SpamSieveSpamSieve

SpamSieve Manual

This manual is also available in SpamSieve’s Help menu, as a PDF (3.4 MB), and as multi-page online help. There is also a video that shows how to install SpamSieve and use it with Apple Mail.

Contents

1   Introduction

1.1   What Is SpamSieve?

SpamSieve is a Macintosh application that filters out unsolicited mass mailings, commonly known as “spam.” Previously, most people just ignored spam messages or created simple rules in their e-mail programs to filter them out. In recent years and months, the spam problem has gotten worse. Today’s spam is harder to detect, and there is more of it.

SpamSieve gives you back your inbox by bringing powerful Bayesian spam filtering to Mac e-mail programs. It’s quick and easy to control SpamSieve from within your mail program, and you can customize how it interacts with the rest of your message sorting rules.

SpamSieve learns what your spam looks like, so it can block nearly all of it. It looks at your address book and learns what your good messages look like, so it won’t confuse them with spam. Other spam filters get worse over time as spammers adapt to their rules; SpamSieve actually gets better over time as it adapts its filtering to your mail.

SpamSieve doesn’t delete any messages—it only moves them to a different folder in your e-mail program—so you’ll never lose any mail. By learning from the very messages that you receive, SpamSieve is able to block nearly all of your junk mail, without putting your good messages in the spam mailbox. SpamSieve works with any number of mail accounts, of whatever types are supported by your e-mail software (e.g. POP, IMAP, Exchange, Hotmail, AOL). You can even use it with multiple e-mail programs at the same time, for instance if you use one for work mail and one for personal mail.

1.2   Identifying Spam

SpamSieve uses a variety of methods to identify spam messages, but by far the the most important is a statistical technique known as Bayesian analysis. For a more in-depth treatment of this technique applied to spam, see this article by Paul Graham and the papers it references. Bayesian spam filtering is highly accurate and adapts to new types of spam messages “in the field.”

First, you train SpamSieve with examples of your good mail and your spam. When you receive a new message, SpamSieve looks at how often its words occur in spam messages vs. good messages. Lots of spammy words mean that the message is probably spam. However, the presence of words that are common in your normal e-mail but rare in spam messages can tip the scale the other way. This “fuzzy” approach allows SpamSieve to catch nearly every spam message yet produce very few false positives. (A false positive is a good message mistakenly identified as spam. Most users consider false positives to be much worse than false negatives—spam messages that the user has to see.)

Because you train SpamSieve with your own mail, you have full control. If SpamSieve makes a mistake, you can train it with the message in question so that in the future it will do better. Further, since spammers don’t have access to the messages you trained SpamSieve with, they have no way of knowing how to change their messages to get through. Whereas other spam filters become less effective as spammers figure out their rules, SpamSieve becomes more effective over time because it has a larger corpus of your messages to work from.

1.3   Integration

Separate from the issue of identifying spam messages is the issue of how to prevent you from having to deal with them. There are basically six kinds of anti-spam software for doing this:

Challenge-Response Systems
This software requires people who send you mail to prove that they are human, and not an automated spam-sending program. After sending you a message, they get a reply asking them to complete a task that is easy for humans but hard for computers. Only then is the message passed on to you. This system is a nuisance for senders, delays your reception of the mail, and becomes impractical when sending messages to a group of people. Also, challenge response systems cannot deal with spoofed senders or legitimate messages that are sent by programs.
Server-Side Filters
This software runs on mail servers and often filters out spam before you ever see it. This means that you do not have to download the spam messages that it catches. However, some spam messages may still get through, and, unless the filter is perfect, a few legitimate messages will not. These could be important messages, and you will never know that you lost them.
Server-Side Taggers
This variant of server-side filters does not delete possible spam messages before you download them. Instead, you download every message and configure your e-mail program to move messages that were tagged by the filter into a separate spam folder. This eliminates the major disadvantage of server-side filters—lost messages—however this type of filter is generally not as accurate as the ones below, because it does not adapt to your own mail.
Client-Side Filters
This software connects to your mail server to delete spam messages before your e-mail program can download them. This is a clunky approach: to catch all the spam messages, you have to run the program right before your regular e-mail program checks for mail. This is difficult to time properly if you check your mail often, and even so you may download some messages that weren’t filtered. You will also download every good message twice. The anti-spam software may let you see the messages that it filtered out, so that you can verify that there were no false positives. However, you have to do this using its interface, not your e-mail program’s (which is typically nicer). And if there was a false positive you then have to transfer it into your e-mail program so that you can file and reply to it.
Client-Side Proxies
This is like a client-side filter except that the proxy downloads messages once and stores them locally. The e-mail program then “downloads” the good messages from the proxy. This addresses the timing and double-download problems of client-side filters, but interaction with the filter is still awkward because it happens outside your e-mail program. In addition, you lose some control over the connections to the mail server and which messages are left on the server.
Client-Side Integrated
This category includes SpamSieve and Apple Mail’s built-in spam filter. Suspected spam messages are moved to a separate folder, which you can quickly scan at your leisure to make sure there are no false positives. The e-mail program downloads messages directly from the mail server, thus avoiding the problems of client-side filters and proxies. You can train the anti-spam software to improve its accuracy from inside your e-mail program, and accuracy is higher than with server-side filters because the anti-spam software can learn from the messages that you receive. You can also control how the spam filter interacts with your regular mail sorting rules.

1.4   Main Features

  • Powerful Bayesian spam filtering results in high accuracy and almost no false positives. It adapts to the mail that you receive to get even better with time. Some other e-mail programs include Bayesian filters, but SpamSieve is more accurate.
  • Integrates with your e-mail program for a superior user experience. Plus, you get the same great filtering if you ever switch e-mail programs or use more than one at a time.
  • Integrates with the Mac OS X address book (and also Eudora’s and Entourage’s address books) so that messages from friends and colleagues are never marked as spam.
  • Automatically maintains a blocklist so that it can instantly adapt to spam messages sent from particular addresses, and catch 100% of them.
  • Automatically maintains a whitelist to guarantee that messages from particular senders or mailing lists are never marked as spam, without cluttering your address book with these addresses.
  • You can customize the whitelist and blocklist, adding sophisticated rules that match various message headers, or the message body. The rules can match text in a variety of ways, including using regular expressions.
  • Can use the Habeas Safelist, which indicates messages that are not spam, as well as the “ADV” subject tag indicating that a message is spam.
  • Many spammers encode the contents of their messages so that filters cannot see the incriminating words they contain. SpamSieve can decode and look inside these messages. Optionally it can mark them all as spam, on the theory that legitimate senders do not try to obscure their messages.
  • SpamSieve keeps track of how accurate it is, how many good and spam messages you receive, and how these numbers change over time.
  • Turn off new-mail notification in your e-mail program, and let SpamSieve notify you only when you receive non-spam messages.
  • The corpus window and log let you see how each spam message was caught.

1.5   Why Choose SpamSieve?

Given that e-mail programs such as Apple Mail, Entourage, and Eudora include their own integrated spam filters, you may be wondering why you should consider SpamSieve. The answer is simple: SpamSieve’s higher accuracy will save you time. You’ll spend less time deleting spam messages from your inbox; in fact, SpamSieve gets rid of spam so effortlessly that you may even forget that you have it installed. Read what the press and other SpamSieve users have to say about it. Still not convinced? That’s OK. You can try SpamSieve free for 30 days.

2   Installing and Updating

2.1   Requirements

SpamSieve works with Mac OS X 10.6.8 through 10.10, as well as pre-release versions of Mac OS X. For older versions of Mac OS X, previous versions of SpamSieve are available.

Supported Mac Mail Programs

SpamSieve is designed to work with the following e-mail programs that are currently under development:

  • Apple Mail from Mac OS X 10.6 and later. (Some VPNs may not work with Apple Mail on Mac OS X 10.8 or later.)
  • Airmail 1.3.1 (223) and later. Airmail’s SpamSieve support requires Mac OS X 10.8 or later.
  • GyazMail 1.2.0 (1.5.8 or later recommended).
  • MailMate 1.1.2 and later from Freron Software.
  • Mailsmith 2.3.1 and later from Stickshift Software. (By applying this workaround you can use SpamSieve with Mailsmith 2.1.5.)
  • Outlook from Microsoft Office 2011 and later.
  • Postbox 2.0 and later (not Postbox Express) from Postbox, Inc (non–Mac App Store version).
  • PowerMail 4.0 and later (6.x recommended) from CTM Development. PowerMail only supports SpamSieve with POP accounts.

iOS Mail and Web Mail

SpamSieve does not run on iOS, but you can use it together with your Mac to filter mail on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. This is described in the iPhone Spam Filtering section.

If you primarily read your mail in a Web browser, you can still use SpamSieve via Apple Mail. Please see the Setting up Gmail, iCloud, Yahoo, AOL, or other Web Mail section.

Supported Legacy Mac Mail Programs

SpamSieve also works with these legacy e-mail programs:

  • Emailer 2.0v3, previously available from Claris.
  • Entourage v.X (2001) and later (Entourage 2004 or 2008 recommended) from Microsoft.
  • Eudora 5.x or 6.x (in Sponsored or Paid mode) from Qualcomm. SpamSieve will also work with Eudora 8.0.0b1 (a.k.a. Penelope) if you follow the Thunderbird instructions. It does not work with Eudora 8.0.0b2 or later.
  • MailForge 2.0.4 and later from Macsimize Software (formerly from Infinity Data Systems).
  • Outlook Express 5.0 and later from Microsoft.
  • Thunderbird 1.5.0.9 or 2.x from Mozilla.

Multiple Mail Programs

You can freely switch between mail programs or even use multiple mail programs at once. SpamSieve will share its training data and statistics among them.

Unsupported Mac Mail Programs

SpamSieve is not currently compatible with the following mail programs:

  • Mailbox is not sufficiently extensible for us to connect it with SpamSieve. Please contact the developers and tell them that you would like to use SpamSieve with it.
  • Mail Pilot is not sufficiently extensible for us to connect it with SpamSieve. We have offered to help the Mail Pilot developers add support for SpamSieve. Sending them feedback will help them prioritize this feature.
  • Sparrow is not sufficiently extensible for us to connect it with SpamSieve. The Sparrow developers were interested in adding support for SpamSieve, but the product has since been acquired by Google and seems to no longer be under development.
  • Thunderbird 3.0 and later. Due to changes in Thunderbird, it does not look like it will be possible to create a SpamSieve plug-in for newer versions of Thunderbird. However, SpamSieve does work with Postbox, which is an enhanced version of Thunderbird.
  • Unibox is not sufficiently extensible for us to connect it with SpamSieve. We have offered to help the Unibox developers add support for SpamSieve. Sending them feedback will help them prioritize this feature.

Mail Program Differences

SpamSieve works roughly the same way with each mail program. This section describes features that are only available in certain mail programs.

Auto-Deletion

These mail programs support automatically deleting old Spam messages: Apple Mail, Entourage, Outlook, Postbox, Thunderbird.

Complete Message Access

These mail programs allow for more accurate filtering because they let SpamSieve access the entire raw source of each message, including the attachments: Apple Mail, Airmail, Entourage, GyazMail, MailMate, Mailsmith, Outlook, Outlook Express.

Drone Support

These mail programs work with the setup described in Setting Up a Spam Filtering Drone: Apple Mail, MailMate, Outlook.

Refiltering Messages

These mail programs let you manually re-apply SpamSieve to old messages: Apple Mail, Emailer, Entourage, GyazMail, Mailsmith, Outlook, Outlook Express, Postbox, PowerMail, Thunderbird.

Spam Levels

These mail programs can display spam messages in different colors or with a numeric score to indicate their level of spamminess: Apple Mail, Entourage, MailMate, Mailsmith, Outlook, PowerMail.

2.2   Installing SpamSieve

  1. Drag the SpamSieve icon onto the Applications folder.

  2. Double-click the Applications folder to open it.

  3. Double-click the SpamSieve icon to launch it.

    images/applications-folder.png
  4. Eject the SpamSieve-2.9.17 icon.

    images/eject-disk-image.png

It is important that SpamSieve be installed directly in the Applications folder (not in another folder, or in a subfolder), because otherwise your mail program might not be able to find it.

Next, you must follow the instructions in the Using SpamSieve section in order to set up your mail program to use SpamSieve.

