C-Command Software Forum

Help: could not find the favorite mailbox “Spam” message

SpamSieve could not find the favorite mailbox “Spam”

I’ve seen a few posts on this topic–but none of it helped.

I’ve been using SS (v2.9.12) for a long time with no problem. But I got it in my head to set up a drone and followed instructions. That became too complicated so I deleted all of the drone rules and reinstated the original SS rule with just the one spam folder “on my mac.” I kept on getting the favorite mailbox error. So I completely uninstalled SS (carefully following instructions, deleting all of the home library files–plus plug-ins and applescripts). I also deleted the SS rule from my Apple Mail account prefs. And for good measure deleted the Spam folder.

So starting completely from scratch, i made a clean install of SS.

But I still get the “favorite mailbox” error!!!

I even went to the library Maildata folder and deleted (what I took to be) all Apple Mail rule preferences.

Still no go.

So I’ve temporarily deactivate the SS rule, and enabled Apple junk mail. But now I have an inbox full of long past emails–with good addresses but all labeled junk. What a mess.

What can I do?


This error happens when you enable the AppleMailTrainSpamGUIScripting esoteric preference and you don’t have a mailbox called “Spam” among the first 9 items in Mail’s Favorites bar. You can either add the mailbox to the Favorites bar or turn off the preference.

This preference is stored in SpamSieve’s preferences file (com.c-command.SpamSieve.plist) as shown in the uninstall instructions.

Thanks and a suggestion

I’m describing my actions, not as criticism, but as a suggestion for how you might better craft your help manual and popup instructions. I realize it’s futile to try to anticipate every possible misinterpretation a customer may have. However, I’m very computer literate, and can usually troubleshoot problems without asking for help. But in this case, after going through the drone thing for an hour, I was already a bit spaced in following your instructions (not to mention having a cold).

  1. I did a library search for all things SpamSieve and thought I had everything. So naturally I was confused when the clean install didn’t work. But obviously I missed it.

  2. The blue hideable sidebar on every finder window are “favorites”-- and the blue Mailbox side bar looks the same. Without thinking very clearly or analytically, I had no idea that the bar above the Mailboxes was a customizable tool bar for favorites–it’s blank except for the show/hide button for the Mailboxes side bar. (But it’s nice to know now know that.) So when you instructed to click on show/hide to show the favorites bar, I (mistakenly) was only opening and closing the Mailbox sidebar.

I tried moving the Spam folder to the top of the On My Mac folders–the 8th folder after Mailboxes–but obviously that didn’t work.

I suggest including in your help feedback something like this: The favorites bar is the customizable tool bar–just above the main Mailboxes–with the show/hide button for the Mailboxes sidebar.



The current text for the upcoming SpamSieve 2.1.3 is:

Please go to Mail’s “View” menu and choose “Show Favorites Bar”. (If the favorites bar is already shown, the menu will say “Hide Favorites Bar” and you can skip that step.) Then drag your “Spam” mailbox onto the favorites bar (at the top of the main Mail window, below the toolbar). Make sure that it is among the first 9 items in the bar.

I hope that is clearer.

Well unfortunately if someone like me didn’t even know there was a customizable tool bar above the Mailboxes, and also they were expecting something to happen in the blue Mailbox sidebar, then like me, if their attention was focused on the blue space sidebar, they might not even notice the thin favorites bar disappearing or appearing, as the case may be. I know this probably sounds dumb, but people see what the expect to see, and often don’t notice details they aren’t looking for.

Moreover, it’s not obvious that some horizontal bars are “toolbars” while others are “favorites” bars. So that distinction can be somewhat confusing if one is not expecting the bar “below the toolbar.”

For what it’s worth I would suggest the following wording:

Please go to Mail’s “View” menu and choose “Show Favorites Bar”. (If the favorites bar is already shown, the menu will say “Hide Favorites Bar” and you can skip that step.) The favorites bar is a horizontal tool bar located just above the main Mailboxes. Then drag your “Spam” mailbox onto the favorites bar. Make sure that it is among the first 9 items in the bar.

As obvious and trivial as the matter may appear, I think this clarification would have saved you and me both a bunch of time.



I’m trying to avoid calling this a toolbar since that word already has a standard meaning that everyone associates with the horizontal row of icons. I guarantee that if I wrote “toolbar” lots of people would try to drag to where the icons are and be surprised when nothing happened. I had to ship SpamSieve 2.9.13 because Mac OS X 10.9.2 just came out. I’ll see if I can improve the wording further for the next version.