MsgFiler Classic Plugin

This page describes MsgFiler Classic, also known as the Original MsgFiler Mail Plugin. If you are looking for MsgFiler 3 that works with the MsgFiler Engine Plugin, click here.

Downloading the Plugin

Download the version of MsgFiler Classic depending on your macOS operating system version.


There are no betas of the MsgFiler Classic plugin at this time.

macOS Ventura, Monterey, and Big Sur (12.0 and higher)

Mac OS X Mountain Lion through macOS Catalina (10.8.5 to 10.15.7)

Mac OS X Snow Leopard

Mac OS X Tiger and Below

macOS Ventura, Monterey, Big Sur, Catalina, and Mojave Users

Be sure to read the installation instruction step 9, as you will need to turn on plug-ins within Mail’s Preferences to enable MsgFiler Classic.

Known Issues

  • Upgrading macOS removes MsgFiler. Many upgrades of macOS and MacOS X remove all Mail bundles after upgrading. To resolve, re-install MsgFiler.

Installing the Plugin

MsgFiler is an Apple Mail Plug-In. To install and configure MsgFiler, follow these instructions:

  1. Quit the Mail application.
  2. Go to the Finder
  3. Hold the Option key and click on the Go menu
  4. Choose Library
  5. Navigate to the Mail directory in the Library directory
  6. Drag MsgFilerPlugIn.mailbundle to Bundles folder in the Mail directory. Create the Bundles folder if it does not already exist.
  7. If you have never used or installed a Mail plug-in like MsgFiler Classic, you will need to run the following commands in the Terminal application:
    If you are using macOS 10.14 or higher, paste and press enter:
sudo defaults write "/Library/Preferences/" EnableBundles 1
defaults write EnableBundles -bool true
defaults write BundleCompatibilityVersion 4

Note: You will have to enter your Administrator password after the first command.

If you are using OS X 10.7 or higher, paste and press enter:

defaults write EnableBundles -bool true
defaults write BundleCompatibilityVersion 4

If you are using OS X 10.6/Snow Leopard, paste and press enter:

defaults write EnableBundles -bool true
defaults write BundleCompatibilityVersion 3
  1. Launch Mail.
  2. If you are using macOS 10.14 Mojave or higher, open Mail Preferences
    1. Click Manage Plug-Ins.
    2. Ensure that MsgFiler Engine is checked.
    3. Click Apply and Restart Mail.

Setting a Keyboard Equivalent for MsgFiler

Next you will create a custom keyboard shortcut to activate MsgFiler in the Mail application.

  1. Choose System Preferences… from the Apple menu.
  2. Click Keyboard & Mouse.
  3. Click Keyboard Shortcuts tab.
  4. Click the + icon.
  5. In the sheet that appears, choose Mail from the Application menu
  6. Enter Move with MsgFiler in the Menu Title field.
  7. Enter the keyboard shortcut of your choice in the Keyboard Shortcut field. For instance, Command-9.
  8. Click Add.

MsgFiler is now ready for use! You can open MsgFiler via the Message menu or by typing Command-9 on the keyboard while in the Mail application.

Removing the Plugin

To remove the MsgFiler Mail Plugin follow these steps:

  1. Quit Mail if it is currently running.
  2. Go to the Finder.
  3. Hold the Option key and click on the Go menu.
  4. Choose Library.
  5. Open Mail.
  6. Open Bundles.
  7. Move the folder MsgFilerPlugIn.mailbundle to a new location.
  8. Restart Mail.

Migrating from the Plugin to App

Moving forward with MsgFiler 3, I will only be providing macOS compatibility updates for MsgFiler Mail Plugin.

