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Five iCloud email tricks you probably missed

Kirk McElhearn | Aug. 13, 2013
Are you using your iCloud email account? Kirk McElhearn shows you five great features you might have missed.

If you have an Apple ID, then you have an iCloud email account. This free account gives you up to 5GB storage for your emails, minus what you use for documents and other data you store in the cloud. It's easy to work with your iCloud email from Apple's Mail, on the Mac, or on an iOS device. Still, you may not know about the many extra options and features available if you log into iCloud on the Web.

Before you can take advantage of any of the following tips, you need to turn on iCloud. If you already have an Apple ID, which you use on the iTunes store, you may never have set up iCloud. Read this article to get it up and running. Once you've done that, you can use your email account and these five tricks.

1. Access email anywhere 
While you may check your email on your Mac, iPhone or iPad, you can also access your messages on the Web. This is useful if you need to get or send email from a shared computer, but also if you need to send or receive files when you're on the road. Just log into icloud.com, and click the Mail icon. You'll have access to all of your email—and all of your contacts, if you've set iCloud to sync them—so you can send and receive messages and files. This can be useful if you need to get a file and print it out when you're visiting a client or friend.

2. Create rules that work on all your devices
You can set up rules—filters that act on incoming email messages—using Mail for OS X. But these rules only work on your Mac; they don't have any effect on your iPhone or iPad, unless you leave your Mac on all the time. If your Mac's not running, your email will simply flow into your iCloud account's inbox.

But you can set up rules on the icloud.com website that will move messages before they get to any of your devices. For example, you can filter your email so all the messages from your employer go into a specific mailbox.

To do this, you need to create a new mailbox; you can do this on your Mac or iOS device, but with iCloud on the Web, just click the plus-sign (+) icon next to Folders, then type a name for the new mailbox.

Next, click the gear icon at the top-right of the iCloud Mail interface, and choose Rules. Click Add a Rule, then choose one of the first conditions: if a message is from a specific person, has a subject containing a specific word, and so on. In the next field, enter an email address (for a specific person), a domain name, such as macworld.com (this will filter any messages from that domain), one or more words for subject filtering, and so on.

 

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