2.3   Updating From a Previous Version

There are two ways to update to the latest version of SpamSieve:

Automatic Updating

  1. Launch your old version of SpamSieve.

  2. Normally, SpamSieve will automatically check for updates and detect that a new version is available. If you had turned that feature off:

    1. Choose Software Update… from the SpamSieve menu. (If SpamSieve’s Dock icon is hidden, you can access the Software Update… command via the Message ‣ SpamSieve - Open Window command in Apple Mail or by using the Open Window script.)
    1. Click the Check Now button.
  3. Click the Download & Install button and follow the on-screen instructions.

  4. The username and password for the automatic update are the ones for logging into your Mac. They’re not related to SpamSieve. If you don’t know your password, you can reset it or update SpamSieve by following the “Manual Updating” instructions below.

Manual Updating

  1. Go to the SpamSieve Web site and click the Download button.
  2. Quit your mail program and the SpamSieve application.
  3. Replace the old SpamSieve application file with the new one. That is, if SpamSieve is installed in the Applications folder, drag the new SpamSieve application icon into the Applications folder and click Replace when the Finder asks if you want to overwrite the old version. If you get an error saying that you do not have sufficient privileges, drag the old SpamSieve to the trash and empty it, and then drag the new one into the Applications folder.
  4. Launch SpamSieve.
  5. Launch your mail program.

Repeated Update Prompts

If SpamSieve keeps telling you that a new version is available, even after you’ve updated, you may still have the old version somewhere on your Mac. There should only be one copy of SpamSieve installed, and it should be stored directly in your Applications folder. If you see a window saying that you need to update SpamSieve, you can Command-click on the SpamSieve icon in the Dock. This will reveal the location of the SpamSieve.app file in the Finder so that you can see where the old version is and delete it (after quitting SpamSieve).

Reinstalling a Fresh Copy

If your copy of SpamSieve is damaged, you may need to download and install a fresh copy.

  • If you are able to launch SpamSieve, you can ask it to reinstall itself. To do this, follow the Automatic Updating instructions (above) but hold down the Option key when you click the Check Now button.
  • If SpamSieve won’t launch, follow the Manual Updating instructions (above).
  • If you’ve uninstalled SpamSieve, you can always get it back by going to the SpamSieve Web site and clicking the Download button. After installing it, you can enter your Serial Name and Serial Number into the Purchase… window to take it out of trial mode.

2.4   Uninstalling SpamSieve

Please Contact Us

If you are considering uninstalling SpamSieve because you’re having trouble using it or it doesn’t seem to meet your needs, please contact us at spamsieve@c-command.com. We’re happy to help get you up and running and always looking for suggestions for how to improve SpamSieve.

Temporarily Disabling SpamSieve

To temporarily disable SpamSieve, you can just uncheck the SpamSieve rule(s) that you created in your mail program. This is a quick way to turn it off if you don’t want your mail to be filtered for a while. For example, it can be helpful to turn off spam filtering while you are troubleshooting your other mail rules.

Removing SpamSieve’s Application Files

To completely uninstall SpamSieve, first quit your mail program and SpamSieve. Then delete the SpamSieve application file in your Applications folder.

Additionally, follow the instructions below that are specific to your mail program:

Apple Mail

  1. Make sure that you’ve deleted the SpamSieve rule in Mail’s preferences (described in Setting Up Apple Mail). If you are using multiple Macs and wish to continue using SpamSieve on one of the others, you wouldn’t want the deletion to propagate through iCloud, so you should uncheck the rule rather than deleting it.

  2. Quit Apple Mail.

  3. Delete these files:

    /Users/<username>/Library/Mail/Bundles/SpamSieve.mailbundle
    /Users/<username>/Library/Mail/SpamSieve/
    /Users/<username>/Library/LaunchAgents/com.c-command.SpamSieve.LaunchAgent.plist
    

    See the How can I open the Library folder? section for how to get to these files. After opening the Library folder, drag the three items above to the trash. If you do not do this, Mail will report an error saying that it could not find SpamSieve.

  4. You can optionally re-enable Apple Mail’s built-in junk mail filter from the Junk Mail tab of its Preferences window.

Airmail

Uncheck the Enabled checkbox (described in Setting Up Airmail).

GyazMail

Delete the SpamSieve rule (described in Setting Up GyazMail).

MailMate

Uncheck SpamSieve (described in Setting Up MailMate).

Mailsmith

Uncheck Use SpamSieve (described in Setting Up Mailsmith).

Outlook

Delete the SpamSieve script files that are located in the Outlook Script Menu Items folder inside Microsoft User Data (which is probably in your Documents folder).

Additional scripts are located in the folder:

/Users/<username>/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office/Outlook Script Menu Items/

See the How can I open the Library folder? section for how to get to this folder.

Postbox

Choose Add-ons from Postbox’s Tools menu. Click the remove button next to SpamSieve Postbox Plug-in.

PowerMail

Go to the Spam filter assistant (described in Setting Up PowerMail).

Removing SpamSieve’s Data Files

You can optionally delete SpamSieve’s data files, which are stored at:

/Users/<username>/Library/Application Support/SpamSieve
/Users/<username>/Library/Preferences/com.c-command.SpamSieve.plist
/Users/<username>/Library/Logs/SpamSieve/

See the How can I open the Library folder? section. If you delete these files, you will have to re-train SpamSieve if you reinstall it.

Legacy Mail Programs

These are the files to remove for other mail programs:

Emailer

The scripts are located in Emailer’s AppleScripts folder (next to the Emailer application).

Entourage

The scripts are located in the Entourage Script Menu Items folder inside Microsoft User Data (which is probably in your Documents folder). Go to Entourage’s Tools menu and select Junk E-mail Protection… (or Junk Mail Filter in Entourage v.X) and re-enable Entourage’s junk mail filter.

Eudora 6

The plug-in is located at:

/Users/<username>/Library/Application Support/Eudora/PlugIns/SpamSieve Eudora Plug-In

After uninstalling the SpamSieve plug-in, you can re-enable Eudora’s own junk mail support. Control-click on Eudora, choose Show Package Contents, and move the files between the PlugIns and PlugIns Disabled folders.

Eudora 5

Delete the SpamSieve Eudora Helper file and also run the Uninstall Eudora Helper program that came with SpamSieve. (To access the uninstaller, choose Show Other Scripts from the SpamSieve menu.)

Outlook Express

The scripts are located in the Script Menu Items folder inside Microsoft User Data (which is probably in your Documents folder).

Thunderbird

Choose Add-ons (Extensions if you have Thunderbird 1.5) from Thunderbird’s Tools menu. Select SpamSieve Thunderbird Plug-in in the list. Click the Uninstall button.

3   Using SpamSieve

There are four basic steps to installing and using SpamSieve:

  1. Put the SpamSieve application in your applications folder. This is described in the Installing SpamSieve section.
  2. Set up your mail program to use SpamSieve to filter your mail. This is described in sections 3.1 through 3.9 (below) and in the Legacy Mail Programs section (e.g. for Microsoft Entourage). Find the section below that corresponds to the mail program that you’re using.
  3. Train SpamSieve with some examples of your spam and good messages, as described in the Do an Initial Training section. (This step is optional but highly recommended. You can skip it if you don’t have any saved spam messages.)
  4. SpamSieve will launch automatically when new mail arrives. It will examine each incoming message and move the spam messages to a separate mailbox. In order to keep SpamSieve’s accuracy high, you’ll need to tell it about any spam messages that you find in your inbox or good messages that you find in your spam mailbox. This is described in the Correct All Mistakes section.

You can return to this page at any time by going to SpamSieve’s Help menu and choosing Setting Up and Using SpamSieve. The Help menu also contains a PDF version of this manual, which is easier to search and print.

The rest of this manual contains detailed information about how SpamSieve works and how it can be customized. If you have a question, it’s probably answered here. However, following the above four steps is all most users will need to do to effectively use SpamSieve.

3.1   Setting Up Apple Mail

In addition to these written instructions, there is a video that demonstrates how to set up and train SpamSieve with Apple Mail.

  1. Quit Mail. Then double-click the SpamSieve application and choose Install Apple Mail Plug-In from the SpamSieve menu at the top-left of the screen. When you open Mail once more, you should see SpamSieve - Change Settings, SpamSieve - Train as Good, and SpamSieve - Train as Spam items in the Message menu:

    images/apple-mail-message-menu.png
  2. Choose New Mailbox… (or New…) from Mail’s Mailbox menu, and create a new mailbox called Spam with location On My Mac.

    Note: The capitalization is important; do not call the mailbox SPAM or spam.

  3. Choose Preferences… from the Mail menu and click the Rules button in the toolbar. Click the Add Rule button. Change the description to SpamSieve.

    Note: The description of the rule must start with SpamSieve, but you can add additional text after that, if you want.

    Change the Any Recipient pop-op menu to say Every Message. (Every Message is near the bottom of the menu.) Then, next to Move Message, select the Spam mailbox that you just created. The rule should now look like:

    images/apple-mail-rule.png

    Note: Although the rule looks like it will move every message to the Spam mailbox, because you have installed SpamSieve’s plug-in, it will only move the spam messages.

    Now click OK to close the rule and save your changes. Mail may ask if you want to apply the rule; click Don’t Apply.

  4. Drag the SpamSieve rule to the top of the list so that SpamSieve will be able to filter all of your mail. If you ever need to temporarily disable SpamSieve, e.g. for testing purposes, you can do so simply by unchecking the rule.

    images/apple-mail-rule-top.png
  5. Make sure that the list shows no other rules for processing spam/junk messages. If you find any, disable them (by unchecking them) or delete them.

  6. Select any messages in the Junk mailbox and press the Delete key. The spam messages will move to the Trash mailbox. (If you do not have a Junk mailbox you can skip this step.)

    Note: You may want to empty your trash before deleting the spam messages. This will prevent them from being mixed with good messages in the trash.

  7. Go to the Junk Mail tab of Apple Mail’s Preferences window and uncheck Enable junk mail filtering. This will disable its junk mail filter so that it doesn’t interfere with SpamSieve.

    images/apple-mail-junk-filtering.png
  8. Now proceed to the Do an Initial Training section.

    • To train SpamSieve with spam messages, select one or more of them in Mail and then choose SpamSieve - Train as Spam from the Message menu. (There should be spam messages in the Trash from Step 6, which you can use for the training.) The messages will be colored in gray and moved to the Spam mailbox.
    • To train SpamSieve with good messages, select one or more of them and then choose SpamSieve - Train as Good from the Message menu. Even with Mail’s built-in junk mail filter disabled, Mail may show a Not Junk button at the top of spam messages; you should ignore this, i.e. always choose SpamSieve - Train as Good rather than clicking the Not Junk button.

    The keyboard shortcuts for these commands are Command-Control-S and Command-Control-G.

    When training multiple batches of messages, you should wait for Mail and SpamSieve to finish processing one batch before training the next.

    Note: If it takes more than a second or for the messages to move after you train them, please see the Faster Apple Mail Training section.

SpamSieve will process new mail automatically and move the spam messages to the Spam mailbox. Mail may still color some messages brown and show the special Junk mailbox, even though its own junk filter is off; this is normal. The Junk mailbox holds spam messages caught by server-side junk filters before they got to your Mac.

It’s fine to have additional rules in Mail for processing your good messages. Just make sure that they are below the SpamSieve rule.

If you ever need to manually ask SpamSieve to sift through a mix of spam and good messages, select the messages and choose Apply Rules from the Message menu. SpamSieve will move the ones that it thinks are spam to the Spam mailbox.

The above is all you need to know about using SpamSieve with Mail. The Apple Mail Customization section explains some more advanced setup options, such as configuring the “new mail” notification sound.

3.2   Setting Up Airmail

  1. Make sure that you are using Airmail 1.3.1 (223) or later.

  2. From the Airmail menu, choose Preferences….

  3. Click on the Accounts icon at the top of the window. For each IMAP account in the list:

    1. Click on the More tab and look in the Server sync section.
    2. Make sure Download message bodies by default is checked.
    3. Make sure Download all attachments by default is checked.

    POP accounts do not have the Server sync section, so you can skip this step for them.

  4. Click on the Advanced icon at the top of the window and make sure that next to Use SpamSieve the Enabled box is checked.

  5. Now proceed to the Do an Initial Training section.

    • To train SpamSieve with spam messages, select the messages, Control-click, and choose SpamSieve - Train as Spam from the contextual menu. (Do not use the Mark as Spam command.)
    • To train SpamSieve with good messages, select the messages, Control-click, and choose SpamSIeve - Train as Good from the contextual menu. (Do not use the Mark as Not Spam command.)