Existing users of MsgFiler are encouraged to purchase and update to MsgFiler 3. There are many new features in 3 which users have requested over the years, including:

  • Favorite mailboxes
  • Recent mailboxes
  • Ability to create new mailboxes from within MsgFiler
  • Configurable default action
  • Exclude mailboxes
  • Match on mailbox names only
  • Restrict search to selected accounts
  • Full keyboard access

Differences Between the Application and Plugin

The previous version of MsgFiler came in the form of an Apple Mail plugin. Because the Mac App Store guidelines restricts plugins, MsgFiler has been rewritten to be a standalone application that communicates with Mail via AppleScript. Differences between the plugin and the application are noted below:

Hide Offline and Inactive Accounts
MsgFiler 3.0 does not have the ability to determine whether a mail account is offline or inactive.
Mark as Read
Due to AppleScript performance issues, the mark as read feature has been removed from the application. From within MsgFiler, however, you can press command-shift-U to toggle the read/unread status of messages before you file them.
Loading Mailboxes
The plugin, by virtue of being integrated with Mail, is faster at loading and reloading of mailboxes. I’m looking into improving the MsgFiler Engine to bring the same fast loading of mailboxes to MsgFiler 3.
Filing To Remote Mailboxes
MsgFiler’s performance when filing to local mailboxes is on par with the plugin, but you may experience a slight delay when filing messages to remote IMAP mailboxes. This is because MsgFiler is using AppleScript to file messages instead of a internal function. Update: You can install the optional MsgFiler Engine Mail Plugin to resolve this.

Purchasing MsgFiler Mail Plugin

It’s recommended that you purchase MsgFiler 3.0 from the Mac App Store. If you still wish to purchase the plugin, however, you can do so for US$10 via PayPal.


Known Issues

I upgraded to Mavericks and filed messages keep reappearing in the original mailbox (Gmail account)!
Did you hide the All Mail folder in Gmail’s web settings? If so, you will need to reveal this mailbox in IMAP for MsgFiler to work properly. See this article on TidBits for more details.

MsgFiler Mail Plugin Release History

Show All

Version 2.0.0 – 2007-12-27
MsgFiler has been rewritten in Cocoa and is fully integrated into Mail.
Improved searching and filing performance.
Version 2.0.1 – 2007-12-29
Fixed bug where registration window would appear after app was already registered.
Version 2.0.2 – 2008-02-12
Added the ability to copy messages instead of moving messages.
Added additional preferences.
Pressing the Escape key now closes MsgFiler.
MsgFiler supports filing through MiniMail mail plugin from OliveToast.
Fixed a bug in Tiger where MsgFiler window would not save its position
Fixed a bug in Tiger where messages would not be filed properly.
Version 2.0.3 – 2008-07-30
New installer application
MsgFiler now works properly on HFS+ Case-Sensitive Disk Partitions
MsgFiler ignores mailbox directories (white folders into which you can’t file messages)
Added Hide mailboxes from inactive and offline accounts feature
Version 2.0.4 – 2009-08-26
Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard compatibility. Support for Mac OS 10.4 and earlier dropped. (Use 2.0.3 version of MsgFiler).
Version 2.0.5 – 2009-09-10
Mac OS X 10.6.1 compatibility.
Version 2.0.6 – 2009-10-23
Mac OS X 10.6.2 compatibility.
Version 2.0.7 – 2010-05-19
Mac OS X 10.6.4 compatibility.
Version 2.0.8 – 2010-08-31
General compatibility fixes
Preference for forcing the Enter key to always file messages, as opposed to moving from the input field to the table view.
Version 2.0.9 – 2011-01-26
General compatibility fixes
Fixed bug where using MsgFiler may cause Spaces to hang and prevent keyboard input.
Version 2.1.0 – 2011-02-13
Restored MsgFiler’s results list font size back to the 2.0.8 setting.
Web site updated to go to
Version 2.1.1 – 2011-06-08
Compatibility with OS X Lion.
Version 2.1.2 – 2011-07-21
Go To Mailbox works in OS X Lion.
Version 2.1.3 – 2011-08-24
Compatibility with OS X Lion.
Version 2.1.4 – 2011-12-27
Compatibility fixes.
Version 2.1.5 – 2012-07-30
Compatibility with OS X Mountain Lion.
Version 2.1.6 – 2012-08-07
Compatibility fixes.
Version 2.1.7 – 2012-09-21
Compatibility with Snow Leopard and latest security update.
Version 2.1.8 – 2013-04-18
Compatibility fixes.
Version 2.1.9 – 2013-09-12
Compatibility with OS X 10.8.5.
Version 2.2.0 – 2013-10-21
Compatibility with OS X 10.9.
Version 2.2.1 – 2013-11-08
Compatibility with Mail Update for Mavericks.
Version 2.2.2 – 2013-12-16
Compatibility with OS X 10.9.1.
Version 2.2.3 – 2014-02-25
Compatibility with OS X 10.9.2.
Version 2.2.4 – 2014-05-15
Compatibility with OS X 10.9.3.
Version 2.2.5 – 2014-06-30
Compatibility with OS X 10.9.4.
Version 2.2.6 – 2014-10-20
Compatibility with OS X 10.10.
Version 2.2.7 – 2014-11-17
Compatibility with OS X 10.10.1.
Version 2.2.8 – 2015-01-27
Compatibility with OS X 10.10.2. Fixed bug preventing filing of messages in single message viewers. Mail Perspectives compatibility update.
Version 2.2.9 – 2015-09-30
Compatibility with OS X 10.11.
Version 2.2.9 – 2015-10-21
Compatibility with OS X 10.11.1.
Version 2.3.1 – 2015-12-08
Compatibility with OS X 10.11.2.
Version 2.3.2 – 2016-03-21
Compatibility with OS X 10.11.4.
Version 2.3.3 – 2016-09-08
Compatibility with macOS Sierra 10.12.
Version 2.3.4 – 2016-09-30
Compatibility with macOS Sierra 10.12.1. Fixes crashing bug when filing with Return key.
Version 2.3.5 – 2016-12-13
Compatibility with macOS Sierra 10.12.2.
Version 2.3.6 – 2016-03-27
Compatibility with macOS Sierra 10.12.4.
Version 2.3.7 – 2017-09-25
Support for macOS High Sierra 10.13
Version 2.3.8 – 2018-09-24
Support for macOS Mojave 10.14
Version 2.4.0 – 2019-10-11
Support for macOS Catalina 10.15
Version 2.4.1 – 2020-05-04
Support for macOS Catalina 10.15.5
Version 2.5.0 – 2020-11-10
Support for macOS Big Sur 11.0
Version 2.5.1 – 2020-11-19
Support for macOS Big Sur 11.1
Version 2.5.2 – 2020-11-25
Support for M1 Macs
Version 2.6.0 – 2021-10-04
Support macOS Monterey 12.0
Version 2.6.1 – 2021-12-07
Support macOS Monterey 12.1


