SpamSieve 3.0 not auto filtering

I have upgraded to SS 3.0 and now my email is not filtered automatically. I have to manually tell it to filter the inbox. THis is annoying to say the least. I’m using the extension on Apple Mail.

Also, where did the PowerNap setting go? I would ideally like my former setup of auto filtering AND doing it when the machine grabs mail during PowerNap.

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Please see the Why are Apple Mail inbox messages not being processed? help page.

Apple removed the Power Nap setting on Macs with Apple Silicon. It is now always enabled.

OK, read that over. All of the settings seem to be correct but SS is not filtering new mail. The extension is enabled.

I just noticed there’s a message from 3 minutes ago, which should’ve been caught, but wasn’t (it has [SPAM] in the subject line from my server’s filter (spamassassin).

If I choose “Filter Messages” it sends it to the spam folder. But it’s not happening when the message lands in the Inbox.

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Same here for me (Mac OS 13.5.2, Apple Mail) using the Extension (after I found the setting). Enabled to show the green tag too - never saw a mail being marked green. After I added all inboxes of my accounts manually and checked “filter in other mailboxes” SpamSieve seems to run again as before. Before no filter action appeared in the log. It seem to me that there is an issue with 3.0…

you are using extension, this only works with Sonata, For OS. Ventura, use the plugin and rules in mail settings, as you didl with SpamSieve v2

On Sonoma, SpamSieve now uses a Mail extension rather than a Mail plug-in (as Sonoma no longer supports plug-ins). From the Blog…

I made the same mistake, it might be wise to emphasise that the extension only works with Sonoma ?

I’m glad to hear that the workaround worked. What are you expecting to see in the Log window but not seeing? Are you saying that SpamSieve moved the messages but the log doesn’t say Predicted: Spam for them?

The Mail extension issue is caused by a macOS bug, which was reported to Apple months ago but not fixed yet. That’s why SpamSieve 3 includes the workaround to have it filter the inbox directly.

As shown in the Settings, the extension works on macOS 12 and later (Monterey, Ventura, Sonoma), and the plug-in works on macOS 13 and earlier (Ventura, Monterey, Big Sur, Catalina, Mojave, High Sierra). So, on Ventura and Monterey you can choose either one.

the extension didn’t work for me? and if it’s a bug reported to Apple, why not tell people to use the rules and plugin until it’s fixed?

Yes, if you are already using the rules and plug-in, it’s simplest to just keep doing that. However, some people have already updated to Sonoma, so I’m explaining how to work around the bug there, so you don’t have to wait for Apple.

I have the same problem as well. 2 computers running Ventura: M1 MacBook Pro and M2 Mac Studio. They don’t both run at the same time. And set up exactly the same way. The laptop works perfectly but the Mac Studio stopped working using the extension. It’s like SpamSieve doesn’t even see the emails. So I set up the "filter other mailboxes (inboxes) for my 5 accounts and it now works perfectly again. Weird that it still works on the laptop.

Yes, exactly. We have logging that shows that sometimes Mail just stops sending new messages to the extension. And then sometimes it starts up again without anything being changed. Apple says that this can happen when there are multiple copies of the app installed at the same time, but I have also seen it occur when that is not the case. Anyway, with Filter spam messages in other mailboxes you can just set it once and it will keep working.

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Changing the “filter spam messages in other mailboxes” worked for me (I am running Sonoma RC2, build 23A344).

Thanks for the quick reply and the excellent product. I was happy to pay the upgrade!

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Thank you Michael! Update: my laptop now has the bug and won’t filter unless I set it up filtering other mailboxes. Thanks for such a great update!

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+1 to this problem for me. Enabling the “Filter Spam Messages in Other Mailboxes” setting has proved to be a (partial) work-around.

Two notes on the work-around:

  1. When the “Other Mailboxes” sheet opens, it doesn’t immediately populate–I’m assuming because SS needs to work its way through the mailbox hierarchy to display the proper information. I have a LOT of mailboxes, so it took some time. I did eventually see the tiny ‘waiting’ spinner, but it was not immediately obvious. Perhaps it could be made more prominent?

  2. I will open a separate thread about my issues with moving spam messages, but with the “Filter Other Mailboxes” option enabled AND when messages caught as spam are not removed from the Inbox, SS keeps ‘finding’ them and making entries in the log (and in Notification center, since I have that enabled too). This might be an unintended consequence of intended behavior :slight_smile:

Thank you for the DECADES of filtering!


Yes, it can take a while (usually a few seconds, unless you have a ton of mailboxes) to read the mailbox information from Apple Mail. It should immediately show the progress spinner in the top-right of the mailboxes outline. I’ll see if I can make this more prominent, though.

OK, I will look for that thread. This is the first I’ve heard of messages not moving. You would only get notifications for spam messages if they are uncertain, which most wouldn’t be.

Thanks. I ended up turning off the time-based polling work-around because it seems to hang Mail up while the checking is happening (8 Inboxes, though there is usually only mail in my ‘main’ Inbox).

In other things to look at, when I trigger a manual filter, (“Select All” of my Inbox messages, then the SS command “Filter Messages”) it seems to take a while to work through the message list. I can see the menu bar icon turning blue as it works, but it seems to take more than a second a message to process them. There are usually only a dozen or so messages to work through. I will keep an eye on this behavior to see if I can be more specific about length of time.

The total number of message in a given mailbox (not just the unreads) is what matters for Mail’s performance. If you have a lot of old messages, you could archive them to a different mailbox to speed up inbox filtering.

The Filter Messages command (and others in that menu) may wait a bit before doing its thing if another background operation is already asking Mail to do something.

Just for performance reference, triggering a manual filter from the SS menu took ~78s to process 14 messages.


Currently, if you are using Filter spam messages in other mailboxes and a mailbox is currently being filtered, it will wait until that mailbox is done before responding to the menu command. I hope to be able to support concurrent operations in the future, but it’s a bit tricky because AppleScript is still single threaded internally.

I wanted to report that although it worked initially, SpamSieve has stopped filtering emails in my accounts. I have gone through all of the troubleshooting steps and double-checked all settings. In addition, the “Filter in other mailboxes” and “Add Green flag” workaround doesn’t seem to correct the situation either.

This is under Sonoma using Apple Mail and the Extension.

I can’t report on anything in particular that changed in my settings to cause this change, but I will reiterate that everything worked nicely for the first day or so after I updated everything.