SpamSieve will process new mail automatically. Messages that it thinks are spam will be moved to the Junk or Spam folder. Airmail will automatically launch SpamSieve when there are new messages that need to be filtered or when you train messages as spam or as good.

3.3   Setting Up GyazMail

  1. Open GyazMail’s Preferences window and click Junk Filter. Make sure that Enable Junk filtering is checked and that the pop-up menu says SpamSieve.

  2. By default, GyazMail will color the incoming spam messages brown. If you want the spam messages to also be put in a separate folder, create a folder called Spam. Then click on Rules in the Preferences window and create a new rule as shown:

    images/gyazmail.png
  3. Now proceed to the Do an Initial Training section.

    • To train SpamSieve with spam messages, select the messages, go to GyazMail’s Message menu, and choose Junk ‣ Mark as Junk.
    • To train SpamSieve with good messages, select the messages, go to GyazMail’s Message menu, and choose Junk ‣ Mark as Not Junk.

    You can also use the Junk button on the toolbar or the Message ‣ Status ‣ Junk menu command to toggle the junk status of the selected messages.

SpamSieve will process new mail automatically. If you ever need to manually ask it to sift through a mix of spam and good messages, select the messages and choose Junk ‣ Recheck Junk Status from the Message menu.

Moving Trained Messages

Normally, when you mark a message as junk or not junk in GyazMail, the message stays in the same mailbox. If you would like spam messages to move to the Spam mailbox and good messages to move to the inbox, you can set up two rules like this:

images/gyazmail-train-as-spam-rule.png

images/gyazmail-train-as-good-rule.png

Then, instead of using the Junk and Not Junk buttons to train messages, you can use the Message ‣ Apply Rule ‣ Train as Spam and Message ‣ Apply Rule ‣ Train as Good menu commands to train and move them at the same time. If desired, you can use System Preferences to add keyboard shortcuts for these menu rules.

3.4   Setting Up MailMate

  1. Make sure that you are using MailMate 1.1.2 or later.
  2. In MailMate’s General preferences, make sure that SpamSieve is checked and that it’s set to apply to new messages from the Inbox.
  3. The Mark messages as Not Junk if score is below setting does not affect SpamSieve or its filtering. Rather, if SpamSieve thinks a message is less spammy than the score that you enter, MailMate will tell the mail server that it’s not junk, and it will also decide that it’s safe to display any remote images that the message references.
  1. Now proceed to the Do an Initial Training section.
    • To train SpamSieve with spam messages, select the messages and click the Move to Junk button, or choose Message ‣ Junk State ‣ Junk from the menu bar.
    • To train SpamSieve with good messages, select the messages and click the Not Junk or Move Out of Junk button, or choose Message ‣ Junk State ‣ Not Junk from the menu bar.

SpamSieve will process new mail automatically. The Spam Score column shows how spammy SpamSieve thought each message was, on a scale from 0 to 100 (with 50 and above meaning spam).

3.5   Setting Up Mailsmith

  1. Open Mailsmith’s Preferences window and click on the Spam Handling pane. Make sure that Use SpamSieve is checked. Uncheck Honor SpamAssassin and BogoFilter headers.
  2. Now proceed to the Do an Initial Training section.
    • To train SpamSieve with spam messages, select one or more of them and then choose Mark as Spam from Mailsmith’s Message menu.
    • To train SpamSieve with good messages, select one or more of them and then choose Mark as Non-Spam from Mailsmith’s Message menu.

If you ever need to manually ask it to sift through a mix of spam and good messages, choose Recalculate Spam Score from the Message menu.

The above is all you need to know about using SpamSieve with Mailsmith. The Mailsmith Customization section explains some more advanced setup options. For more information about using SpamSieve with Mailsmith, please see Chapter 8 of the Mailsmith User Manual.

3.6   Setting Up Outlook

These instructions apply to Outlook 2011 versions 14.1 and later, from Microsoft Office 2011. If you’re using the initial release of Office 2011, please see the Setting Up Outlook 14.0 section. If you are using Microsoft Entourage, please see the Setting Up Entourage section.

  1. Go to Outlook’s Tools menu and select Junk E-mail Protection…. Turn off Outlook’s junk filter by clicking None and then OK.

  2. Switch to SpamSieve by clicking on its icon in the Dock. Go to the SpamSieve menu and choose Preferences…. Make sure that Use Entourage/Outlook address book is checked and click the Load button, then the Outlook button.

  3. Choose Install Outlook Scripts from the SpamSieve menu. After you quit and re-launch Outlook, you should see four SpamSieve items in Outlook’s Scripts menu:

    images/outlook-sp1-scripts-menu.png
  4. Choose Rules… from Outlook’s Tools menu. Click on the source list item under “On My Computer” corresponding to the type of account you that have (e.g. POP, IMAP, or Exchange).

    images/outlook-sp1-rules-on-my-computer.png
  5. If you have more than one kind of account, you will need to repeat Steps 4–6 for each account type.

    1. If you had previously used SpamSieve with Microsoft Entourage, delete any SpamSieve rules that Outlook brought over from your Entourage setup.

    2. Click the + button. Change the name of the rule to SpamSieve - Set Category.

    3. For a POP account:

      1. Under When a new message arrives it should say All Messages.

      For an IMAP or Exchange account:

      1. Under When a new message arrives it should say Folder Is INBOX (<Account Name>).
      2. When you create a new IMAP rule, the pop-up menu at the left will automatically say Folder; when you create new Exchange rule, the pop-up menu will say From and you will have to change it to Folder.
      3. Next, you need to choose the inbox from the pop-up menu at the right. You may have to choose Choose Folder… and type “in” to be able to select the inbox.
      4. Click the + button to add an additional rule condition for each IMAP/Exchange account that you have. Change the pop-up menus to say Folder Is INBOX (<Account Name>) as before.
      5. Click on If all conditions are met and change it to If any conditions are met.
    4. Under Do the following, click on the - button to the right of Change status and Not Junk E-mail to delete the Change status action.

      images/outlook-sp1-delete-action.png
    5. Click on the pop-up menu that says Set Category and select Run AppleScript.

      images/outlook-sp1-set-category-popup.png

      Then click the Script… button and Select the SpamSieve - Set Category.scpt file. This file is stored in the Outlook Script Menu Items folder (which is probably inside the Microsoft User Data folder inside your Documents folder):

      images/outlook-choose-script.png
    6. Make sure that Do not apply other rules… is unchecked. For a POP account, the rule should now look like this:

      images/outlook-sp1-set-category-pop.png

      For an IMAP or Exchange account, the rule should now look like this:

      images/outlook-sp1-set-category-imap.png
    7. Click OK to close the sheet.

    8. Drag the SpamSieve - Set Category rule to the top of the list.

  6. In the Rules window, as before, repeat the following steps for each type of account that you have (e.g. POP, IMAP, or Exchange) under “On My Computer”.

    1. Click the + button. Change the name of the rule to SpamSieve - Move Messages.

    2. Under When a new message arrives, click on the pop-up menu and change it to say Category. Click on the pop-up menu for None and change it to Junk. The condition should now say Category Is Junk.

    3. Click the + button to the right of Junk to make a new condition.

      images/outlook-sp1-new-condition.png

      Click on From for the new condition and change it to say Category. Click on the pop-up menu for None and change it to Uncertain Junk. The condition should now say Category Is Uncertain Junk.

    4. Click on If all conditions are met and change it to If any conditions are met.

    5. Under Do the following, click on the - button to the right of Not Junk E-mail to delete the Change status action.

      images/outlook-sp1-delete-action.png
    6. Click on the pop-up menu that says Set Category and select Move Message.

      images/outlook-sp1-set-category-popup.png

      Change the menu at the right from None to Junk E-mail. You may have to choose Choose Folder… and type “Junk” to be able to select the Junk E-mail folder. The rule should now look like:

      images/outlook-sp1-move-messages.png
    7. Click OK to close the sheet.

    8. Drag the SpamSieve - Move Messages rule so that it is just below the SpamSieve - Set Category rule(s) (and above your other rules).

  7. Now proceed to the Do an Initial Training section.

    • To train SpamSieve with spam messages, select one or more of them and then choose SpamSieve - Train as Spam from Outlook’s Scripts menu.
    • To train SpamSieve with good messages, select one or more of them and then choose SpamSieve - Train as Good from Outlook’s Scripts menu.

    The keyboard shortcuts for these commands are Command-Control-S and Command-Control-G.

SpamSieve will process new mail automatically. If you ever need to manually ask it to sift through a mix of spam and good messages, select the messages and choose SpamSieve - Set Category from Outlook’s script menu. Then choose Rules ‣ Apply All from the Message menu.

The above is all you need to know about using SpamSieve with Outlook. The Outlook Customization section explains some more advanced setup options.

3.7   Setting Up Postbox

SpamSieve requires Postbox 2.0 or later. It is not compatible with Postbox Express. The Mac App Store version of Postbox does not support plug-ins, so it cannot work with SpamSieve. However, if you purchased Postbox from the Mac App Store you can download the full version of Postbox and use that with SpamSieve.

  1. Choose Install Postbox Plug-In from SpamSieve’s SpamSieve menu.

  2. Launch Postbox. Choose Add-ons from the Tools menu.

  3. If you have Postbox 2.5 or 3.x, click on the action (gear) menu in the upper-right corner of the window and choose Install Add-on From File…. If you have Postbox 2.0, click the Install… button in the window that just opened.

  4. Click on the Desktop button, select the SpamSieveForPostbox.xpi file, and click Open.

  5. Click the Install Now button.

  6. Quit Postbox and re-launch it. If you now go to the Tools menu and choose Add-ons you should see the SpamSieve Postbox Plug-In listed there. Next to it will be the version of the plug-in. The current plug-in version is always listed at the bottom of SpamSieve’s about box. You can now delete the SpamSieveForPostbox.xpi file from your desktop.

  7. Choose Preferences… from the Postbox menu and click on Accounts. For each of your accounts in the list at the left (plus “Local Folders”), click on Junk Settings and make sure that:

    • Enable adaptive junk mail controls for this account is checked.
    • Move new junk messages to is checked.
    • Trust junk mail headers set by is unchecked.

    It is generally a good idea to uncheck the items under “Do not mark mail as junk if the sender is in” since these can prevent SpamSieve from filtering out certain spam messages.

  8. Choose Preferences… from the Postbox menu and click on Privacy. Make sure that When I mark messages as junk is checked.

  9. Now proceed to the Do an Initial Training section.

    • To train SpamSieve with spam messages, select one or more of them and then choose Message ‣ Mark ‣ As Junk, click the bullet in the junk status column of the message list, or press the J key.
    • To train SpamSieve with good messages, select one or more of them and then choose Message ‣ Mark ‣ As Not Junk, click the junk icon in the junk status column of the message list, or press the J key.

    You can also customize the toolbar to add a Junk/Not Junk button.

    Note: If Postbox already thinks that a message is junk, it may not let you mark it as junk—and likewise for not junk. That’s OK; it is enough to train SpamSieve by marking the messages that are misclassified in Postbox.

SpamSieve will process new mail automatically. If you ever need to manually ask it to sift through a mix of spam and good messages, select the messages and choose Message ‣ Mark ‣ Run Junk Mail Controls.

The above is all you need to know about using SpamSieve with Postbox. The Customization section explains some more advanced setup options.

3.8   Setting Up PowerMail

These instructions apply to PowerMail 6 and PowerMail 5. Please see the Setting up PowerMail 4 section if you need to setup an older version of PowerMail.

  1. Make sure that you are using a POP (not IMAP) account.
  2. Go to the Mark as Spam pane of PowerMail’s Preferences window. Click the Spam filter assistant… button and tell the assistant that you want to use SpamSieve.
  3. Now proceed to the Do an Initial Training section.
    • To train SpamSieve with spam messages, select one or more of them and then choose Mark as Spam from the Mail menu.
    • To train SpamSieve with good messages, select one or more of them and then choose Mark as Good from the Mail menu.

SpamSieve will process new mail automatically. If you ever need to manually ask it to sift through a mix of spam and good messages, select the messages and choose Perform Filter ‣ Perform All Filters from the Mail menu.

The above is all you need to know about using SpamSieve with PowerMail. The Customization section explains some more advanced setup options. For more information about how to configure PowerMail’s handling of spam messages, please see the PowerMail documentation.

