Super slow scanning

I use Mac Mail to access multiple mail servers (IMAP, gmail, & exchange) - things have been working very well with 3.0 pre-sonoma - but when I upgraded to sonoma & configures 3.0 for it I got no spam scanning at all

I then added inbox to the scan other folders list and got scanning but extremely slow (many tens of minutes per scan) - like many people I have a few years of mail in my inbox and (it appears) that 3.0 rescans the entire mailbox every pass it was taking forever - I’ve moved most of the old mail to a new mailbox but the scan is still quite slow but usable

as I said - it appears that 3.0 rescinds the entire mailbox on every pass instead of only scanning new messages - this creates a very bad user experience - if this is the case you need to figure out how to scan only the new messages (since the old messages will have already been scanned) & add a button that forces a total rescan on the very rare cases where the spam rules have changed

if I am not correct in how 3.0 works please let me know how to fix things to improve the experience) I did use the verify setup checklist and everything looks right


How many messages are left in the inbox? How long is slow?

Also, if you look in the Settings window:

it will say next to Filter Now which mailbox is currently being scanned. Does it show the inbox during this time or another mailbox?

SpamSieve only looks at the content of the messages that it hasn’t seen before. But it does ask Mail for the ID number of each message so that it can see which messages are new. That part can take a while for Mail to do if there are lots of messages in the mailbox, which is why we recommend moving older messages to an unfiltered mailbox if there are a lot of them. Mailboxes that might cause slowness are shown in orange or red in Select Mailboxes to Filter….

61, 1069 & 8336 in the 3 inboxes - the last is red

as I said in my posting - I did move most of the messages to another mailbox but it is a significant change to my workflow to move much more

but the underlying point is that the mechanism you are using is far from ideal

ps - the scan loop is now about 8 seconds

Yes, I realize that. The way that we got here is that, with Sonoma, Apple forced a switch from a mechanism (plug-in) that was reliable and fast to one that was unreliable (extension). At that point, our first priority became finding a way to make the filtering reliable before Sonoma was released. Now we have Filter spam messages in other mailboxes, and it works, although it’s slower than I’d like with large mailboxes. I have some ideas for how to make it faster in the future, and of course it’s also possible that Apple will fix the bug with extensions so that none of this is needed in the first place. It’s also possible that we’ll figure out what triggers this bug, since it only affects a small percentage of users, and then only intermittently—so maybe there is some way to avoid it.

Is waiting 8 seconds causing problems for you?

no - waiting 8 seconds is not a big deal - moving the mail from one (searchable) mailbox does make things harder but not impossible

I do understand that Apple’s change is a bummer and hope that one or another of your ideas pans out

one specific suggestion - make it far clearer in the setup instructions that
1/ users may need to enable the scan other mailboxes option if they are using mail for more than one mail server
2/ that they need to move most of their mail out of any big mailbox

it took me a long time to figure out both of those things

it also took quite a while to find the simple setup checklist

also it might be a good thing to have a very simple (without much explanation) how-to-setup-3.0-on-senoma set of instructions - the manual and the other things I saw posted have too much explanation text - I think it would help a lot just to have a extremely directive set of steps

As far as I am aware, there’s no connection with having multiple mail servers.

Indeed, I have already updated this in the online version of the manual.

Do you mean like here except assuming that Sonoma and SpamSieve 3 are both already installed? That would pretty much be the regular extension instructions.

re multiple servers - what got me to that conclusion was that spamseive did nothing until I put the inbox into the scan additional folders command - I assumed that that option would not exist if the inbox(s) were automatically being scanned

yes like the instructions you pointed at & assuming that one has 3.0 installed & running on Ventura - but far terser - just step by step want to do without any excess verbiage



ps - not like regular extension instruction s- that has stuff about training (for example) that would not be needed

What about that relates to multiple servers? The option was originally added for filtering messages that had been moved out of the inbox by rules. So it existed before we were aware of the inbox bug.

I did not know about a “inbox bug”

Please see: Quick Start to Keep SpamSieve Working With Apple Mail When Updating to macOS 14 Sonoma.

Normally, the new messages should be immediately filtered by the Mail extension. The bug is that sometimes Mail does not communicate with the extension at all. That’s when it’s helpful to add the inboxes to Filter spam messages in other mailboxes so that SpamSieve will scan them on its own.

I looked at the quick start but did not see in there that the inboxes should be added to the :other mailboxes" list - otherwise looks good


that inbox bug seems to be what is hurting me - I hope there is a bug fix for it


It’s in Step 7.

Please tell Apple using the Mail feedback form that you have a Mail extension that Mail is not sending new messages to, and reference bug number FB12819637.


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This is much faster in SpamSieve 3.0.2b1. It can now scan a mailbox with 10,000 or more messages in a fraction of a second.