

Similarly, you can create any number of email rules with different save locations and different actions.

This provides rich automation capabilities with ease and enables you to automate backend email to perform more complex tasks.

Multiple rules: Points to remember

email processing

TIP: Keep these in mind when defining multiple rules…

  • All rules are run for every attachment in the email and/or the .eml (if Save as .eml was checked).
  • All rules are run for any account that is selected in the Account dropdown (in the main program window). You can restrict a rule to a specific account by adding an Account filter and selecting the specific account in the dropdown inside the rule configuration.
  • Ordering: Rules are run from the top to down in ORDER they are defined. Drag and drop rules to move them order to affect the ordering.
  • If a Rule matches a given attachment or .eml, then no other rules below it are run for that attachment or .eml.
  • Emails without attachments can run actions as well, you will need to check the Save inline content checkbox in the Global filters tab AND check the Save as .eml checkbox inside the rule (next to the Save folder).
  • Actions in the rule are only run when there is a rules match and a file is saved. If you don’t want to save the file but want to run actions, just add a delete file action after saving the file in the rule.
  • PRO-Server: When making any config change, always uninstall and then re-install the service from the service tab.


This quick post shows how you can add many email accounts and many filters to handle simple automation tasks.

To see the full list of features or download actions the program supports check our PRO page and browse through features described there.

Further reading

Some interesting how-to links and posts for further exploration:

Contact us

Contact us if you have any questions, suggestions about the functionality described in this article.