3.9   Setting Up Gmail, iCloud, Yahoo, AOL, or Other Web Mail

SpamSieve works with Web mail accounts, provided that they allow access via POP, IMAP, or Exchange. Just configure Apple Mail to access your account and then follow the normal SpamSieve setup instructions in the Setting Up Apple Mail section. SpamSieve will then filter your Web mail when Apple Mail is running.

When using Gmail, it is recommended that you hide the All Mail folder from IMAP, as described here, so that your Mac does not receive a duplicate copy of every message.

You can train SpamSieve from within Apple Mail. If you use the drone setup, you can also train SpamSieve from your Web browser by moving messages into the special training mailboxes.

See also the How should I configure the junk filter on my mail server? section.

3.10   Do an Initial Training

SpamSieve does not have distinct “training” and “working” modes. As soon as you install it, it is always learning from the messages it sees and always filtering out the spam that it finds.

Although you can start using SpamSieve immediately and just correct any mistakes that it makes, it will do a better job of filtering if you use some of your old mail to do an initial training. This simply means that you give it some examples of messages you consider to be spam, and ones which you do not. You do this by selecting some messages in your mail program and choosing a training command from the menu (as described in the last step of the “Setting Up” section for your mail program). SpamSieve collects information from the messages it’s trained with into its corpus, which it uses to predict whether subsequent messages are spam. Don’t worry; it learns quickly!

How many messages you should train SpamSieve with depends on how many old messages you have and on how much time you want to put into the process. 195 spam messages and 105 representative good ones are enough for most people to get very good accuracy, but it’s OK if you don’t have that many. The important points are:

Do not use more than 1,000 messages.
Using up to 1,000 recent messages in the initial training lets SpamSieve start out with a high level of accuracy. In general, the more messages you train SpamSieve with, the better its accuracy will be. However, using more than 1,000 messages initially, would “fill up” SpamSieve’s corpus with older messages, making it slower and less effective at adapting to new kinds of spam that you’ll receive in the future.
The messages should be approximately 65% spam.
For example, use 650 spams and 350 good messages or 65 spams and 35 good messages. It is better to use fewer messages in the initial training (i.e. not use all your saved mail) than to deviate from the recommended percentage. For example, if you have 500 good messages but only 195 saved spam messages, don’t train SpamSieve with all 695 messages. Instead, train it with the 195 spams and about 105 representative good messages.

In order to monitor your progress, you can go to SpamSieve’s Filter menu and choose Show Statistics. The Corpus section in the middle of the Statistics window shows how many good and spam messages SpamSieve has been trained with, and what percentage of them are spam. After the initial training, SpamSieve will automatically train itself, and you’ll only need to train it to correct mistakes.

After the initial training, you don’t have to worry about the number or percentage of messages in the corpus. SpamSieve will automatically learn from new messages as they arrive and keep its corpus properly balanced.

Accuracy will improve with time, but if you’ve used at least 100 or so messages in the initial training, SpamSieve should immediately start moving some of the incoming spam messages to your spam folder. If you don’t see results right away, check the setup in your mail program. After a few hundred messages of each type are in the corpus, SpamSieve should be catching most of your spam.

Now you’re done setting up SpamSieve. The Correct All Mistakes section explains how you can keep SpamSieve’s accuracy high by telling it if it puts any messages in the wrong mailbox.

3.11   Correct All Mistakes

SpamSieve examines each incoming message and moves the spam messages into a separate spam mailbox. It leaves the good messages alone, so they will stay in the inbox or be processed by your other mail rules. In order to keep SpamSieve’s accuracy high, you’ll need to correct any mistakes that it makes:

  • If you find a spam message that’s not in the spam mailbox, train it as spam.
  • If you find a good message in the spam mailbox, train it as good.

Normally, the Train SpamSieve whitelist and Train SpamSieve blocklist preferences are enabled. This means that training a single message as good will make SpamSieve classify all future messages from that message’s sender as good. Likewise, training a message as spam will make SpamSieve classify all future messages from that message’s sender as spam. Normally, the Train Bayesian classifier preference is also enabled, which will let SpamSieve learn from the message’s contents so that it can recognize future messages that are similar even if the sender is different.

How to Correct Mistakes

To correct a mistake, train SpamSieve using the menu commands recommended at the end of the “Setting Up” section of the manual for your mail program. For example, with Apple Mail you would select the message and choose SpamSieve - Train as Good or SpamSieve - Train as Spam from Mail’s Message menu. Always train SpamSieve using the menu commands. Do not move the messages into or out of the spam mailbox yourself, as this will bypass SpamSieve.

Correcting All the Mistakes

You must correct all of SpamSieve’s mistakes or its accuracy will deteriorate over time. The reason for this is that SpamSieve assumes that it classified a message correctly unless you tell it otherwise, and it will learn based on that assumption (unless you turn off the Auto-train with incoming mail preference). Also, the sooner you correct SpamSieve, the better. By promptly correcting SpamSieve, you ensure that it’s always acting based on accurate information.

Which Messages to Train

After the initial training, it is not necessary (or recommended) to train SpamSieve with messages that are not mistakes.

  • Do train all the spam messages that get through to your inbox. Do this even for phishing messages, image spams, and messages from forged senders that you might think would confuse SpamSieve. It’s best to tell SpamSieve the truth.
  • Do not train messages that SpamSieve automatically put in the spam mailbox. Regardless of which color of spamminess it assigned them, SpamSieve already thinks that they are spam.
  • Do not train messages that a server filter automatically caught in the Junk mailbox.
  • Do not train as spam unwanted messages from legitimate mailing lists, i.e. from companies that you have done business with. Instead, you should create regular rules in your mail program to move them to a different mailbox or follow the instructions at the bottom of the e-mail to unsubscribe from the mailing list.

Undoing a Training

If you make a mistake and tell SpamSieve that a message is spam when it is actually good (or vice-versa), simply correct yourself as you would correct SpamSieve. That is, if the message is good, train it as good; if it is spam, train it as spam. SpamSieve will “undo” the previous, incorrect, training.

Disable Other Spam Filters and Rules

When using SpamSieve, turn off any other spam filters that you’ve installed on your Mac. Disable any manual rules that you’ve created that move messages to the Spam mailbox or trash. This will make it clear which messages SpamSieve did and didn’t catch, which is necessary for you to be able to properly correct it. If you really need those manual rules, you can recreate them using SpamSieve’s blocklist or put the rules above SpamSieve’s rule(s) so that the messages are moved or deleted before SpamSieve sees them.

Using SpamSieve With Multiple Macs

Please see the SpamSieve and Multiple Macs section for information about how to ensure that you are properly correcting mistakes when multiple copies of SpamSieve are filtering the same mail account.

Resetting SpamSieve

Not correcting all the mistakes will cause SpamSieve to learn incorrect information, which will reduce the filtering accuracy. The only way to fix this is to reset all of SpamSieve’s training:

  1. Quit SpamSieve and your mail program.

  2. Open the Library folder and drag the SpamSieve folder to the trash:

    /Users/<username>/Library/Application Support/SpamSieve/
    
  3. Follow the instructions in the Do an Initial Training section.

3.12   SpamSieve and Multiple Macs

If you are accessing the same IMAP or Exchange mail account from multiple Macs running SpamSieve, it can be difficult to know which copy of SpamSieve needs to be trained to correct a mistake. There are several ways to deal with this (in order of preference):

  1. Run SpamSieve on a single Mac and let it clean your inbox for all the Macs. All the training is done from that Mac. This is the simplest solution. It works well when the Mac with SpamSieve will be running most of the time, and when you can easily access that Mac to do the training.
  2. Run SpamSieve on a single Mac using the drone setup. This setup works well when the Mac with SpamSieve will be running most of the time. When you’re away from that Mac, you can remotely train SpamSieve from any Mac, iOS device, or even via Web mail.
  3. Run SpamSieve on all the Macs and turn off auto-training. You can train whichever Mac you happen to be using at the moment. This will have lower filtering accuracy than (1) or (2) but is useful in situations when you do not have a single Mac that is always available for mail filtering.
  4. Run SpamSieve on all the Macs, being careful to only let one copy of SpamSieve run at a time, and to always correct all the mistakes before switching to another Mac. This will give better filtering accuracy than (3) but is a lot more work.

Server Spam Mailbox

With the normal setup, spam messages are stored locally, so they are only accessible on one Mac. If you are using multiple Macs, you can instead store the spam on the server so that the same spam mailbox is visible on all the Macs.

Training Data

When upgrading to a new Mac or using setup (3) or (4) above, you can copy SpamSieve’s training data from one Mac to another. This is only recommended if the two Macs will be filtering the same mail account. Macs filtering different people’s mail should be trained separately for the best filtering accuracy.

License Info

An individual user running SpamSieve on multiple personal Macs generally only needs to purchase one SpamSieve license. The Purchase… section of the manual has more information about the license policy.

iCloud Rule Syncing

Multiple Macs using the same iCloud account will automatically have the same rules in Apple Mail. If you want to use the SpamSieve rule on one Mac but not the other, you should uncheck it on the Mac where you want it to be disabled. Do not delete the rule because that would (through syncing) delete it from the other Mac as well.

POP Accounts

If you are accessing the same POP mail account from multiple Macs, you can safely run SpamSieve on all of the Macs simultaneously. Each Mac is entirely separate from the others, so you don’t have to worry about any of the training issues that IMAP and Exchange accounts have. The downside is that it’s more work to train each copy of SpamSieve separately.

3.13   iPhone Spam Filtering

Your Mac as the Spam Filter

Due to limitations of the iOS platform, there is not currently an iPhone version of SpamSieve. However, you can use SpamSieve on your Mac to keep the spam off your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. The Mac has much more bandwidth and processing power, so it makes sense to do the spam filtering there, anyway. When you check for mail on your iPhone, you won’t waste time or battery power downloading or processing spam messages.

Use IMAP or Exchange to Synchronize Your Mailboxes

To use SpamSieve with your iPhone, you’ll need to set both the Mac and the iPhone to connect to your mail server using either the IMAP or Exchange mail protocol:

  • Many popular mail hosts—such as Apple’s iCloud, Gmail, and Yahoo automatically uses IMAP.
  • Most other modern mail hosts also offer IMAP support.
  • Some hosts, such as Comcast, can enable IMAP support if you request it.
  • Some mail hosts only offer support for the older POP protocol. This makes it impossible for your Mac to clean the spam off your iPhone. We recommend switching to another provider.

If your mail host supports IMAP but you are not using it, you can change the settings on your Mac to connect via IMAP instead of POP. Please see the Converting Your Apple Mail Setup to IMAP section or read Macworld’s article about this.

How IMAP/Exchange Synchronization Works

When using IMAP or Exchange, all computers and mobile devices that connect to the same mail account will share the same mailboxes. The contents of the mailboxes will be synchronized automatically. The syncing happens when you open the Mail application, not when you connect the Mac and iPhone and sync in iTunes.

Filtering Out the Spam

You don’t have to do anything extra for SpamSieve to filter the spam on your iPhone. SpamSieve is already removing the spam from your Mac’s inbox, so the normal IMAP/Exchange synchronization will automatically remove the spam messages from the iPhone’s inbox as well.

When your mail program is running on your Mac, it will periodically check for new mail. New messages will arrive in the inbox, and SpamSieve will move the spam messages to the spam mailbox. When the iPhone checks for new mail, the spam messages will generally already have been moved out of the inbox.

If the iPhone happens to see a new spam message before the Mac does:

  • The message will appear in the inbox for a short while. When the Mac sees it, it will move it to the spam mailbox and it will disappear from the inbox on the iPhone.
  • The iPhone supports push e-mail, which lets it see new messages instantly. If you receive a lot of spam, you may prefer to turn off the push feature. That will give the Mac a chance to filter the messages before you see them on the iPhone.
  • If you mark a message as read on the iPhone before the Mac sees it, the Mac will not apply its rules (such as SpamSieve) to the message.

Checking the Spam Mailbox

With the standard setup, SpamSieve puts the spam that it catches in the Spam mailbox on your Mac. The spam messages are removed from the server and stored locally on the Mac. This is faster, and it means that the spam messages won’t count towards your server quota. However, this also makes it impossible to view the spam messages when you are away from your Mac.

Some users prefer to store the Spam mailbox on the server. This way, if SpamSieve accidentally puts a good message in the Spam mailbox, you can access the message on the iPhone when away from the Mac. To do this, see the Using a Spam Mailbox on the Server section.

