Mail flow rule actions in Exchange Server

Actions in mail flow rules (also known as transport rules) specify what you want to do to messages that match conditions of the rule. For example, you can create a rule that forwards message from specific senders to a moderator, or adds a disclaimer or personalized signature to all outbound messages.

Actions typically require additional properties. For example, when the rule redirects a message, you need to specify where to redirect the message. Some actions have multiple properties that are available or required. For example, when the rule adds a header field to the message header, you need to specify both the name and value of the header. When the rule adds a disclaimer to messages, you need to specify the disclaimer text, but you can also specify where to insert the text, or what to do if the disclaimer can't be added to the message. Typically, you can configure multiple actions in a rule, but some actions are exclusive. For example, one rule can't reject and redirect the same message.

For more information about mail flow rules in Exchange Server, see Mail flow rules in Exchange Server.

For more information about conditions and exceptions in mail flow rules, see Mail flow rule conditions and exceptions (predicates) in Exchange Server.

For more information about actions in mail flow rules in Exchange Online Protection or Exchange Online, see Mail flow rule actions in Exchange Online.

Actions for mail flow rules on Mailbox servers

The actions that are available in mail flow rules on Mailbox servers are described in the following table. Valid values for each property are described in Property values section.

Notes:

  • After you select an action in the Exchange admin center (EAC), the value that's ultimately shown in the Do the following field is often different from the click path you selected. Also, when you create new rules, you can sometimes (depending on the selections you make) select a short action name from a template (a filtered list of actions) instead of following the complete click path. The short names and full click path values are shown in the EAC column in the table.

  • The names of some of the actions that are returned by the Get-TransportRuleAction cmdlet are different than the corresponding parameter names, and multiple parameters might be required for an action.