  1. I look forward to making my first Mac App Store purchase and paying a small fee ($5) is more than fair for a utility I have used regularly for years and have never had to pay more than the additional purchase price.


  2. I look forward to the new features in MsgFiler and $5 is a fair price. It’s unfortunate that Apple’s App Store doesn’t allow Mail plug-ins and required you to re-write the entire application which has slightly adverse consequences for features and performance.

    1. Off-topic…

      GREAT APP!!!!

      Found it “by accident” in the AppStore and is exactly what I need.

      Cannot use AppleMail anymore without MsgFiler.

      Any info whether with new AppleMail 5 (announced) it’ll continue to work?



  3. Frankly, I like the plug-in better. With the application, it has to be running to work, which means you really need to have it launch as system start-up. I’m not a big fan of having applications running that I’m not using. I’ll keep the plug-in until a future system software breaks it.

  4. Many thanks for adding the MsgFiler Engine option for faster IMAP filing. This is really great for those like me who have GMail as their IMAP server!!!

  5. I think it’s lame apple won’t let msgfiler in it’s original form into the store. Mail without msgfiler is SLOW! Like Don: “I’m not a big fan of having applications running that I’m not using. I’ll keep the plug-in until a future system software breaks it.”

    Personally, I don’t need any more features, it works perfectly for me as is. If you could maintain it to keep working with Mail (but no more features/enhancements like the real App version), I’d be happy! *I’d be happy to pay a few bucks for an updated msgfiler plugin if needed in the future to work with a new version.

  6. Hi there,

    MsgFiler is an essential app for me, and I happily re-purchased it from the app store.

    Yet, there is a simple enhancement that would increase productivity:
    promote mailboxes from the selected account at the top of the list.

