Setup Mail Rules to Send “Out Of Office” Backscatter to The Trash (UPDATED)

If you are on a number of maillist lists, you feel my pain. When you want to contribute to a listserv but are tired on receiving all the junk email associated with various people’s auto-responders for vacation or out of office, you can just go forward and delete all the mail you get telling you that “so and so doesn’t work here anymore” or “so and so will be out of the office on vacation” or you can just trash them through mail rules on your mail client. I will continue to update this post as I tweak the rules to best operate but here goes the first pass at it.

Here is a screenshot of my Entourage setup for the rules I detail below but these rules should be able to be created in whatever decent email client or web-based client you are using to manage your email.

Found in Entourage under 'Tools' Menu
Four criteria to dump to the Deleted Items

These correspond to the following rules I am working with so far.

FirstClass Servers
Auto-responders seem to have a “X-FC-MachineGenerated: true” in their header we can grab them via a header mail rule and use to route to trash.

Microsoft Exchange Servers
You can probably pick-off via the Subject line mail rule containing “Out Of Office” or “AutoReply” and dump them.

Gmail ‘Vacation’ Responders
Seems to have “X-Autoreply: yes” in the header of ‘vacation’ auto-replies so a header mail rule on that should do it.

If you have other rules you have constructed for these types of email servers or other settings you would like to share please comment. I have always thought of doing a consolidated page on this for general reference and would love some contributions and help.

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