Action in the EAC Action parameter in the Exchange Management Shell Property Description Available in
Forward the message for approval to these people
Forward the message for approval > to these people
ModerateMessageByUser
Addresses
Forwards the message to the specified moderators as an attachment wrapped in an approval request. For more information, see Common message approval scenarios . You can't use a distribution group as a moderator.
Exchange 2010 or later
Forward the message for approval to the sender's manager
Forward the message for approval > to the sender's manager
ModerateMessageByManager
n/a
Forwards the message to the sender's manager for approval.
This action only works if the sender's Manager attribute is defined in Active Directory. Otherwise, the message is delivered to the recipients without moderation.
Exchange 2010 or later
Redirect the message to these recipients
Redirect the message to > these recipients
RedirectMessageTo
Addresses
Redirects the message to the specified recipients. The message isn't delivered to the original recipients, and no notification is sent to the sender or the original recipients.
Exchange 2010 or later
Reject the message with the explanation
Block the message > reject the message and include an explanation
RejectMessageReasonText
String
Returns the message to the sender in a non-delivery report (also known as an NDR or bounce message) with the specified text as the rejection reason. The recipient doesn't receive the original message or notification.
The default enhanced status code that's used is 5.7.1.
When you create or modify the rule in the Exchange Management Shell, you can specify the DSN code by using the RejectMessageEnhancedStatusCode parameter.
Exchange 2010 or later
Reject the message with the enhanced status code
Block the message > reject the message with the enhanced status code of
RejectMessageEnhancedStatusCode
DSNEnhancedStatusCode
Returns the message to the sender in an NDR with the specified enhanced delivery status notification (DSN) code. The recipient doesn't receive the original message or notification.
Valid DSN codes are 5.7.1 or 5.7.900 through 5.7.999.
The default reason text that's used is Delivery not authorized, message refused.
When you create or modify the rule in the Exchange Management Shell, you can specify the rejection reason text by using the RejectMessageReasonText parameter.
Exchange 2010 or later
Delete the message without notifying anyone
Block the message > delete the message without notifying anyone
DeleteMessage
n/a
Silently drops the message without sending a notification to the recipient or the sender.
Exchange 2010 or later
Add recipients to the Bcc box
Add recipients > to the Bcc box
BlindCopyTo
Addresses
Adds one or more recipients to the Bcc field of the message. The original recipients aren't notified, and they can't see the additional addresses.
Exchange 2010 or later
Add recipients to the To box
Add recipients > to the To box
AddToRecipients
Addresses
Adds one or more recipients to the To field of the message. The original recipients can see the additional addresses.
Exchange 2010 or later
Add recipients to the Cc box
Add recipients > to the Cc box
CopyTo
Addresses
Adds one or more recipients to the Cc field of the message. The original recipients can see the additional address.
Exchange 2010 or later
Add the sender's manager as a recipient
Add recipients > add the sender's manager as a recipient
AddManagerAsRecipientType
AddedManagerAction
Adds the sender's manager to the message as the specified recipient type (To, Cc, Bcc), or redirects the message to the sender's manager without notifying the sender or the recipient.
This action only works if the sender's Manager attribute is defined in Active Directory.
Exchange 2010 or later
Append the disclaimer
Apply a disclaimer to the message > append a disclaimer
ApplyHtmlDisclaimerText
ApplyHtmlDisclaimerFallbackAction
ApplyHtmlDisclaimerTextLocation
First property: DisclaimerText
Second property: DisclaimerFallbackAction
Third property (Exchange Management Shell only): DisclaimerTextLocation
Applies the specified HTML disclaimer to the end of the message.
When you create or modify the rule in the Exchange Management Shell, use the ApplyHtmlDisclaimerTextLocation parameter with the value Append.
Exchange 2010 or later
Prepend the disclaimer
Apply a disclaimer to the message > prepend a disclaimer
ApplyHtmlDisclaimerText
ApplyHtmlDisclaimerFallbackAction
ApplyHtmlDisclaimerTextLocation
First property: DisclaimerText
Second property: DisclaimerFallbackAction
Third property (Exchange Management Shell only): DisclaimerTextLocation
Applies the specified HTML disclaimer to the beginning of the message.