    I have several accounts, and have mailboxes with the same name. Most of the time (but not always), I’ll file emails in mailboxes for the account that received the email. Hence the enhancement request.

    Thanks, in advance

    – gael

    1. Seconded: I would love it if the current account’s mailboxes were sorted first.

      I don’t want the preference to restrict to the current account: sometimes I *do* want to file in other accounts.

  7. Adam,
    I just purchased the app to help support your development of the plugin.

    Personally, I’m with Don in preferring plugins to a separate app. Thanks for your continued support of the plugin.


  8. Oh, and by the way, I love the new plugin.

    “promote mailboxes from the selected account at the top of the list.”

    I agree with this request as well. I find that I often have competing matches and almost always want to file the message into the account that matches the current highlighted message. I do realize this becomes tricky once more than one message is selected.


  9. Can I purchase the update to support the original version – but not use it (or does the appStore force me lose my perfectly working old copy? I guess I can then reinstall the old version right?)

  10. TimM: Yes, purchasing the app does nothing to the existing plugin. Just don’t run it and you’ll be fine. I’ll continue to update the mail plugin for the foreseeable future.

  11. I couldn’t live without this utility. I’ve been using it for quite a while. The transition to the new app-based approach is going well, but I’m having trouble re-training my fingers to the new keybinding. I chose Shift-Apple-F to refile (so I don’t have to reach up to the number keys). Seems to work fine if only my fingers would cooperate. Keep up the great work!!

  12. I was having problems with the Command-9 shortcut not working from Mail… until I remembered to remove the old shortcut from the Keyboard preferences.

    You might want to update your plugin removal instructions.

  13. Hey Adam,
    I purchased the App version, mostly to support your efforts as I love the plugin!
    I have had a few issues as others have noted:
    1. Very slow, could be the applescript. I thought when you did your last update of the plugin you moved away from applescript. Guess another hurdle to get over to do a stand alone app.
    2. I run into an issue where the slowness makes me open messages as I hit return thinking it did not get my entry. Mail selects the same number of messages that were moved, nice to unselect them…but unsure what you should be selecting.
    3. Have had the app not appear in mail, seems like it could be an issue if I start mail first? I restarted mail and it seems to be working correctly. Had to re-launch it a number of times.

    Thanks for keeping the plugin working, wish I could override the version check…

  14. Doug – When 3.0.1 is released on the App Store (it’s in review right now), I invite you to use that version along with the MsgFiler Engine. It will enable much faster filing, similar to what you experience today with the plugin.

  15. It looks like 10.6.7 has broken the plugin. I tried reinstalling the plugin that I downloaded from your website. But the new version 3.0.1 I purchased via the app store says the plug in is not installed when trying to use the plugin engine to file messages within the application’s preferences.

    Do you have a revised plugin that will work with 10.6.7?

  16. I forgot to mention that I did follow your directions and enabled assistive devices in the Universal Access preference pane. The plug in is not recognized by version 3.0.1.

  17. I love this program… Used it for a couple years. I’m not real impressed with Version 3 for a couple reasons. First, downloading it from the Apps Store was incredibly difficult the first time, just understanding it. I like the previous versions where you simply download it and install it. I have two computers and I cannot get it to install on the 2nd one using the Apps Store. Just FYI, go back to the old way of installation. It was easy and I can keep the file in a folder where I keep my record of purchases…

  18. If you are having trouble installing on your second computer, please read the last question in the known issues section on the support page on how to resolve.

    I’m considering a version that’s available outside the Mac App Store, for those who prefer the traditional way to install apps. The plugin will continue to be supported through Mac OS X Lion as well.

  19. What is the latest version for 10.5 PowerPCs? I currently run 2.0.8. I click “Check for updates” and I’m redirected to the frontpage which shows MsgFiler 3.

    “The current version of the MsgFiler Mail Plugin is 2.1.1. It is qualified for use on Mac OS X 10.6.7.”

    A table or a webpage that easily shows the latest version of the app and the plugin for every system would be really helpful.

    1. If you are intending to go to MsgFiler 3, I would just use 2.1.1 in demo/shareware mode until you are ready to make the jump.