Training SpamSieve to Correct Mistakes

With the standard setup, you train SpamSieve directly from your Mac. If a spam message gets through to your inbox, you should not delete it from the iPhone because that would prevent you from correcting the mistake.

The Setting Up a Spam Filtering Drone section describes how to set up Apple Mail for remote training. If you’ll be away from your Mac for long periods of time, you can then train SpamSieve directly from the iPhone. Correcting mistakes promptly will keep SpamSieve running at peak accuracy.

Troubleshooting iPhone Spam Filtering

If there are spam messages in the inbox on your iPhone:

  1. Are those same messages in the inbox on your Mac? If so, this is not an iPhone-specific problem. You should follow the regular Why is SpamSieve not catching my spam? instructions.
  2. If the spam messages are in the iPhone’s inbox but in the Mac’s Spam mailbox, try using “pull-to-refresh” to get the iPhone to resynchronize with the server. It should then update its inbox and remove the spam messages from the inbox.
  3. If the spam messages are still in the iPhone’s inbox, try logging into your mail account via Web mail.
    • If everything looks good in Web mail, there is likely a problem with your iPhone’s connection to the mail server.
    • If the spam is in the Web mail inbox but not the Mac’s, there is likely a problem with the mail program on your Mac.

3.13.1   Converting Your Apple Mail Setup to IMAP

This section discusses how to change your Apple Mail setup from POP to IMAP so that you can use SpamSieve for iPhone Spam Filtering. A similar setup will also work with other mail programs.

  1. Choose Preferences… from the Mail menu and click on Accounts. Your account(s) will be listed at the left of the window. If it already says IMAP or iCloud under your account, there’s nothing more that you need to do.
  2. If it says POP, you will need to disable the POP account and create a new IMAP one. Click on the POP account and make note of the contents of the Account Information tab. Click on the Advanced tab. Uncheck Include when automatically checking for new mail. Then click the Remove now button to remove from the server any messages that you’ve already downloaded.
  3. Click the + button at the bottom of the window and follow the steps to create a new account. Choose IMAP for the account type. For the server and login, enter the information that you noted for the POP account. (Note: some providers use a different incoming mail server name for IMAP.) Put “IMAP” at the end of the description so that you can tell this account apart from the old one.
  4. You should now be able to check for mail, and Mail will be using IMAP instead of POP. There will be two sets of mailboxes (Inbox, Sent, etc.) in the main window. If desired, you can go to each of these mailboxes and drag the messages from the old mailboxes to the IMAP ones. Otherwise, the old messages will be hidden when you disable the POP account.
  5. Go back to Mail’s Preferences window, click on the POP account, and click the Advanced tab. Then uncheck Enable this account. You will be using the new IMAP account instead, although the old POP settings, and any messages that you didn’t transfer to the IMAP mailboxes, will still be available should you want to go back to the old setup.
  6. On your iOS device, tap on Settings ‣ Mail, Contacts, Calendars. For each of your accounts, tap on the account name. At the top of the account settings it should say IMAP or Exchange. If it says POP, you will need to deactivate that account on the iPhone (by sliding the switch next to the Mail setting) and then choose Add Account to re-add your account as IMAP or Exchange.

3.13.2   Recommended Mail Hosts

For best results with SpamSieve—and for e-mail in general—we recommend a mail host that:

Supports IMAP or Exchange
This will keep your mailboxes and messages synchronized across multiple devices and let you use SpamSieve on your Mac for iPhone Spam Filtering.
Lets You Control Its Junk Filter
You don’t want the server’s filter to accidentally delete good messages before you even see them. For more information, see the How should I configure the junk filter on my mail server? section.
Can Use Your Domain Name
If your e-mail address is at a domain name that you control (rather than at the provider’s domain), you won’t be locked into your current host should you ever become dissatisfied with it. You’ll be able to easily switch to a different host without having to change your e-mail address.

E-mail is important. If your mail provider does not offer the features that you want, we recommend switching to one that does. DreamHost, FastMail, Pair are some inexpensive hosts that we’ve used and recommend. Other ones that’ve heard good things about are 1&1, Cotse.Net, LuxSci, and GoDaddy.

4   Customization

4.1   Rule Ordering

SpamSieve works with your e-mail program to filter out spam messages. First, the mail program downloads new messages from the mail server. It then passes the messages to a plug-in or AppleScript, which in turn passes them to the SpamSieve application. SpamSieve analyzes the messages to see whether they are spam. It returns the verdict to the plug-in or script, which then directs the mail program to move the messages to another folder.

Some of the e-mail programs that SpamSieve supports let you control the order in which the rules (a.k.a. filters or mail actions) that you have created process mail. How you order the SpamSieve rule is up to you. If you get a lot of spam that matches the rules you use to organize your mail, you might want to run the SpamSieve rule first. This will allow it to find spam among all your messages. If you would rather deal with spam manually than have any false positives, then you might want to run the SpamSieve rule last, after all your other rules have been given a chance to match and file away messages from known senders. Be sure to check the SpamSieve preferences for additional filtering options.

4.2   Whitelisting Previous Recipients

For added safety, you can specify that addresses that you’ve sent mail to will never send you spam. To do this in:

Apple Mail
Open the Rules section of Mail’s Preferences window and edit the SpamSieve rule. Change the condition that says Every Message to Sender is not in my Previous Recipients. Mail will then assume that such messages are good, without showing them to SpamSieve.
Entourage
Create an outgoing rule that uses this AppleScript to add your messages’ recipients to SpamSieve’s whitelist.
Eudora
Open Eudora’s Junk Mail settings and make sure that Mail isn’t junk if the sender is in an address book is checked. Eudora automatically adds your recipients to its History List, which is considered to be part of the address book.
Mailsmith
Create a rule that uses this AppleScript to add your sent messages’ recipients to SpamSieve’s whitelist.
Outlook
Create an outgoing rule that uses this AppleScript to add your messages’ recipients to SpamSieve’s whitelist.
Postbox
Select Do not mark mail as junk if the sender is in Collected Addresses in Postbox’s Accounts preferences.
PowerMail
Create an outgoing filter that uses this AppleScript to add your messages’ recipients to SpamSieve’s whitelist.
Thunderbird
Select Do not mark mail as junk if the sender is in Collected Addresses in Thunderbird’s Account Settings window.

For Apple Mail, Eudora, Postbox, and Thunderbird the above settings will completely hide these messages from SpamSieve. Thus:

  1. You might not want to do this if you regularly receive spam messages that are forged so as to appear as though they were sent from one of your previous correspondents. SpamSieve won’t see the messages, so it will have no chance of catching them.
  2. SpamSieve will not be able to auto-train itself with these messages. You should be sure to manually train it with some examples of these messages, so that it has seen some examples of good messages with this type of content.

4.3   Automatically Deleting Old Spam Messages

You can set your mail program to automatically delete old spam messages. However, if you do this, you should still review your spam messages to make sure that no good messages are deleted. Not only would you lose such messages if you don’t correct all the mistakes, but SpamSieve would also incorrectly learn that they are spam, leading to more mistakes in the future.

Apple Mail

Mail has a feature to automatically delete old spam messages from the Junk mailbox. You can use this feature if you tell SpamSieve to put spam messages in the Junk mailbox instead of the Spam mailbox.

If you do this, be careful not to use the Junk and Not Junk buttons that will appear in Mail when the Junk mailbox is active; you should always use the SpamSieve - Train as Good and SpamSieve - Train as Spam commands instead. You can use the Customize Toolbar… command in Mail’s View menu to remove the Junk button from the toolbar. Also, if you select a message that SpamSieve has classified as spam, Mail will show a banner saying that you marked it as junk. Ignore this.

  1. If you want to store your spam locally (On My Mac) you can skip this step. If you want to store your spam on the mail server, make sure that Mail knows which mailbox is your Junk mailbox. To do this, create a new mailbox under your account. Select it and choose Mailbox ‣ Use This Mailbox For ‣ Junk.

  2. Open Mail’s Preferences window and click on Junk Mail. Make sure that Enable junk mail filtering is checked. Select Move it to the Junk mailbox. If Mail asks whether you want to move all the messages to the Junk mailbox, say No. Next, select Perform custom actions. Then click the Advanced… button and edit the rule such that the conditions don’t match any messages. For example, use these two conditions:

    • Message is addressed to my Full Name
    • Message is not addressed to my Full Name

    and set it to If all of the following conditions are met. Click OK to close the sheet. Do not make any further changes to the Junk Mail preferences.

    images/apple-mail-junk-rule.png
  3. Go to the Rules section of Mail’s preferences and change the SpamSieve rule to move the messages to the Junk mailbox instead of the Spam mailbox.

  4. Choose SpamSieve - Change Settings from Mail’s Message menu and, when prompted, say that the name of your spam mailbox is Junk.

  5. Go to the Mailbox Behaviors (or Special Mailboxes) tab of the Mail’s Accounts preferences and select a time interval for Delete junk messages when. You’ll need to repeat this for each account.

Note: Even though you are using the Junk mailbox, due to a bug in Mail, the Erase Junk Mail command may be disabled.

Entourage

You can set Entourage so that when it quits it will delete all the spam messages that are older than 7 days (or whichever interval you choose):

  1. Choose Tools ‣ Run Schedule ‣ Edit Schedules.
  2. Click the New button to create a schedule.
  3. Set the name of the schedule to Delete Old Spam, the When to On Quit, and the Action to Delete Junk Mail from Junk E-mail (On My Computer).
  4. Click OK to close the dialog.

Outlook

You can set Outlook so that when it quits it will delete all the spam messages that are older than 7 days (or whichever interval you choose):

  1. Choose Tools ‣ Run Schedule ‣ Edit Schedules….
  2. Click the + button to create a schedule.
  3. Set the name of the schedule to Delete Old Spam, the When to On Quit, and the Action to Delete Junk Mail from Junk E-mail (On My Computer).
  4. Click OK to close the dialog.

Postbox

See the Automatically delete junk mail older than setting in the Accounts preferences.

Thunderbird

See the Automatically delete junk mail older than setting in the Account Settings window.

4.4   Setting Up a Spam Filtering Drone

As described in the Correct All Mistakes section, you need to tell SpamSieve about messages that it misclassified so that it can learn from them. Also, the sooner you correct SpamSieve the better. This presents a problem if you’re going to be away from your Mac for a while, e.g. if you’re on a trip and using your iPhone/iPad or Web mail. With the normal setup, you can leave SpamSieve running on your Mac at home, and it will clean the spam out of your inbox, but aside from remote-controlling your Mac there’s no way to train SpamSieve.

The drone setup lets you run SpamSieve on one Mac and train it from other Macs, PCs, or iPhones. This setup requires Apple Mail, MailMate, or Microsoft Outlook 2011.

Here’s an outline of how it works:

  • All the computers check the same IMAP, iCloud, or Exchange account.
  • One Mac (the drone) downloads all the messages and filters them with SpamSieve. The other computers (your notebook Mac, your PC at work, your iPhone, etc.) are not running SpamSieve, yet they get a spam-free inbox. If you’re using an iPhone, you may want to turn off push e-mail so that the phone doesn’t notify you about new messages that would be put into the spam mailbox, anyway.
  • If you’re sitting at the drone, you can train it normally using the SpamSieve - Train as Good/Spam menu commands.
  • If you’re at one of the other computers, you can train it remotely:
    • If a spam message gets through, move it to the special TrainSpam mailbox to train the drone. Periodically, the drone will train the messages in this mailbox as spam and then move them to the spam mailbox.
    • If a good message ends up in the spam mailbox, move it to the special TrainGood mailbox to train the drone. Periodically, the drone will train the messages in this mailbox as good and then move them to the inbox.
  • The Apple Mail drone checks the Train mailboxes whenever a new message arrives in the inbox. This can even work when your Mac is asleep, if you’ve enabled Power Nap. The MailMate and Outlook drones check the Train mailboxes periodically, according to a schedule that you set.

To set up the spam filtering drone:

  1. Make sure that all the computers are set to connect to your mail account via IMAP, iCloud, or Exchange.

  2. This optional step will hopefully keep SpamSieve running if there’s a power failure while you’re away from your drone Mac. Open System Preferences. In the Users & Groups pane, set Mail or Outlook as a login item for your account. Under Login Options, enable automatic login. In the Energy Saver pane, set it to Restart automatically after a power failure. (This option is not available on all Macs.)

