How to Whitelist a Domain in Mac OS X Mail

Apple Mail icon
Apple Mail

Have you noticed that some emails from your favorite domain are ending up in your Junk box lately? The spam filter in Apple’s Mail app is effective at catching junk mail, while still allowing mail from known senders to reach your inbox. However, this only applies to individual senders and those in your Contacts; it does not automatically allow mail through from an entire domain, such as all email addressed that ends in “whatever.com”.

You can set the Mac Mail app to “whitelist” a domain so that it allows through mail from all addresses from that specified domain. To do so, you need to set up a rule in the Mail preferences.

Steps for Whitelisting a Domain 

To whitelist all email from a specific domain in the Mail app in Mac OS X or macOS:

  1. In the Mac OS X Mail top menu, click Mail Preferences.
  2. Click the Rules tab.
  3. Click Add Rule.
  4. Type a name in the Description field, such as “Whitelist: example.com,” to identify the new rule.
  5. For the conditions, set the first dropdown menu item to any, so that it reads: If any of the following conditions are met.
  6. In the next two dropdown menus, select From in the first, and Ends with for the second.
  7. In the text field following Ends with, enter the domain’s name that you want to whitelist. Include the ampersand “@” before the domain name to make the filter specific — for example, to whitelist all mail from the whatever.com domain, but not mail that might come from one of its subdomains (such as @subdomain.whatever.com), type “@whatever.com” into the field.
  8. Click the plus sign next to the last condition to add another domain with the same criteria if you want to whitelist more domains.
  9. In the Perform the following actions section set the three dropdown items to:Move Message, to the mailbox: Inbox (orspecify a different target folder of your choosing).
  10. Click OK to save the rule.
  11. Close the Rules window.

Setting Rule Order in Mac Mail App 

The order of the rules you have set matters and Mail executes them one after the other, moving down the list. To ensure that the rule you’ve just created that whitelists a domain is executed before others that might also apply the same message, click and drag that rule to the top of the rules list.

When finished, your windows should look something like this:

Apple Mail Domain Filtering

Junk Mail Filtering Settings in Mac Mail 

Junk mail filtering is active by default in the Mail app. You can find these settings by following these steps:

  1. In the Mac OS X Mail top menu, click Mail Preferences.
  2. Click the Junk Mail tab.

You can customize your junk mail filtering settings, including specifying where junk mail should go and defining exemptions for junk mail filtering. You can also reset the existing Junk filtering rules by clicking the “Reset…” button.

What if the emails are still not in my Junk folder or Inbox?

Your email provider filters out spam in the cloud, long before you check your email using Apple Mail. For instance, if you use Gmail or a Google account, you may need to train your account that emails from your favorite domain are not Spam. Google tech support has an article that describes how to do just that.

Can’t I just have someone do this for me?

Yes, we would be happy to help. Contact Us and we can get you going!

(Excerpted from an article at Lifewire.)

How to navigate the Genius Bar at the Apple Store

The “Genius Bar” name may do a disservice to everyday Apple users, scaring them away from fixing their own devices and implying only a “genius” can troubleshoot them. But sometimes, going to the Genius Bar makes sense—especially if your phone or Mac is still under warranty and you can get it fixed for free.

The vast majority of PC and phone manufacturers don’t have retail locations where you can walk in and get service—in fact, a lot of them require you to mail your device in for warranty service. A short trip to the Apple Store is much, much easier.

So if you’re headed to the Genius Bar for some help, here are some tips to keep in mind.

Research the issue before you go

Before you go: check with Google and see if the problem is easily fixable at home. If your iPhone is having trouble charging, for example, the charging port may just be full of lint—grab a toothpick and try to clean it out. You’d be surprised how often people waste a trip to the Apple Store for such a simple solution, and if you can save yourself an hour of hassle, you’ll feel pretty smart, too.

Similarly, the problem could be on your end—maybe your computer’s “slowness” is actually a poor Wi-Fi signal degrading your internet speed, or maybe your sound is finicky because the headphones are broken.

Plus – back up your data before you hand your phone or computer over to Apple. You never know when something will go wrong and you’ll be left without your crucial files.

Get an appointment—don’t try to walk in

Once upon a time, you could walk up to the Genius Bar, wait a few minutes, and get quick service. Those days are long gone. If this is your first trip in a while, going to the Apple store is like going to the DMV now, and an appointment is crucial if you don’t want to stand around waiting. Head to Apple’s website, click the “Get Hardware Help” button at the bottom, and make an appointment for the device in question. (You can also do this from the Apple Support app.)

If you have multiple issues or multiple devices that require service, make multiple appointments back-to-back from one another. Apple schedules those appointments assuming they’ll last 10-15 minutes each, so bringing a bunch of “but also” problems with you is only going to slow them down—and potentially get you worse service from a rushed technician.

Familiarize yourself with AppleCare

When you buy an Apple device, you get a one-year warranty with the device called AppleCare. You also have the option to purchase an extended warranty called AppleCare+, which not only adds an extra year (or two) of service but includes coverage for accidental damage, theft, and loss. That does not include a broken screen.

If your device has a known issue that you didn’t cause, then AppleCare will likely give you the repair for free. But if you damage your screen, dunk the phone in water, or otherwise damage it accidentally, you’ll have to pay a service fee to fix that damage. It’ll just be a lower service fee than you would have paid without AppleCare+. So don’t go demanding a free repair you aren’t entitled to.

