C-Command Software Forum

Completely Deleting Messages?

I received an e-mail that appears, from the log, to have been “approved”:

Predicted: Good (4)
Subject: EasyLife Meals
From: angela@easylifemeals.com
Identifier: hky9omGb+XFUv7hDpG6Haw==
Reason: P(spam)=0.000[0.000], bias=0.000, meals(0.001), meals(0.001), CT:-mixed(0.002), ^fe-doc(0.002), CT:application(0.002), CT:application-msword(0.002), angela(0.005), R:^75^180^132(0.005), R:^mail^rr^com(0.005), R:^mail^rr^com(0.005), chatting(0.005), chatting(0.005), R:^cdptpa-omtalb^mail^rr^com(0.005), angela(0.005), F:at(0.995)
Date: 2008-06-10 18:10:17 -0700

However, it is completely gone from my mailbox - no matter where I look. Has anyone else experienced this?

SpamSieve never erases any messages. By design, it’s impossible for it to do that. Plus, as you can see from the log, it thought this message wasn’t spam. Some possibilities are:

  1. You’re using IMAP, and the message was deleted on the server (e.g. by Webmail or another client) and so Mail deleted your local copy of the message.
  2. One of your Mail rules moved the message to the trash or the Junk mailbox, and you have Mail set to auto-empty those mailboxes.
  3. The message is still in one of your mailboxes, but Mail’s database is out of sync, and it’s lost track of it.

If the problem is (1) or (2), there’s probably not much you can do about this particular message, but you’d certainly want to make adjustments so that this doesn’t happen again.

If the problem is (3), you’d probably be able to find the message by searching for it with Spotlight (from outside of Mail). To get it to appear in Mail, you’d need to select the containing mailbox and choose Rebuild from the Mailbox menu.

Not using IMAP, spotlight couldn’t find the message, and the autoempty is set for 1 week on the junk and trash folders. Very strange, to say the least.

Can you log into your POP server with Webmail and see if the message is still there?

I do have Mail setup to delete messages on the server after they are retrieved, so it went away. Unfortunately, the servers only back up nightly, so they were unable to retrieve. Fortunately I just needed the sender to resend the message, but I would hate to think that this happens more frequently and I simply never notice.

I’ve never heard of it happening before, but please let me know if you find out anything else. I suppose a fourth possibility (besides human error) is that the message file is stored on disk but that Spotlight can’t find it, for whatever reason. In that case, rebuilding Mail’s database, by quitting it and deleting the file:

/Users/<username>/Library/Mail/Envelope Index

would make it re-appear in the proper mailbox.