  3. Create two additional mailboxes in each account: TrainGood and TrainSpam.

    Note: If you don’t mind (or in fact prefer) having all of your spam go to one account’s Spam mailbox, you can instead create a single pair of training mailboxes in that account. However, this may make it more cumbersome to move messages into the training mailboxes (e.g. from iOS or Webmail).

  4. Continue following the instructions below for Apple Mail, MailMate, or Outlook.

4.4.1   Setting Up an Apple Mail Drone

This section is a continuation of the Setting Up a Spam Filtering Drone instructions for people using Apple Mail.

  1. If you have a single mail account, follow the normal SpamSieve setup procedure in the Setting Up Apple Mail section, with one change: in Step 2, create the new Spam mailbox in your server account instead of in On My Mac. You’re now done with this step.

    If you have multiple mail accounts, create a Spam mailbox in each account. Instead of creating one SpamSieve rule, create one per account. The name of each rule should be SpamSieve - Account 1 (where Account 1 is the Description of your account). The conditions of the rule should say:

    Account Account 1

    The actions should say:

    Move Message Spam [the Spam mailbox you created for this account]

    Mail may ask if you want to apply the rule; click Don’t Apply.

  2. Download the Apple Mail - Remote Training script file. Open it in Script Editor (a.k.a. AppleScript Editor) and add your account name(s) at the top.

  3. You can test that the script works by running it in Script Editor; it should move any messages in the TrainGood mailbox to the inbox and any messages in the TrainSpam mailbox to the Spam mailbox. Errors will be reported in the All Messages section of the Console application.

  4. Go to Mail’s Preferences window and create a new rule at the top of the list (above the SpamSieve rule) called Remote Training. The conditions should say:

    Every Message

    The actions should say:

    Run AppleScript […]apple-mail-remote-training.scpt

    After choosing Run AppleScript from the pop-up menu, select the file that you created in Step 2 (using either the pop-up menu or the Choose… button).

    Mail may ask if you want to apply the rule; click Don’t Apply.

  5. If you want manually trained spam messages to go to the Spam mailbox on the server rather than On My Mac, use the Change Settings command to tell SpamSieve that you don’t want a local spam mailbox.

  6. If you are using iCloud to sync your Mail rules between multiple Macs, make sure that both the SpamSieve and Remote Training rules are unchecked on all the Macs except for the drone.

  7. If desired, you can set up keyboard shortcuts on any non-drone Macs for moving messages into the Train mailboxes. In Mail’s View menu, choose Show Favorites Bar. Then drag the TrainGood and TrainSpam mailboxes to the favorites bar. There will then be keyboard shortcuts for these messages in the Mailbox ‣ Move to Favorite Mailbox submenu.

4.4.2   Setting Up a MailMate Drone

This section is a continuation of the Setting Up a Spam Filtering Drone instructions for people using MailMate 1.7.1 or later.

  1. In MailMate’s Preferences window, click on the General tab and make sure that next to Experimental 2.0 Features, the Enable box is checked.
  2. In MailMate’s Preferences window, click on the Security tab and make sure that next to SpamSieve, the Enable box is checked.
  3. For each TrainGood mailbox, select the mailbox:
    1. Go to the Mailbox menu, and choose Edit Mailbox….
    2. Click on the Rules tab of the TrainGood window.
    3. Click the + button at the bottom of the window.
    4. In the Description, enter Remote Good Training.
    5. At the bottom of the window, create two actions:
      • Set Tag: Not Junk
      • Move to Mailbox: Inbox
  4. For each TrainSpam mailbox, select the mailbox:
    1. Go to the Mailbox menu, and choose Edit Mailbox….
    2. Click on the Rules tab of the TrainSpam window.
    3. Click the + button at the bottom of the window.
    4. In the Description, enter Remote Spam Training.
    5. At the bottom of the window, create two actions:
      • Set Tag: Junk
      • Move to Mailbox: Junk
  5. MailMate will check the Train mailboxes according to the Synchronization Schedule in the Mailbox menu.

4.4.3   Setting Up an Outlook Drone

This section is a continuation of the Setting Up a Spam Filtering Drone instructions for people using Microsoft Outlook 2011.

  1. Make sure that each of your accounts has its own Junk E-mail mailbox. This can be configured by going to the Accounts section of Outlook’s preferences and clicking on Advanced… and then Folders.

  2. If you have a single mail account, follow the normal SpamSieve setup procedure in the Setting Up Outlook section. When choosing the folder in the SpamSieve - Move Messages rule, be sure to choose the Junk E-mail folder on the server (not On My Computer). You’re now done with this step.

    If you have multiple accounts, create two SpamSieve - Move Messages rules per account. The name of the first rule should be SpamSieve - Move Junk Messages - Account 1 (where Account 1 is the name of your account. It should say:

    If all conditions are met:

    • Folder Is INBOX (Account 1)

    • Category Is Junk

    Do the following:

    Move Message Junk E-mail (Account 1)

    The name of the second rule should be SpamSieve - Move Uncertain Junk Messages - Account 1. It should say:

    If all conditions are met:

    • Folder Is INBOX (Account 1)

    • Category Is Uncertain Junk

    Do the following:

    Move Message Junk E-mail (Account 1)

  3. Download the Outlook - Remote Training script file. Open it in Script Editor and add your account name(s) at the top.

  4. In Outlook, choose Tools > Run Schedule > Edit Schedules…. Click the + button and create a schedule called Remote Training. The When should be Repeating Schedule with a duration of your choice. The Action should be Rule AppleScript. Click the Script… button and choose the outlook-remote-training.scpt file from Step 4.

4.5   Customizing Using AppleScript

Many aspects of SpamSieve are scriptable, and it is possible to customize SpamSieve and extend its features using AppleScript. A collection of commonly requested example scripts is available.

SpamSieve’s interface for integrating with third-party mail and news programs is completely open. It is possible to add support for additional programs simply by writing some AppleScripts or Apple event code. SpamSieve’s AppleScript dictionary contains some basic information about the supported commands. However, there are some subtle, but important, points that are not discussed in the dictionary’s documentation. If you would like to connect an application to SpamSieve, please contact spamsieve@c-command.com for assistance.

4.6   Apple Mail Customization

The following customizations are optional but recommended:

Notifications

Choose Mail ‣ Preferences… and click on General. Change the New messages sound to None so that Apple Mail does not play a sound when spam messages arrive. Change New message notifications to Inbox Only (or to a custom smart mailbox that excludes your Spam mailbox). This will prevent Mail from notifying you when you receive new spam messages. SpamSieve will notify you only when you receive new good messages.

Account Aliases

Tell Mail and SpamSieve about your account aliases, as described in the Why do good messages move to the wrong inbox when trained in Apple Mail? section.

Unread Smart Mailbox

If you have an “Unread” smart mailbox, please see the Why do I see spam messages in my “Unread” smart mailbox in Apple Mail? section for how to adjust it.

Sleep

Sometimes Mail rules will not move messages that were processed immediately after the Mac woke from sleep. If this happens, you will end up with spam messages that are marked as spam but not moved from the inbox to the Spam mailbox. You can work around this problem by quitting Mail before sleeping your Mac or by changing the Energy Saver settings so that your Mac will not to go to sleep automatically.

Additional customizations are described below:

4.6.1   Faster Apple Mail Training

There is a known issue where Apple Mail on Mac OS X 10.9 and later is slower at moving messages via AppleScript. This can cause delays/freezes of up to 10 seconds when using the SpamSieve - Train as Spam and SpamSieve - Train as Good commands. SpamSieve includes workarounds to move messages faster by using GUI scripting instead of regular AppleScript.

You can enable one or both workarounds by using these special esoteric preferences links:

AppleMailTrainSpamGUIScripting
Click this link to enable the workaround for making SpamSieve - Train as Spam faster. The first time you try to train a message, SpamSieve will ask you to give it accessibility privileges. Then it will ask you to add your Spam mailbox as a favorite in Mail. Thereafter, it will move the trained messages via GUI scripting. If an error occurs, SpamSieve will move the message via the more reliable but slower method. Click this link to disable the workaround.
AppleMailTrainGoodGUIScripting

Click this link to enable the workaround for making SpamSieve - Train as Good faster. SpamSieve it will ask you to add your inbox as a favorite in Mail. Trained messages will now move to the inbox that you added in the favorites bar, whereas without the workaround SpamSieve will try to find the appropriate account’s inbox. Click this link to disable the workaround.

Accessibility Troubleshooting

  • Due to a bug in Mac OS X 10.10, SpamSieveHelper may not automatically appear in the list of Accessibility applications. To add it manually, you can:

    1. If necessary, click the lock button next to Click the lock to make changes.
    2. Command-click on the SpamSieve icon in the Dock to reveal the SpamSieve application file in the Finder.
    3. Control-click on the SpamSieve application file and choose Show Package Contents.
    4. Open the Contents folder and then the MacOS folder.
    5. Drag and drop the SpamSieveHelper file into the Allow the apps below to control your computer list in System Preferences.
  • In rare cases, SpamSieve may report that SpamSieveHelper is not checked in the Accessibility preferences, even though it actually is. This typically means that Mac OS X’s privacy database has been corrupted. You can reset the database by entering this command in Terminal:

    tccutil reset Accessibility
    

The Drone Setup

Aside from the GUI Scripting workaround (above), you can also speed up training by following the Setting Up a Spam Filtering Drone instructions. Instead of using the Message menu commands to train messages, you would move the messages into the special TrainGood and TrainSpam mailboxes.

4.6.2   Recommended Apple Mail Customizations (Mac OS X 10.8 and Earlier)

Offline Copies

For each IMAP account that you have, go to the Advanced tab of Mail’s Accounts preferences and make sure that Keep copies of messages for offline viewing is set to All messages and their attachments. This will prevent Mail from having to download the same content multiple times.

Add Sender to Contacts

Change the keyboard shortcut for Add Sender to Contacts to Control-Option-Shift-Command-Y. This will prevent you from accidentally adding spammy addresses to your address book, which would cause SpamSieve to think that messages sent from those addresses were not spam. To change the shortcut:

  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Click on the Keyboard icon.
  3. Click on the Shortcuts (or Keyboard Shortcuts on Mac OS X 10.7 or earlier) tab.
  4. Select Application Shortcuts.
  5. Click the + button.
  6. For Application, select Mail.
  7. For the Menu Title, enter Add Sender to Contacts (or Add Sender to Address Book on Mac OS X 10.7 or earlier).
  8. Click in the box next to Keyboard Shortcut and enter your desired shortcut.

4.6.3   Change Settings (Apple Mail)

You can choose SpamSieve - Change Settings from Mail’s Message menu to customize SpamSieve’s behavior in Mail.

The settings are:

  • Which mailbox should spam messages be moved to when you use “Train as Spam”?
  • Should messages marked using “Train as Spam” be stored in a local spam mailbox (rather than on the server)?
  • Should “Train as Spam” mark the messages as read?
  • When you use “Train as Good” on a message in the spam mailbox, should the message be moved back to the inbox?
  • When you use “Train as Good” on a message in the spam mailbox, should the message be marked as unread?
  • Should incoming spam messages be colored according to how spammy they are (darker means more spammy)?

4.6.4   Apple Mail Keyboard Shortcuts

The keyboard shortcut for the SpamSieve - Train as Spam command is Command-Control-S. The keyboard shortcut for the SpamSieve - Train as Good command is Command-Control-G. You can change the keyboard shortcuts:

  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Click on the Keyboard icon.
  3. Click on the Shortcuts (or Keyboard Shortcuts on Mac OS X 10.7 or earlier) tab.
  4. Select Application Shortcuts.
  5. Click the + button.
  6. For Application, select Mail.
  7. For the Menu Title, enter SpamSieve - Train as Spam.
  8. Click in the box next to Keyboard Shortcut and enter your desired shortcut.

4.6.5   Spam Message Colors in Apple Mail

Using Background Colors to Show Spam Levels

SpamSieve sets the colors of spam messages to reflect how spammy it thinks they are. The most spammy messages are colored Blue. Less spammy messages are colored Gray, Purple, Red, Orange, or Yellow (in that order). Good messages are left uncolored. Thus, if you are skimming the Spam mailbox for false positives, pay the most attention to the yellow and orange messages. The SpamSieve - Change Settings command lets you enable or disable spam message coloring.

Spam messages caught by a server junk filter are not processed by SpamSieve and, thus, not colored.