When you create or modify the rule in the Exchange Management Shell, use the ApplyHtmlDisclaimerTextLocation parameter with the value Prepend.
Exchange 2010 or later
Remove this header
Modify the message properties > remove a message header
RemoveHeader
MessageHeaderField
Removes the specified header field from the message header.
Exchange 2010 or later
Set the message header to this value
Modify the message properties > set a message header
SetHeaderName
SetHeaderValue
First property: MessageHeaderField
Second property: String
Adds or modifies the specified header field in the message header, and sets the header field to the specified value.
Exchange 2010 or later
Apply a message classification
Modify the message properties > apply a message classification
ApplyClassification
MessageClassification
Applies the specified message classification to the message.
Exchange 2010 or later
Set the spam confidence level (SCL) to
Modify the message properties > set the spam confidence level (SCL)
SetSCL
SCLValue
Sets the spam confidence level (SCL) of the message to the specified value.
Exchange 2010 or later
Apply rights protection to the message with
Modify the message security > apply rights protection
ApplyRightsProtectionTemplate
RMSTemplate
Applies the specified Rights Management Services (RMS) template to the message.
RMS requires Exchange Enterprise client access licenses (CALs) for each mailbox. For more information about CALs, see Exchange Server Licensing.
Exchange 2010 or later
Require TLS encryption
Modify the message security > require TLS encryption
RouteMessageOutboundRequireTls
n/a
Forces the outbound messages to be routed over a TLS encrypted connection.
Exchange 2013 or later
Prepend the subject of the message with
PrependSubject
String
Adds the specified text to the beginning of the Subject field of the message. Consider using a space or a colon (:) as the last character of the specified text to differentiate it from the original subject text.
To prevent the same string from being added to messages that already contain the text in the subject (for example, replies), add the The subject includes (ExceptIfSubjectContainsWords) exception to the rule.
Exchange 2010 or later
Notify the sender with a Policy Tip
NotifySender
RejectMessageReasonText
RejectMessageEnhancedStatusCode (Exchange Management Shell only)
First property: NotifySenderType
Second property: String
Third property (Exchange Management Shell only): DSNEnhancedStatusCode
Notifies the sender or blocks the message when the message matches a DLP policy.
When you use this action, you need to use the The message contains sensitive information (MessageContainsDataClassification condition.
When you create or modify the rule in the Exchange Management Shell, the RejectMessageReasonText parameter is optional. If you don't use this parameter, the default text Delivery not authorized, message refused is used.
In the Exchange Management Shell, you can also use the RejectMessageEnhancedStatusCode parameter to specify the enhanced status code. If you don't use this parameter, the default enhanced status code 5.7.1 is used.
This action limits the other conditions, exceptions, and actions that you can configure in the rule.
Exchange 2013 or later
Generate incident report and send it to
GenerateIncidentReport
IncidentReportContent
First property: Addresses
Second property: IncidentReportContent
Sends an incident report that contains the specified content to the specified recipients.
An incident report is generated for messages that match data loss prevention (DLP) policies in your organization.
Exchange 2013 or later
Notify the recipient with a message
GenerateNotification
NotificationMessageText
Specifies the text, HTML tags, and message keywords to include in the notification message that's sent to the message's recipients. For example, you can notify recipients that the message was rejected by the rule, or marked as spam and delivered to their Junk Email folder.
Exchange 2013 or later
Properties of this rule section > Audit this rule with severity level
SetAuditSeverity
AuditSeverityLevel
Specifies whether to:
• Prevent the generation of an incident report and the corresponding entry in the message tracking log.
• Generate an incident report and the corresponding entry in the message tracking log with the specified severity level (low, medium, or high).
Exchange 2013 or later
Properties of this rule section > Stop processing more rules
More options > Properties of this rule section > Stop processing more rules
StopRuleProcessing
n/a
Specifies that after the message is affected by the rule, the message is exempt from processing by other rules.
Exchange 2013 or later