  20. Hi Adam,

    I’ve had the mail plug-in for a few years now, and I love it, but it’s lately stopped working (I’m on Snow Leopard, haven’t upgraded past that. I just tried to reinstall v2.0.6 (my latest version, I think), and I got this message:

    Mail has disabled the following plug-ins:


    Contact the makers of these plug-ins for versions that are compatible with Mail 4.5 and Message 4.5.

    Any thoughts on how I can get it reinstalled?

  21. Hi Adam,

    I reinstalled the plugin several times – but my key (cmd-9) does not work (but it is in the systempreferences) and the menu – entries for the plugin in e-mail – menu are just grey …
    is there something, that I miss?

    Thx a lot in advance for any help!


  22. Hi Adam,

    I have Lion and I chose to purchase the plug-in through Paypal, because I didn’t want another program. I like the idea of a plug-in.

    Anyway, I have two requests.

    First, I access my work Exchange work account through Mail. Our work separates mail into project folders and subfolders. I have many, many folders (I’m the only Mac guy with the company). Anyway, many I need to GO to a folder quickly. I’m also a “keyboard guy” rather than a “mouse guy” and I find it awkward that “Go to Mailbox” is at the opposite end of the dialog box from Copy and Move. Can you either 1) program the Go to Mailbox button on the same level as Copy and Move, or 2) provide a quick key combo to GO TO MAILBOX?

    Second, the search parameters have to be in order. My work’s mailboxes have lengthy names. If I don’t put in the search terms in the exact order, then MSGfiler doesn’t see the folder. Is there any way to correct that?

    Thank you for a great program. Thank you for your kind consideration of my requests.


    1. No, while Outlook for Mac has a MsgFiler-esque feature, MsgFiler itself has not been ported to Outlook. No plans at the moment to do so. Sorry!

  23. Hi – works fast but after filing the message, the next message is not highlighted, so I’m having to click in there again which is counter-productive- can you help?

    1. Can you confirm that you’re using the Original MsgFiler Mail Plugin and not the Engine with MsgFiler 3? Make sure if you’re using the Engine, to enable it in MsgFIler Preferences > Filing

      In both cases, Mail should select the next message. The only time it doesn’t do this is if the Engine is not enabled in MsgFiler 3.

  24. Thanks so much for maintaining plugin – Macbook just upgraded something automatically, not sure if OSX or Mail, but upgrading to 2.1.9 seems to work,

    Going to find out how to contribute now 🙂

  25. I’ve been following your blog since the good old Apple Newton days – long time ago. Always had MsgFiler in the back of my mind since it was first announced but had no use for it because I do use Outlook on my Mac. But my inbox became more and more cluttered and inbox zero wasn’t more than wishful thinking. Finally I decided to add to my mix just only to be able to run MsgFiler. And within just a couple of hours everything is cleaned up and useful again. Thank you so much Adam!d

  26. Hi; I use the app daily. I love it but have a suggestion. When moving/copying a message the app jumps “back” and leaves the list unmarked. I would love the app to mark the next mail in the list after moving/copying a mail…

    Would that be possible?

    1. You left a comment in the Original MsgFiler Plugin support page. Are you using that one or MsgFiler 3 from the App Store?

      With MsgFiler 3, you should be using it in conjunction with the MsgFiler Engine plugin ( I’ve seen what you are describing when not using the Engine.

      With the Original MsgFiler Plugin, it should automatically select the next message in the list. What OS X are you running?


  27. Adam,

    I’ve been using a licensed copy on my desktop for years and years, couldn’t live without it. Just bought a MacBook Pro and the plugin is one of my first installs. I can’t get it to work though. When I hit CMD+9 the MsgFiler window opens and allows me to navigate to the proper mailbox, but when I hit Return, the window closes (as it should), but the msg does not leave my inbox nor arrive in the designated folder. What am I doing wrong. Get me running and I’ll buy another license.


    1. Martin – sent you an email, but here’s response for those who might be affected as well.

      Are you sure you’re using the original plugin instead of MsgFiler 3 and the MsgFiler Engine ( ?

      Can you send me a screenshot of the MsgFiler that you’re using?

      If you’re running MsgFiler 3, you will need to reinstall the Engine to get it working at optimum speed.