Using a [Score] Rule to Filter Spam Messages By Color

The Setting Up Apple Mail section of the manual shows how to create a single rule in Mail that puts all the spam messages in a single Spam mailbox. You can also use multiple rules in Mail to file messages into different mailboxes (or otherwise process them differently) based on how spammy they are. The normal SpamSieve rule looks like this:

images/apple-mail-rule.png

To separate spam messages by color (spamminess), you should instead create two or more rules. The first rule should be named SpamSieve [Score]. As above, you probably want the conditions to be Every Message. When this rule is applied, SpamSieve will calculate the spam score of the message and set its color accordingly. The actions of the [Score] rule will be ignored.

Below the [Score] rule, you can create one or more rules that process messages based on their color:

  • Each of these rules should have a name that starts with SpamSieve, followed by one or more color names in square brackets. For example, to make a rule that matches the most spammy Blue and Gray messages, you would name it SpamSieve [Blue][Gray] (or SpamSieve [Gray][Blue]). You can include additional descriptive text after the brackets to remind you of what the rule does.
  • The rule conditions should be Every Message.
  • As a shorthand for listing all of the colors, you can simply write [Spam].
  • To match non-spam messages you can write [White]. Additionally, if you have rules to process every color and those rules’ actions either move the messages or stop rule processing, any subsequent rules will automatically apply only to the non-spam messages.

Example 1: Blocklisted Messages in Trash

To move blocklisted messages to the trash and other spam messages to the Spam mailbox, you would need three rules:

  1. SpamSieve [Score] (calculates the spam score/color) / Every Message / Move Message to mailbox Spam
  2. SpamSieve [Blue] (move very spammy messages to the trash) / Every Message / Move Message to mailbox Trash
  3. SpamSieve [Spam] (move the remaining spam messages) / Every Message / Move Message to mailbox Spam

Example 2: Per-Color Spam Mailboxes

To put each color of spam in a separate mailbox, you would need seven rules:

  1. SpamSieve [Score] (calculates the spam score/color) / Every Message / Move Message to mailbox Spam
  2. SpamSieve [Blue] (messages with scores from 99 to 100) / Every Message / Move Message to mailbox Spam99
  3. SpamSieve [Gray] (messages with scores from 95 to 98) / Every Message / Move Message to mailbox Spam95
  4. SpamSieve [Purple] (messages with scores from 88 to 94) / Every Message / Move Message to mailbox Spam88
  5. SpamSieve [Red] (messages with scores from 81 to 87) / Every Message / Move Message to mailbox Spam81
  6. SpamSieve [Orange] (messages with scores from 75 to 80) / Every Message / Move Message to mailbox Spam75
  7. SpamSieve [Yellow] (messages with scores from 50 to 74) / Every Message / Move Message to mailbox Spam50

The unnumbered Spam mailbox will hold the messages that you manually train as spam. If desired, you can drag the other mailboxes inside the Spam mailbox.

Example 3: Sorting Messages By Spamminess

You can sort the messages by spamminess. On Mac OS X 10.6, just choose View ‣ Sort By ‣ Color. Mac OS X 10.7 and later cannot sort messages by color, but they can sort them by flags. Thus, you can set up rules like this:

  1. SpamSieve [Score] (calculates the spam score/color) / Every Message / Move Message to mailbox Spam
  2. SpamSieve [Blue] (messages with scores from 99 to 100) / Every Message / Mark as Flagged Gray / Move Message to mailbox Spam
  3. SpamSieve [Gray] (messages with scores from 95 to 98) / Every Message / Mark as Flagged Purple / Move Message to mailbox Spam
  4. SpamSieve [Purple] (messages with scores from 88 to 94) / Every Message / Mark as Flagged Blue / Move Message to mailbox Spam
  5. SpamSieve [Red] (messages with scores from 81 to 87) / Every Message / Mark as Flagged Green / Move Message to mailbox Spam
  6. SpamSieve [Orange] (messages with scores from 75 to 80) / Every Message / Mark as Flagged Yellow / Move Message to mailbox Spam
  7. SpamSieve [Yellow] (messages with scores from 50 to 74) / Every Message / Mark as Flagged Orange / Move Message to mailbox Spam

and then 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.)

When using this rule, you should set the AppleMailTrainGoodClearFlags option in the Esoteric Preferences to have SpamSieve clear the flags when training a message as good.

4.6.6   Changing the Name of the Spam Mailbox

You can change which mailboxes SpamSieve uses to store your spam.

  1. Change the mailbox where SpamSieve moves incoming spam messages:
    • If your preferred mailbox does not exist yet, simply rename the Spam mailbox in Mail by selecting it and choosing Rename… from the Mailbox menu. The SpamSieve rule in Mail’s preferences should automatically update to reflect the new mailbox name.
    • If your preferred mailbox already exists, open the SpamSieve rule in Mail’s preferences and select that mailbox from the pop-up menu.
  2. Change the mailbox for manually trained spam messages, i.e. when you use the SpamSieve - Train as Spam command:
    1. Choose SpamSieve - Change Settings from Mail’s Message menu.
    2. When prompted, enter the new mailbox name. This does not have to be the same name as in Step 1. If a top-level mailbox with this name does not exist, SpamSieve will create one when you train a message as spam.

Example 1: Spam Mailbox at the Top of the List

You can put a space at the beginning of the mailbox name so that it sorts to the top of the list. Mailboxes can also be dragged and dropped to reorder them in Apple Mail, although this does not affect the order on other devices the way renaming does.

Example 2: Putting Spam in the Trash

Some people like to enter Deleted Messages in Step 2 so that messages trained as spam are moved directly to the trash. This is safe because you know for sure that those messages are spam. Incoming spam messages can still go to the Spam mailbox selected in Step 1 so that you can review them.

It is also possible to select the trash in Step 1 so that incoming spam messages go directly to the trash. Some people like this because Mail has a setting (Preferences ‣ Accounts ‣ Mailbox Behaviors) to automatically delete old messages from the trash. However, if you do this, make sure that you periodically check to make sure there are no good messages in the trash. Not only would you lose such messages if you don’t correct all the mistakes, but SpamSieve would also incorrectly learn that they are spam, leading to more mistakes in the future.

Example 3: Putting Spam in the Junk Mailbox

Please see the Automatically Deleting Old Spam Messages section.

4.6.7   Using a Spam Mailbox on the Server

Normally the Spam mailbox is kept on your Mac, as this is faster and doesn’t fill up your server account with spam. If you prefer to keep the spam on your mail server (so that it’s available on all your devices), you can:

  1. Go to Mail’s Mailbox menu and choose New Mailbox…. Use the Location pop-up menu to select your IMAP or Exchange server, and enter Spam in the Name field. Click OK.

    If you are using Gmail, there is already a Spam mailbox on the server. You can use this one instead of creating a new mailbox. To do this, you will need to enter [Gmail] as the IMAP Path Prefix in the Advanced section of Mail’s Accounts preferences. This will make the Spam mailbox appear at the top level of the account in Mail’s mailbox list.

  2. Open Mail’s preferences and find the SpamSieve rule. Select the server mailbox that you want to use.

    You can optionally use a separate mailbox for each account. To do this, create one Spam mailbox per account, and then one rule per account, as described in Separate Spam Mailboxes for Each Account.

  3. In Mail’s Message menu, choose SpamSieve - Change Settings. Enter the name of the mailbox created in Step 1. When it asks you, “Should messages marked using “Train as Spam” be stored in a local spam mailbox (rather than on the server)?” click No.

  4. Now both the incoming and trained spam messages will go to the Spam mailbox on the server. If you find a good message in the Spam mailbox and you’re at your Mac, use the SpamSieve - Train as Good command as normal. If you’re using an iPhone, iPad, Webmail, or a different Mac:

    • If you are using the regular SpamSieve setup, do not move the message out of the Spam mailbox. Instead, when you get back to your Mac, select the message and choose SpamSieve - Train as Good.
    • If you are using the drone setup, you can move the message to the TrainGood mailbox. The Mac will automatically train it as good and move it to your inbox.

4.6.8   Marking Incoming Spam Messages

Normally, SpamSieve puts incoming spam messages in the Spam mailbox, and it colors them according to how spammy they are. You can customize this behavior by editing the actions of the SpamSieve rule in Mail’s preferences. For example, to mark the spam messages as read, click the + button at the bottom of the rule sheet, and choose Mark as Read from the pop-up menu. When all the messages in a mailbox are marked as read, Apple Mail will stop showing a number next to the mailbox.

Do not add an action that changes the color of the message, as it will not do what you expect.

4.6.9   Separate Spam Mailboxes for Each Account

Normally, SpamSieve puts the spam messages from all your Apple Mail accounts into a single mailbox called Spam. If you want to have a separate spam mailbox for each account, first create the requisite empty mailboxes. Then, create one rule in Mail for each account. The description for the rule should be SpamSieve - <AccountName> where <AccountName> is any text that helps you identify the account. The rule’s condition should be that the account is <AccountName>, and the action should be to move the message to the spam mailbox for that account.

images/apple-mail-rule-per-account-spam-mailbox.png

As this example demonstrates, you can have multiple SpamSieve rules in Apple Mail, with arbitrary conditions, so long as all of their descriptions start with SpamSieve. It is recommended that you arrange the conditions such that only one SpamSieve rule will be applied to any given message.

4.6.10   Redirecting Good Messages to Another Account

When traveling, especially with a mobile device, you might want to avoid downloading spam messages from the server. If your server and mobile device support IMAP or Exchange, you can do this by following the instructions in the Using a Spam Mailbox on the Server section.

If your mobile device only supports POP, you can do this by letting your Mac at home filter the messages from your main mail account and redirect the non-spam messages to the account that you access when traveling. The spam messages will stay in the Spam mailbox on your Mac.

Open Mail’s Preferences window and click the Add Rule button. Enter a description, such as “Redirect good messages to handheld.” Change the condition from From to Every message. Then change the action from Move Message to Redirect Message and enter the e-mail address of the account that you check when traveling. Click OK. Finally, drag your newly created rule so that it is just below the SpamSieve rule.

4.7   Mailsmith Customization

Choose Show Other Scripts from SpamSieve’s SpamSieve menu. This reveals the Mailsmith Extras folder, which contains AppleScripts for use with Mailsmith. These make it possible for scripters to further customize and automate the labeling and marking of messages in Mailsmith. If you are using Mailsmith 2.0 and do not write your own AppleScripts, you can ignore the Mailsmith Extras folder.

You can add the AppleScripts to Mailsmith’s Scripts menu by copying them to the Scripts folder inside the Mailsmith Support folder. A filter such as the following may be used to change the labels of incoming spam messages.

images/mailsmith-script-filter.png

This filter will pass all messages along to SpamSieve for analysis. It will set the Is Spam or Is Not Spam property of the message, and change the label of the message if it is spam. This is roughly equivalent to enabling SpamSieve in Mailsmith’s preferences, but because it uses AppleScript it is more customizable. Additionally, you can change the filter criteria to pass only select messages along to SpamSieve.

4.8   Outlook Customization

The following customizations are optional but recommended:

  • Choose Outlook ‣ Preferences… and click on Notifications & Sounds. Turn off the alerts and sounds for new mail notifications, and let SpamSieve notify you only when you receive new non-spam messages.
  • If you’re using an IMAP account, choose Tools ‣ Accounts…. Select your account and click the Advanced… button. Make sure that Download headers only is unchecked.

Additional customizations are described below:

4.8.1   Change Settings (Outlook)

You can choose SpamSieve - Change Settings from Outlook’s Scripts menu to customize SpamSieve’s behavior in Outlook.

The settings are:

  • Should “Train as Spam” mark the messages as read?
  • When you use “Train as Good” on a message in the spam folder, should the message be moved back to the inbox?
  • When you use “Train as Good” on a message in the spam folder, should the message be marked as unread?
  • Should incoming spam messages be marked with category “Uncertain Junk” rather than “Junk” if SpamSieve thinks they are not as spammy?

4.8.2   Spam Message Categories (Outlook)

SpamSieve colors spam messages in Outlook using one of two categories:

Junk
This is for messages that you mark as spam (using the SpamSieve - Train as Spam command) and for most incoming messages that SpamSieve thinks are spam.
Uncertain Junk
This is for incoming messages that SpamSieve thinks are spam, but whose scores are below the uncertainty threshold. For more information about scores and uncertainty, see the A spam message is uncertain if preference.

To change the colors associated with these categories, choose Message ‣ Categorize ‣ Edit Categories….

