C-Command Software Forum

Catalina Rules Working Only Sometimes


I’ve contacted Apple about this without a good answer, so I thought I’d post this here and see if anyone else was facing this issue…

Since I installed Catalina (I do have the latest version of SpamSieve running prior to the upgrade), my rules started working only some of the time. After trying some reindexing and other things, I finally took the step of deleting all rules and I’ve now started over.

The rules are working better but still, some messages are going to the folder I assigned in the rule but a copy is also kept in the inbox. I have the rules set to “move” and not “copy” so I’m not sure why. I see the SpamSieve rule, which I have first, sends all mail to the Spam folder first. I assume SpamSieve then takes over and sends mail back to the inbox after being filtered. If that’s how it works, then I can see how that might mess up Apple Mail’s rules potentially.

Again, I’m just checking to see if anyone else is facing this or not.

Thanks in advance!

No, what SpamSieve does is change the conditions under which the rule’s conditions match (so they only match if the message is spam). It doesn’t affect the rule actions, which continue to be handled by Mail. Good messages don’t match the rule conditions, so the SpamSieve rule doesn’t touch them, and they remain eligible for other rules.

OK, thanks for the note. So far, I’ve rebuilt my rules and removed SpamSieve (I’ve gone back to Apple Mail’s junk filtering) and rules are now working fine. Once I get sick and tired of life without SpamSieve, I’ll install it again. :slight_smile:


Catalina - Some emails being moved to junk folder
I have been experiencing a similar issue. In testing over the last few days, It would appear that the filters are working but that junk email from Gmail (other accounts ok) is not being moved into the junk folder per the rule. Hopefully this helps to identify where the problem might be.

I am also seeing the same problem here. Watching closely over the last few days, following my upgrade to catalina, it appears that many of my accounts are working correctly - spam is identified and moved to the junk folder per the rule. Mail identified as spam (spamsieve) coming in from my gmail account is not being moved to the junk mail folder.

Same problem, i have not removed SpamSieve but my in my gmail account (others working) spam is not moved to junk email…

Please answer the following questions:

  1. Do the unmoved messages in the inbox have colored backgrounds that indicate their spam level?
  2. Does SpamSieve’s log show them as “Predicted: Spam”?
  3. If you select the messages in the inbox and choose Message ‣ Apply Rules, do they then move to the spam mailbox?
  4. Do you have a single SpamSieve rule for all accounts? Which mailbox is it set to move the messages to (local On My Mac, on Gmail, etc.)?
  5. If the rule was moving messages to a local Spam mailbox under “On My Mac” does changing to move to Spam mailbox on the problematic server help?
  6. If you temporarily rename your SpamSieve rule to “Move All SpamSieve” to make Mail to move all the messages to the Spam mailbox (without consulting SpamSieve), does Mail then reliably move all the new messages? Or do they still stay in the inbox? (After doing this test, you can rename it back to SpamSieve and drag the messages back to the inbox without training them.)
  • Yes, they have correctly colored background
  • I have not looked at the logs but will do so and le you know
  • Yes, when I apply rules the messages are moved
  • Yes, a single rule for all accounts
  • Rule would only move to on my mac when i train as spam
  • All messages stay in the inbox

Let me know if you need additional information

Thanks for getting back - here are the answers:

  • Yes, they are correctly colored
  • Yes, the log looks correct
  • Yes, apply rules moves the message as expected
  • Yes, single rule for all accounts
  • Rule is not moving to ‘on my mac’
  • Yes, all messages are moved

Let me know if additional information is required

Since the problem occurs for a regular rule, too, it seems like this is caused by a bug in Mail and not anything that SpamSieve is doing.

Is the rule moving messages to a server mailbox on another account (i.e. not the problem Gmail account)? If so, please try changing it to use a Spam mailbox on the same Gmail account, as the bug may only manifest when moving messages between accounts.

Not sure what you mean about problem on regular rule, regular rule moved all email not all but gmail. As configured each mail item is being moved to the junk folder on that account. And executing manually works as expected.

I will also pursue this with Apple next, possibly something to do with the gmail handling.

Well, I’m confused because you posted twice. The first time says, regarding the “Move All SpamSieve” rule, “All messages stay in the inbox.” But then the second post (which I didn’t see when replying) says “Yes, all messages are moved.” If you are saying that the same rule changes whether it moves or doesn’t move when you change its name, then I would suggest clicking these two links to tell SpamSieve not to mark the messages as junk or to change their colors when applying the rule, in case that’s somehow confusing Mail.

On which account? My point is that if the problem is that Gmail messages are not moving, it may help to have the rule set to move messages to the Gmail Spam mailbox.

Another potential workaround is to use a rule that runs the Move If Spam script instead of the regular SpamSieve rule. Moving the messages via script rather than rule might avoid the problem.

Michael - sorry for any earlier confusion - back again after some additional testing and still seeing the same problem. This happens only on my gmail account other accounts working fine. Junk mail is properly being identified (color is correct) but not moved to the junk folder. When those emails are highlighted and ‘Apply Rules’ menu option selected, the messages are moved to the junk proper junk folder (gmail account). The only issue I am seeing is gmail messages not being automatically moved to the junk folder.

OK, this seems to be the same issue that a few others have reported.

Have you updated to macOS 10.15.1?

Did you try clicking the links or using the script rule, as mentioned in my previous post?

I have just upgraded to macOS 10.15.1 and the results are the same, all accounts working except gmail messages not being moved.

Hi Michael, is there any update on this issue, have you been able to reproduce?

A few more people have reported this, but I’ve not been able to reproduce, nor heard anything back from Apple. It still seems to only affect a fraction of a percent of people overall. I’m tracking the current advice and workarounds in #6 in the blog post. Have you tried them?

Gmail Spam Folder To the Rescue
Was having the same problem on a clean Catalina install…nothing suggested above fixed it completely until I swapped the target folder to move spam to the GMail spam folder (from a local folder). Works perfectly since I made that change.

I have tried your latest solution and it does not work for me. I have had my target folder set to GMail spam all along

To summarize the recommended workarounds:

  1. Change the regular SpamSieve rule in Mail to move the messages to the server spam/junk mailbox instead of the one under On My Mac.

  2. Replace the regular SpamSieve rule with a Move If SpamSieve Spam script rule, as described here.

  3. Click this link to tell SpamSieve not to mark messages as junk on the server.

One of these seems to work for just about everyone. If you’re running into a more serious case of this Catalina bug and none of the above are working, you could:

  • Send in a diagnostic report.

  • Set the regular SpamSieve rule to flag the messages as gray, in addition to moving them to the spam mailbox. Then if you get some messages that are unmoved, you can easily see them (and delete them) from the special mailbox that Mail makes for gray flagged messages.