      Let me know if that works!

  28. Hi Adam –

    I am a longtime plug-in user and very reluctant to switch (but happy to give you money to support continued dev of the plug-in).

    I am having a problem that seemed to start with 10.10 (but I cannot be sure as I did a complete overhaul of my mac and changed a lot of things): Msgfiler won’t file emails that are open. I have to close them first, then invoke the plug-in, select my preferred folder in which to file the email, and then it files just fine. But if the email is open, nothing happens when I hit the return key or click on the “move” button.

    Any thoughts?



      1. Holy Crap! Could you let me get my finger off the “Post Comment’ button before you reply?!? 🙂

        Seriously tho – thanks for the great product, great support, and ridiculously speedy reply!

  29. Hi Adam,

    I just discovered MsgFiler and it’s the answer to my frustrations. I’d like to stick with the plugin instead of the app. I’m with some of the others who don’t want *another* app running at start-up.

    Will you continue support and development for the plug in? I want to buy it right now, but want to spend my money on the right thing. If the plugin will be maintained and developed for future versions of Mail and OS X, then I’m happy to spend the money. If you’re going to focus on the App only, then I guess I’ll have to buy that and lump it.

    Thank you!

    1. Yes, I’ll be continuing to update the plugin to support future OS X releases. If Apple changes the Mail app, however, such that plugins are no longer supported, all bets are off.

      1. Should Apple do that, then I’ll happily buy your App. For now…please take my money!

        *runs off to Paypal*

        THANK YOU!!

  30. I am running Catalina. I have downloaded the MsgFiler and MsgFiler engine that are labeled as Catalina but also beta. They both work well and I am a happy user…

    Except that… I get the pop up regularly asking me the registration number, ie, buying the software. I would actually be happy paying the fee but… the only avenue for buying is through the AppStore, and that version of MsgFiler seems to be older (version 3 vs. version 4). Ie, the version I would buy would not work with Catalina, would it?

    Can somebody tell me where and what exactly should I buy to keep things running? As I said, functionally, this software does exactly what I need (an nothing more that I would not need…)


    Ivan Herman

      1. Adam, just to see if I understand it right. I indeed have both MsgFilerEngine and the MsgFilerMailPlugin installed: versions 240 (if I read the number right on the ‘about’ popup) and 1.4.0, respectively. You mean I should essentially uninstall the MsgFilerMailPlugin (moving the bundle out of the relevant directory amounts to that), then install the same plugin via the Apple Store? Will the apple store version be the same version and will run on Catalina (I ask that because it is flagged as ‘beta’ on the Web site where I downloaded from)? Should I then remove the version from the Apple store and reinstall the previous one manually because the license is stored somewhere where both versions can access it? Or the Apple Store version will make it?


      2. The App Store version works with the Engine plugin and has more features than the Original MsgFiler Mail Plugin. I would look at the documentation links to see if you want those features. Otherwise, the Original MsgFiler Mail Plug-in might be good enough for you. If you, you can pay via PayPal from the link on If you go that route, you would do the opposite of what I suggested earlier: remove the Engine Mail bundle and keep the other one.

        I will continue to support both products whenever Apple updates macOS, unless Apple decides to remove plugin support from Mail. It’s always a possibility, given the way macOS has become more and more locked down over the years.

      3. Ok. I kept to the external app option, and it downloaded and installed from the app store fine. The extra features of managing the mailboxes is a good thing to have, for example, hence my choice.

        With that settled, I do have a question: I am just curious why you maintain these two versions? The separate app has a sligh user interface problem for me: I often use the mail client on full screen and, with this setup, the app would appear on another screen, whereas the plugin remains on the same screen. The latter is more convenient, I must admit…

        In any case, thanks.

      4. MsgFiler existed long before the Mac App Store was available. The Original MsgFiler Plugin was the first version of MsgFiler. When the App Store was announced, I created MsgFiler 3. Hence, the two different versions of the product.

        Make sure Hide Dock Icon is enabled in MsgFiler Preferences. That will allow you to use MsgFiler when your other apps are in Full Screen mode. Apple did not allow me to have this setting on by default for approval on the Mac App Store.

        > >

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