Actions for mail flow rules on Edge Transport servers

A small subset of actions that are available on Mailbox servers are also available on Edge Transport servers, but there are also some actions that are only available on Edge Transport servers. There's no EAC on Edge Transport servers, so you can only manage mail flow rules in the Exchange Management Shell on the local Edge Transport server. The actions are described in the following table. The properties types are described in the Property values section.

Action parameter in the Exchange Management Shell Property Description Available on Available in
AddToRecipients
Addresses
Adds one or more recipients to the To field of the message. The original recipients can see the additional addresses.
Mailbox servers and Edge Transport servers
Exchange 2010 or later
BlindCopyTo
Addresses
Adds one or more recipients to the Bcc field of the message. The original recipients aren't notified, and they can't see the additional addresses.
Mailbox servers and Edge Transport servers
Exchange 2010 or later
CopyTo
Addresses
Adds one or more recipients to the Cc field of the message. The original recipients can see the additional address.
Mailbox servers and Edge Transport servers
Exchange 2010 or later
DeleteMessage
n/a
Silently drops the message without sending a notification to the recipient or the sender.
Mailbox servers and Edge Transport servers
Exchange 2010 or later
Disconnect
n/a
Ends the SMTP connection between the sending server and the Edge Transport server without generating an NDR.
Edge Transport servers only
Exchange 2010 or later
LogEventText
String
Generates an event with the specified text in the Application log of the local Edge Transport server. The entry contains the following information:
Level: Information
Source: MSExchange Messaging Policies
Event ID: 4000
Task Category: Rules
EventData: The following message is logged by an action in the rules: <text you specify>.
Edge Transport servers only
Exchange 2010 or later
PrependSubject
String
Adds the specified text to the beginning of the Subject field of the message. Consider using a space or a colon (:) as the last character of the specified text to differentiate it from the original subject.
Mailbox servers and Edge Transport servers
Exchange 2010 or later
Quarantine
n/a
Delivers the message to the quarantine mailbox that's defined in the content filtering configuration on the Edge Transport server. For more information, see Configure a spam quarantine mailbox.
If the quarantine mailbox isn't configured, the message is returned to the sender in an NDR.
Edge Transport servers only
Exchange 2010 or later
RedirectMessageTo
Addresses
Redirects the message to the specified recipients. The message isn't delivered to the original recipients, and no notification is sent to the sender or the original recipients.
Mailbox servers and Edge Transport servers
Exchange 2010 or later
RemoveHeader
MessageHeaderField
Removes the specified header field from the message header.
Mailbox servers and Edge Transport servers
Exchange 2010 or later
SetHeaderName
SetHeaderValue
First property: MessageHeaderField
Second property: String
Adds or modifies the specified header field in the message header, and sets the header field to the specified value.
Mailbox servers and Edge Transport servers
Exchange 2010 or later
SetSCL
SCLValue
Sets the SCL of the message to the specified value.
Mailbox servers and Edge Transport servers
Exchange 2010 or later
SmtpRejectMessageRejectText
SmtpRejectMessageRejectStatusCode
First property: String
Second property: SMTPStatusCode
Ends the SMTP connection between the sending server and the Edge Transport server with the specified SMTP status code and the specified rejection text. The recipient doesn't receive the original message or notification.
Valid values for the SMTP status code are integers from 400 through 500 as defined in RFC 3463.
If you specify the rejection text without specifying the SMTP status code, the default code 550 is used.
If you specify the SMTP status code without specifying the rejection text, the text that's used is Delivery not authorized, message refused.
Edge Transport servers only
Exchange 2010 or later
StopRuleProcessing
n/a
Specifies that after the message is affected by the rule, the message is exempt from processing by other rules.
Mailbox servers and Edge Transport servers
Exchange 2013 or later

