C-Command Software Forum

Filters Not Working Properly on Apple Mail

I’ve been using SpamSieve for a few years, but I’m dealing with an issue now that is getting frustrating. I can’t remember how long it’s been this way, so I can’t pin down what change would have impacted SpamSieve. Here’s my Rules window, or part of it, below:

Screen Shot 2020-06-02 at 2.33.53 PM

Note that the “Spam Returns” filter is my own, and not from SpamSieve. I set that up because I still get emails bounced back to my email from when I dealt with an issue with someone using my email as a "From: " in spam.

Here’s what’s happening: ALL my filtered spam email is going into my Spam box, and NONE of it is going into Junk. I started with all my filtered spam going into Spam, until I could check things over and verify it was doing a good job. Then I started moving the highest spam count categories into Junk. Over time, as I was sure the next level was working and not picking up false positives, I’d change the next lower category to dump it’s results in Junk.

As of now, only the last one, Yellow, is supposed to deposit spam into my Spam folder. The rest is supposed to dump it in Junk.

Seeing as I get up to 500-1,000 pieces of spam in a day (I am NOT exaggerating!), this is critical to me to be able to dump as much spam directly into Junk AND mark it as read as I can.

But now all spam goes into Spam and stays and stays marked as unread. (I’m not sure if this is a new issue with Apple Mail, since I’m finding other filters seem to perform one action and not do the others in that step. I do NOT mean that it stops at the end of a particular filter because I check “Stop Evaluating Rules.” I mean it stops in the middle of a rule, right after Step 1 and not performing the other steps.)

Here’s my rules for the first Spamsieve filter (sorry, forum only lets me post one image!):
If any of Every Message Move Message to mailbox: Spam

This is the SpamSieve [Score] filter:
If any of Every Message Move Message to mailbox: Spam

And for the SpamSieve [Blue] filter:
If any of Every Message Move Message to mailbox: Junk
Mark as Read
Mark as Flagged Gray

Note that the Gray, Purple, Red, and Orange filters are the same, other than the flag they are to use. (And, yes, these filters are completely finished - the emails are flagged as they should be.)

My SpamSieve [Yellow] filter:
If any of Every Message Move Message to mailbox: Spam
Mark as Read
Mark as Flagged Orange

And my Spamsieve [Spam] filter:
If any of Every Message Move Message to mailbox: Spam
Mark as Read

It looks to me like it should dump everything but the Yellow rated spam into Junk, but it’s dumping it all into Spam and leaving it marked unread, so I end up, in a few days, with thousands of emails in that folder.

That rule should probably be above the SpamSieve rules.

Your SpamSieve rules look OK as described, so I’m not sure why you’re seeing this behavior (that other users apparently aren’t). Does it help if you remove the other rule actions so that the color rules only say Move Message?

Sorry about that. I’ve adjusted the forum settings.

I get the reason for not allowing newcomers to post multiple pictures. I’ve been on forums before where, suddenly, a post shows up with a dozen gross pictures because someone is trolling or spamming. Not complaining, I get it. If I had more time, this afternoon, I would have tried messaging an admin to get help on that issue.

I thought the SpamSieve rules were supposed to go at the very top of the filter list, so they were processed first. I can move my “Spam Returns” higher up, but I’d also appreciate it if I could get some background on the reasoning for having SpamSieve first and why this would be different? Is that possible or is it a real long explanation.

I can try the “Move Message” as the only rule.

After I posted this, I had an odd experience. I tried replacing “Every Message” in the first rule to address only ones not in my recipient list. Checked later, and spam was in the Junk folder, BUT I was still getting blue and gray in my Spam folder. Just weird.

I can post the images of my rules, in case I mis-copied them, if that could help?

Thank you!

Yes, the instructions say to put the SpamSieve rule at the top. The exception, as discussed in Processing Messages Before SpamSieve, is rules that are themselves deleting messages or identifying them as spam. Putting those at the top prevents SpamSieve from examining messages that it doesn’t make sense for it to try to filter, and this also relieves you of the responsibility of correcting any mistakes which might be hard to detect given that the other rule had moved the messages.

The conditions should be the same for all the SpamSieve […] rules or you will get unexpected behavior.

Let’s see how the action changes work first.

Just an update - I know, as a developer myself, that it can be frustrating if you can’t keep up with how issues are resolved.

My hosting company did a forced migration from their old system to their new system (granted, it was time and had to happen). While their forced migration was a good thing, how they handled it was not. If you want proof I’m not making it up, I can bore you with long details of their inability to provide smooth and competent email service. (Example: Their online tech manual shows how to set up Apple Mail for IMAP, but not for POP3 and NOWHERE do they tell you what the new POP3 (with TLS) port is. So I get on their web chat and ask a support rep, “What is the POP3 port?” And they answer, “Incoming or outgoing?” When I explain that POP3 is ALWAYS incoming, they say, “Oh, incoming port is xxx,” which is the IMAP port. Took me a week, literally, to get a clear answer for what the POP3 port is.)

Their new platform is using the same spam filter as the old platform, but now it works and I no longer get 500-1,000 pieces of spam a day hitting Apple Mail. I’m also sure I’m missing a number of subscription emails I should be getting, but their spam filter controls are basically “On/Medium/Off.” (I’m working on that.)

So my spam problem has changed drastically, but I’ve been too busy fighting with the new email system at my hosting company. One variable at a time - I’m trying to get those issues taken care of before I get back to working with the spam issue on my desktop. It may be a while, since there are enough issues with the new hosting platform and lack of clear answers from tech support, I may have to change my hosting service - which will be probably another week of work, if I have to do that.

For now, SpamSieve seems to be working properly, but there is so little spam coming through I can’t be sure what’s going on. (Yeah, normally less spam is not an issue, but considering that I know I’m losing other legit emails, it’s an issue.)

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