C-Command Software Forum

Gmail (IMAP) + mail.app (LION) = Spam Folder Confusion


I’m new to SpamSieve (this is my first full day with it), so if this is something well known, I apologize. I searched all over this forum but couldn’t find a post that addressed this issue specifically.

So this is a post to help anyone who is in a similar situation as I was. It took me awhile to figure out what my problem was (haha) but once I did I was able to fix it. Here’s the story:

I have multiple IMAP email accounts (most are Gmail, however, some aren’t) and I use mail.app in Lion. When using SpamSieve, one must disable the apple junk mail filter, which in turn “enables,” so to speak, the Gmail spam folders in each apple mailbox (this isn’t actually the case, spam is ALWAYS enabled in Gmail and hence the folders are always there… it’s just that with the Apple junk mail filter on you don’t see the Gmail spam folders or interact with them in any way).

This is all well and good except that now, whenever Google deemed something as spammy, it would put the message into its own spam folder (the ones that I mentioned above). SpamSieve doesn’t seem to do anything with these. All I know is that I was suddenly getting messages in these deep dark folders regularly and then had to navigate to them manually to train SpamSieve.

The problem was that I was now back to where I was before SpamSieve: manually dealing with spam. This prompted me to create a SmartMailbox to collect all of the messages in the Gmail spam folders so I could deal with them all at once without having to navigate to each individual folder, but this was still very annoying. I wanted things automated.

So I thought about this problem a bit and realized something very very simple: Google was sending messages to it’s own spam folders which were separate from the inbox… therefore SpamSieve couldn’t do anything with them. DUH! As I said: something very very simple… and since I never log in to Gmail to check messages I had completely forgotten about this aspect of the Gmail experience.

So, long story long, I did a bit of lookin’ on theGoogle and discovered that while there was no way to actually disable Google’s spam filter, one could in fact work around it:

Log in to each Google account in question, and create a filter that searches for the @ symbol in the TO field (settings>Filters>Create a new filter), and set it to “Never send it to Spam”.

So now, while the Gmail “Spam” folders will still be under the white Gmail folders in each mailbox, nothing will be sent there by theGoogle and therefore SpamSieve can do it’s work.

Boom. That’s it. Simple.

Apple Mail does not apply rules (including SpamSieve) to new messages that arrive in mailboxes other than the inbox. Since these messages were already caught as spam (by Google) and SpamSieve was not asked to filter them, it is not necessary (or recommended) to train SpamSieve with them.

Good tip. I think it’s possible for messages not to have addresses in the To field, though, so you might prefer to match the From, or use the technique described here.

Thanks Michael… once I realized that was what was happening I made the connections… it’s just that I’m not that “into” email so I didn’t make the connection right away :slight_smile:

you might prefer to match the From, or use the technique described here.

Good point… that makes sense. I just went in to all my accounts and added a second filter with the setting in the “FROM” field, just to be safe.

As far as that link goes, I read through it before deciding to do the @ filter because, from what I read, the “is:spam” technique isn’t as reliable. In fact Gmail throws an error if you do it that way. By using the @ filter NOTHING is sent to Spam no matter what and there are no errors.

Anyway, the whole point of my posting this was so that if anyone is in my shoes they can get the answer right away rather than spending time figuring it out :slight_smile:

Thanks for the great app, BTW.

I had been training SpamSieve with such already-caught-as-spam by Google e-mails, but won’t do so any more. Have I caused any substantive problem with my SpamSieve Corpus by having done so in the past?

Probably not.

Relieved. Thanks.