Property values

The property values that are used for actions in mail flow rules are described in the following table.

Property Valid values Description
AddedManagerAction
One of the following values:
To
Cc
Bcc
Redirect
Specifies how to include the sender's manager in messages.
• If you select To, Cc, or Bcc, the sender's manager is added as a recipient in the specified field.
• If you select Redirect, the message is only delivered to the sender's manager without notifying the sender or the recipient.
This action only works if the sender's Manager attribute is defined in Active Directory.
Addresses
Exchange recipients
Depending on the action, you might be able to specify any mail-enabled object in the organization, or you might be limited to a specific object type. Typically, you can select multiple recipients, but you can only send an incident report to one recipient.
AuditSeverityLevel
One of the following values:
Uncheck Audit this rule with severity level, or select Audit this rule with severity level with the value Not specified (DoNotAudit)
Low
Medium
High
The values Low, Medium, or High specify the severity level that's assigned to the incident report and to the corresponding entry in the message tracking log.
The other value prevents an incident report from being generated, and prevents the corresponding entry from being written to the message tracking log.
DisclaimerFallbackAction
One of the following values:
Wrap
Ignore
Reject
Specifies what to do if the disclaimer can't be applied to a message. There are situations where the contents of a message can't be altered (for example, the message is encrypted). The available fallback actions are:
Wrap: The original message is wrapped in a new message envelope, and the disclaimer text is inserted into the new message. This is the default value.
• Subsequent mail flow rules are applied to the new message envelope, not to the original message. Therefore, configure these rules with a lower priority than other rules.
• If the original message can't be wrapped in a new message envelope, the original message isn't delivered. The message is returned to the sender in an NDR.
Ignore: The rule is ignored and the message is delivered without the disclaimer
Reject: The message is returned to the sender in an NDR.
DisclaimerText
HTML string
Specifies the disclaimer text, which can include HTML tags, inline cascading style sheet (CSS) tags, and images by using the IMG tag. The maximum length is 5000 characters, including tags.
DisclaimerTextLocation
Single value: Append or Prepend
In the Exchange Management Shell, you use the ApplyHtmlDisclaimerTextLocation to specify the location of the disclaimer text in the message:
Append: Add the disclaimer to the end of the message body. This is the default value.
Prepend: Add the disclaimer to the beginning of the message body.
DSNEnhancedStatusCode
Single DSN code value:
5.7.1
5.7.900 through 5.7.999
Specifies the DSN code that's used. You can create custom DSNs by using the New-SystemMessage cmdlet.
If you don't specify the rejection reason text along with the DSN code, the default reason text that's used is Delivery not authorized, message refused.
When you create or modify the rule in the Exchange Management Shell, you can specify the rejection reason text by using the RejectMessageReasonText parameter.
IncidentReportContent
One or more of the following values:
Sender
Recipients
Subject
Cc'd recipients (Cc)
Bcc'd recipients (Bcc)
Severity
Sender override information (Override)
Matching rules (RuleDetections)
False positive reports (FalsePositive)
Detected data classifications (DataClassifications)
Matching content (IdMatch)
Original mail (AttachOriginalMail)
Specifies the original message properties to include in the incident report. You can choose to include any combination of these properties. In addition to the properties you specify, the message ID is always included. The available properties are:
Sender: The sender of the original message.
Recipients, Cc'd recipients, and Bcc'd recipients: All recipients of the message, or only the recipients in the Cc or Bcc fields. For each property, only the first 10 recipients are included in the incident report.
Subject: The Subject field of the original message.
Severity: The audit severity of the rule that was triggered. Message tracking logs include all the audit severity levels, and can be filtered by audit severity. In the EAC, if you clear the Audit this rule with severity level check box (in the Exchange Management Shell, the SetAuditSeverity parameter value DoNotAudit), rule matches won't appear in the rule reports. If a message is processed by more than one rule, the highest severity is included in any incident reports.
Sender override information: The override if the sender chose to override a Policy Tip. If the sender provided a justification, the first 100 characters of the justification are also included.
Matching rules: The list of rules that the message triggered.
False positive reports: The false positive if the sender marked the message as a false positive for a Policy Tip.
Detected data classifications: The list of sensitive information types detected in the message.
Matching content: The sensitive information type detected, the exact matched content from the message, and the 150 characters before and after the matched sensitive information.
Original mail: The entire message that triggered the rule is attached to the incident report.
In the Exchange Management Shell, you specify multiple values separated by commas.
MessageClassification
Single message classification object
In the EAC, you select from the list of available message classifications.
In the Exchange Management Shell, use the Get-MessageClassification cmdlet to see the message classification objects that are available.
MessageHeaderField
Single string
Specifies the SMTP message header field to add, remove, or modify.
The message header is a collection of required and optional header fields in the message. Examples of header fields are To, From, Received, and Content-Type. Official header fields are defined in RFC 5322. Unofficial header fields start with X- and are known as X-headers.
NotificationMessageText
Any combination of plain text, HTML tags, and keywords
Specified the text to use in a recipient notification message.
In addition to plain text and HTML tags, you can specify the following keywords that use values from the original message:
%%From%%
%%To%%
%%Cc%%
%%Subject%%
%%Headers%%
%%MessageDate%%
NotifySenderType
One of the following values:
Notify the sender, but allow them to send (NotifyOnly)
Block the message (RejectMessage)
Block the message unless it's a false positive (RejectUnlessFalsePositiveOverride)
Block the message, but allow the sender to override and send (RejectUnlessSilentOverride)
Block the message, but allow the sender to override with a business justification and send (RejectUnlessExplicitOverride)
Specifies the type of Policy Tip that the sender receives if the message violates a DLP policy. The settings are described in the following list:
Notify the sender, but allow them to send The sender is notified, but the message is delivered normally.
Block the message The message is rejected, and the sender is notified.
Block the message unless it's a false positive The message is rejected unless it's marked as a false positive by the sender.
Block the message, but allow the sender to override and send The message is rejected unless the sender has chosen to override the policy restriction.
Block the message, but allow the sender to override with a business justification and send This is similar to Block the message, but allow the sender to override and send type, but the sender also provides a justification for overriding the policy restriction.
When you use this action, you need to use the The message contains sensitive information (MessageContainsDataClassification) condition.
RMSTemplate
Single RMS template object
Specifies the Rights Management Services (RMS) template that's applied to the message.
In the EAC, you select the RMS template from a list.
In the Exchange Management Shell, use the Get-RMSTemplate cmdlet to see the RMS templates that are available.
RMS requires Exchange Enterprise client access licenses (CALs) for each mailbox. For more information about CALs, see Exchange Server Licensing.
SCLValue
One of the following values:
Bypass spam filtering (-1)
Integers 0 through 9
Specifies the spam confidence level (SCL) that's assigned to the message. A higher SCL value indicates that a message is more likely to be spam.
String
Single string
Specifies the text that's applied to the specified message header field, NDR, or event log entry.
In the Exchange Management Shell, if the value contains spaces, enclose the value in quotation marks (").

For more information

Mail flow rule conditions and exceptions (predicates) in Exchange Server

Mail flow rule actions in Exchange Online for Exchange Online