C-Command Software Forum

How to deal with a spam folder that got out of control?


My personal email address has been around since the 90s and gets thousands of spams a month. Although SpamSieve does a pretty good job of keeping it clean, I still get a few false positives every month. This means I have to scan my entire spam folder once in awhile to double-check SpamSieve’s results. Of course, this is tedious and I haven’t found time to get around to it since September. I now have over 32,000 emails in my spam folder!

At this point, I’m willing to risk some false positives and trash any spam that got a score of, say, 95 or higher. That alone would probably cut my work at least in half. Trouble is, I don’t know how to do this. I stupidly did not enable message coloring (I have now turned it on), so I guess that’s not an option for now… Is there any other way of dealing with this problem? Parsing the SpamSieve log perhaps?

I’m using Apple Mail on OS X 10.9.1.

Thank you.

If you cannot promptly correct all the mistakes, you should turn off auto-training to prevent the mistakes from multiplying.

Message coloring is on by default. Did you turn it off? Or do you mean that the messages are colored but you did not create the rules to sort by color? If the latter, I could probably help you with an AppleScript to move all the messages of certain colors to the trash.

Until September I always corrected the mistakes using the training commands. I’d correct the false negatives the same day; the false positives I would correct by skimming my entire spam folder about once a month, either deleting or correcting everything. But I just fell off the wagon since then and neglected my routine. Once I deal with my 32,000 spams, I’ll go back to my regular routine again, so at this point I don’t think I want to turn off auto-training.

Yeah, I think I explicitly turned it off. :frowning: I was always looking through every spam for false positives, so I didn’t see a need for colors; they were just a distraction. I guess now my only recourse is to bite the bullet and go through all my spams. At least this will be a lesson for next time.

You could temporarily turn off auto-training, then select the messages and choose Message > Apply Rules to have SpamSieve color the messages again.

Hey that worked great! My spam folder is now colorized. Thanks! I can turn auto-training back on now, right?

I’m confused about the sorting, though. The manual says: “Choose View ‣ Sort By ‣ Flags. (The flag colors are chosen so that the messages will sort in order of spamminess; this is why they do not match the message colors.)” And indeed when I sort by flags, the colors are not grouped together as I would expect. For example, I see gray messages, and then some blue, and then some gray again.

Could you please explain this a bit more? I don’t understand why sorting by flags doesn’t group colors together. Doesn’t this kind of defeat the purpose of colorizing?


There are two different message properties: the background color and the flag color. Mail used to have a feature to sort by the background color, but now it can only sort by the flag color.

By default, SpamSieve only sets the background color, because if it set the flag color you would not be able to use flags for their normal purpose of giving certain (good) messages greater prominence.

If you follow the instructions in Example 3 you can get SpamSieve to set the flag color, which you can then sort by. Or you could just follow Example 1 or Example 2 to have it put the more spam messages in different mailboxes.