In other cases, Apple may deny warranty coverage if you’ve damaged the phone, even if that damage isn’t directly related to your issue. The same goes for devices that you or a third party has repaired: Apple may decline to offer warranty coverage, even though it is illegal for them to do so. We’d encourage you to remind them of that fact if they try to pull a fast one.

See if you’re eligible for at-home repair

If you need service on a desktop Mac, it might be a hassle to take it into the store. They don’t advertise it heavily on their site, but Apple actually offers at-home repairs for desktop Macs if you’re still under the AppleCare warranty. You’ll need to give Apple a call, explain your situation, and they should be able to transfer you to a supervisor who can set up an at-home visit.

Don’t be afraid to look for help elsewhere

Geniuses are given specific troubleshooting steps by Apple, and many will just stick to those. Others may go above and beyond the call of duty, but that’s never guaranteed.

So if the Genius Bar can’t fix your problem, take it to an independent repair shop (or even a tech-savvy friend) and see if they can do anything. You may be out of luck, but you never know. So like visiting any other doctor, get a second opinion first.

Be nice, but be firm

At the end of the day, the Genius you’re talking to is just another person working their daily retail job. If you run in, angrily demanding repairs and blaming the Genius for your problems, you’re going to have a much worse experience than someone who is polite, listens carefully, and doesn’t act like you know more than them (even if you do). That doesn’t mean you should be a pushover—be firm in the resolution you want, especially if you know you’re entitled to it—but a little kindness goes a long way.

Wait… is there another option besides the Genius Bar?

Yes… It’s us! Faster, more available, and less people and hassle to deal with. Contact Us and we will take care of you before you spend hours at the Genius Bar!

Can You Encrypt Your Documents Before Sending Them in Email? Yes!

So – you have a Word, Excel, or PDF document that you want to send via email, but it is sensitive in nature. Now you are wondering if there is a simple way to encrypt that document so that no one can open it, unless they have the password. The answer is YES, and you don’t have to buy an expensive program to accomplish this.

This article will describe how to encrypt your documents using either the 2011 or 2016/2019/Office 365 versions of Word and Excel, and also how to use Apple’s included Preview program to encrypt your PDFs.

Important note!: You should use some other form of technology to communicate the password to your receiver(s), such as a text message, a phone call, or snail-mail. Using email to communicate the password defeats the whole purpose!

Encrypting PDFs

Apple’s Preview app can encrypt any PDF file in preparation for emailing or any other file-transfer method.

  • Open your PDF in Preview and go to the File menu
  • Hold down the Option key and choose the “Save As…” option.
  • In the dialog window that opens, you’ll see a checkbox titled, “Encrypt”. Select that and also give your document a slightly different name.
  • After checking that box, you’ll see a Password and Verify field. Enter your password into each of these and click the “Save” button.
  • Your newly encrypted PDF file’s desktop icon will now look like this:

What about PDFs within Windows?

Lifewire has a great article about encrypting PDF documents in Windows, using a free utility, PDFMate PDF Converter.

Encrypting Microsoft Word Documents

The methods Microsoft uses for various versions of Word look different, but the result is the same. You get a password-protected document that is not openable without the password (even by Microsoft).

Word 2011

  • Open your .doc or .docx file in Word 2011.
  • Go to the menu File:Preferences and click on the Security icon.
  • You will be presented with a dialog box in which to enter your password. I recommend NOT entering the password in the “Password to modify” box.
  • Press the return key to accept your password, then enter it a second time.
  • Save your document.

Your new file’s desktop icon will look like this:

Word 2016/2019/Office 365

  • Open your document.
  • Click on the Review Tab
  • Click on the “Protect Document” icon
  • Enter your password in the “Password” field. I recommend NOT entering it into the “Set a password to modify this document” field.
  • Click the “OK” button and save your document.

Encrypting Microsoft Excel Documents

The methods Microsoft uses for various versions of Excel look different, but the result is the same. You get a password-protected document that is not openable without the password (even by Microsoft).

Excel 2011

  • Open your .xls or .xlsx document in Excel 2011
  • Click on the Review tab
  • Click on the “Passwords” icon
  • Enter your password in the Password box. I recommend NOT entering the password in the “Password to modify” box.
  • Enter your password in the “Reenter password to open” box.
  • Click on the “OK’ button and Save your document.

Excel 2016/2019/Office 365

  • Open your Excel document
  • Go to the menu File:Passwords…
  • Enter your password in the “Password to open” box. I recommend NOT entering the password in the “Password to modify” box.
  • Click on “OK” and reenter your password in the “Reenter your password to edit” box and click OK and Save your document.

What about everything else?

The simplest way to encrypt other documents is to use an app that can password-protect your compressed .zip file (which the Mac does not do natively).

Keka is free from their website, or $2.99 from the App Store. It is simple and easy to use. Make sure to review their Help menu to get started.
WINZip is free for a limited time, and although its interface feels complicated and dated, it does work.

Practice Makes Perfect

Once you’ve gone through these procedures once or twice they will probably feel much easier for you. But if not, Contact Us, and we will be happy to walk you through all of it!

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