Normally, both Junk and Uncertain Junk messages are put into the same Junk E-mail folder. It is also possible to separate the messages by category. To do this:

  1. Create a new folder in Outlook called Uncertain Junk.
  2. Create a third rule called SpamSieve - Move Uncertain Messages. It should say “If Category Is Uncertain Junk, Then Move message Uncertain Junk.”
  3. Drag the new rule between the SpamSieve - Set Category and SpamSieve - Move Messages rules.

To turn off the uncertain spam feature, so that all spam messages are marked using the Junk category, use the SpamSieve - Change Settings command.

5   Menus

5.1   The SpamSieve Menu

After clicking on SpamSieve’s Dock icon, you will see the SpamSieve menu at the top-left of the screen, next to the Apple menu.

5.1.1   About SpamSieve

The About SpamSieve window shows the credits, download and support information, and the current version numbers of SpamSieve’s plug-ins.

You can always download the latest version of SpamSieve from the SpamSieve Web site.

Questions about SpamSieve may be sent to spamsieve@c-command.com. We’re always looking to improve SpamSieve, so please feel free to send any feature requests to that address.

To make sure that you have the latest version of SpamSieve, you can use the Software Update… command.

5.1.2   Software Update…

Checking for Updates

Click the Check Now button, and SpamSieve will tell you whether a newer version is available for download. By default, SpamSieve will automatically check for new versions each time it is launched and once per day. You can disable this feature by unchecking the checkbox.

Updating

If a new version is available, SpamSieve will tell you what’s new in that version. Click Download to have SpamSieve download the .dmg file for the new version to your downloads folder. Click Download & Install to have it download the .dmg and then update the installed SpamSieve application to the new version. For more information, please see Updating From a Previous Version.

Installing a Fresh Copy

You can hold down the Option key when you click Check Now to make SpamSieve always download the latest version, even if your version is already up-to-date. This is an easy way to download and re-install a fresh copy of SpamSieve if your copy is damaged.

Privacy

To check for a new version, SpamSieve contacts a Web server at c-command.com. SpamSieve transmits the following information to the server: the name of the product (SpamSieve) and its version, the version of Mac OS X, the kind of processor that the Mac has, whether SpamSieve has been purchased, the name of the current mail program, and the name of the current language. This information is used to guide future development. No personal information is transmitted.

Mac App Store

If you purchased DropDMG or EagleFiler via the Mac App Store, the Software Update… menu command is not present, and updates are available via the App Store application.

5.1.3   Purchase…

When you launch SpamSieve for the first time, the Purchase window will automatically open. You can also open it by choosing Purchase… from the SpamSieve menu.

Trial/Demo Period

SpamSieve has a free trial. During the trial period, SpamSieve is fully functional; the only difference in behavior is that it will periodically remind you that you are using the trial. To use SpamSieve in trial mode, you can simply close the Purchase window.

The trial period lasts for 30 days. (After the 30 days, if you haven’t had a chance to use SpamSieve very much, you can continue using it for up to a total of 7 launches.) To use SpamSieve beyond the trial period, you must purchase it. This entitles you to free updates and support.

Purchasing

Click the Purchase Online button to enter the online store.

After Purchasing

Soon after paying, you’ll receive an e-mail with your serial number. Enter the name and serial number from the e-mail into the Purchase window and click Personalize. You do not have to “install the purchased version”; rather, SpamSieve will then know that you have purchased and you can keep using it as before—with all the preferences that you had set and data that you had entered.

Reinstalling a Previous Purchase

If you need to re-install SpamSieve, you can simply re-enter your Serial Name and Serial Number and click Personalize; there’s no need to purchase again.

If you cannot find your serial number, click the Look Up My Serial Number button. This will open a form where you can enter your e-mail address and look up your order information.

License Information

A license for SpamSieve is good for one person or one computer. This means that you can use it on your desktop Mac and your laptop, or you and your family can use it (in separate user accounts) on a shared Mac. If there are multiple users on multiple Macs, you should purchase multiple licenses. Discounts for packs of 2, 10, and 50 licenses are available above. A family (all living in the same household) can share a 2-user license. If you already have a single license, you can upgrade to a family license. To do this, purchase a new 2-user license, then e-mail your old and new order numbers to sales@c-command.com, and we’ll refund the cost of the original license.

Upgrade Policy

All maintenance releases (1.0.1, 1.0.2, 1.6.1, etc.) and minor feature updates (1.1, 1.2, 1.5, etc.) are free. We have a track record of many such updates, and they have included significant new features. Major upgrades (2.0, 3.0) are free if you purchased the previous version within the last six months. If you purchased longer ago than that, you get a 50% discount. (Note: The upgrade discounts are only available if you originally purchased direct from C-Command, since the Mac App Store does not support upgrades.)

Mac App Store

The Purchase… menu command is not present if you purchased via the Mac App Store. In that case, there is no trial period, and licensing is based on your iTunes account rather than the number of people or computers.

5.1.4   Mac App Store

Due to Apple’s store guidelines, SpamSieve is currently not available from the Mac App Store. It can be purchased direct from C-Command.

5.1.5   Install Apple Mail Plug-In

This command installs (or updates) the plug-in that SpamSieve uses to integrate with Apple Mail. If the plug-in is successfully installed, you will see the SpamSieve commands in Mail’s Message menu. For more information, see the Setting Up Apple Mail section of the manual.

If the command reports an error, please see the Why don’t I see the SpamSieve commands in Apple Mail’s Message menu? section.

5.1.6   Install Entourage Scripts

This command installs (or updates) the AppleScript files that SpamSieve uses to integrate with Entourage. Occasionally, the script files can become damaged, causing Entourage to ask you to locate the SpamSieve application each time you receive mail or try to train SpamSieve. Using this command to install fresh copies of the scripts should fix that problem.

This command also makes sure that you have an Entourage category called Uncertain Junk.

For more information, see the Setting Up Entourage section of the manual.

5.1.7   Install Eudora Plug-In

This command installs (or updates) the plug-in that Eudora 6 uses to communicate with SpamSieve. It also disables any other Eudora junk mail plug-ins, as they would conflict with SpamSieve. The SpamSieve Eudora plug-in is installed in the folder:

/Users/<username>/Library/Application Support/Eudora/PlugIns/

For more information, see the Setting Up Eudora section of the manual.

5.1.8   Install Outlook Scripts

This command installs (or updates) the AppleScript files that SpamSieve uses to integrate with Outlook.

This command also makes sure that you have an Outlook category called Uncertain Junk.

For more information, see the Setting Up Outlook section of the manual.

5.1.9   Install Thunderbird Plug-In

This command copies SpamSieve’s Thunderbird plug-in to your desktop so that you can tell Thunderbird to install it. For more information, see the Setting Up Thunderbird section of the manual.

5.1.10   Show Other Scripts

This opens a folder containing AppleScript files for integrating SpamSieve with DragThing, Emailer, Eudora 5.2, Outlook Express, PowerMail 4, and Mailsmith. These can be installed by dragging them into the proper locations.

Opening the containing folder (using Command-Up-Arrow) reveals the scripts for Entourage and Outlook, as well as SpamSieve’s plug-ins for Apple Mail and Eudora 6. Normally, there is no need to access these items directly, as SpamSieve can install them automatically (see above). They are accessible here in case you want to install them manually.

5.1.11   Update Address Book “Me” Card

When you use this command, SpamSieve looks at the account information for any e-mail programs that are currently running and adds any e-mail addresses that it finds to the “Me” card of Contacts (previously Address Book). The “Me” card has “me” written on top of the picture; to find it, choose Go to My Card from the Card menu. SpamSieve uses the addresses on this card to determine when a message that you receive includes your return address. This can help it detect spam messages that were forged to look like you sent them, in conjunction with the Exclude my addresses preference. Also, SpamSieve will avoid automatically creating whitelist rules for addresses listed on the “Me” card.

5.2   The File Menu

5.2.1   Import Addresses…

This imports either good or spam e-mail addresses from a text file. For each address, a rule is created on the whitelist (or blocklist) that matches messages sent from that address. If such a rule already exists, SpamSieve makes sure that it’s enabled. Rules in the opposite list are not affected.

This feature is usually not needed, as SpamSieve will automatically create whitelist and blocklist rules based on the messages that you receive.

Many file formats are supported: the addresses can be return- or comma-delimited, or they can be mixed in with message text as part of a mbox file.

  • To import addresses from Entourage, choose Export… from the File menu and select the option to Export contacts to a tab-delimited text file.
  • To import addresses from Eudora, ask SpamSieve to import the Eudora Nicknames file inside the Eudora Folder (which is likely in your Documents folder).
  • To import addresses from Outlook, choose Export… from the File menu and select the option for Contacts to a list (tab-delimited text).
  • To import addresses from the Mac OS X address book, open the Contacts (previously Address Book) program. Select all the names in the middle column and drag them to the desktop. This will create a .vcf file, which you can import into SpamSieve.

You may be wondering why you would want to import addresses from the Mac OS X address book instead of using the Use Mac OS X Address Book preference, or why you would import addresses from Entourage or Outlook instead of using the Use Entourage/Outlook address book preference. The difference is as follows. When you ask SpamSieve to use an address book directly, it will always consider messages from senders in the address book to be good—even if you receive many spam messages that are forged to appear as if they were sent by your friends.

When the addresses are imported to the whitelist, however, they are subject to SpamSieve’s normal whitelist behavior. That is, if Train SpamSieve whitelist is checked, when you receive a spam message from someone on the whitelist, SpamSieve will disable the corresponding whitelist rule. Subsequent messages from that sender will no longer be whitelisted. In short, the address book is safer because it makes sure messages from people in your address book always get through. The whitelist is less safe, but it allows you to block forged spam messages.

If you prefer the address book behavior but don’t have all of your addresses entered into the address book, you can use Import Addresses… to create whitelist rules from your addresses, and then select the rules and use this script to convert the rules into address book cards.

5.2.2   Import Corpus…

This imports the words in a corpus that was exported in XML format. This is the same format used by SpamSieve 1.x. Importing a corpus merges it with the active corpus. To replace the active corpus with the one you are importing, use the Reset Corpus… command before importing.

5.2.3   Export Corpus…

This exports the active corpus to XML format. You might do this in order to import the corpus on another machine.

5.3   The Filter Menu

5.3.1   Show Corpus

The corpus is a collection of messages, both spam and good, with which you have trained SpamSieve. SpamSieve’s Bayesian classifier analyzes the contents of the messages and uses this information to predict whether future messages are spam or good. The contents of the corpus are managed by SpamSieve; therefore, once you’ve trained SpamSieve with a message, deleting the message from your e-mail program will not affect SpamSieve because the information from that message is stored in the corpus.

images/spamsieve-corpus.png

The Show Corpus command opens the Corpus window so that you can examine the words that SpamSieve has found in your e-mails. You can click on the name of a column to sort by that column. Click again on the column to reverse the sort direction. The meanings of the columns are as follows:

Word
A word in the corpus.
Spam
The number of times the word has occurred in spam messages.
Good
The number of times the word has occurred in good messages.
Total
The total number of times the word has occurred.
Prob.
The probability that a message is spam, given that it contains the word (and in the absence of other evidence).
Last Used
The date that the word was added to the corpus, or the date that it last appeared in a received message (whichever is later).

You can copy the selected rows to the clipboard or drag and drop them into another application.

With the window sorted by Word, you can type the first few letters of a word to locate that word in the corpus. Similarly, you can sort by one of the other columns and type a number to locate the first word whose value for the sorted column matches the number you typed.

You can edit the spam and good counts associated with a word by double-clicking on the number in the Spam or Good column. Changing the numbers for important words can greatly affect SpamSieve’s accuracy, so you shouldn’t make changes without good reason.

You can remove words that you don’t want in the corpus by selecting them and pressing Delete.

5.3.2   Reset Corpus…

This command removes all the words and messages from the corpus. (It does not change the whitelist or blocklist.) After resetting the corpus, you can retrain SpamSieve from scratch, and SpamSieve will let you use your old messages in the retraining. Resetting the corpus and re-training SpamSieve with a proper mix of recent messages can increase SpamSieve’s accuracy and reduce its memory use.

Before you reset the corpus, SpamSieve automatically saves a backup in case you need to go back to the old corpus. The backups are saved in this folder:

/Users/<username>/Library/Application Support/SpamSieve/

(See the How can I open the Library folder? section.) To restore from a backup, choose Import Corpus… from the File menu and choose the appropriate Corpus <date>.plist file.

5.3.3   Show Statistics

This command opens the Statistics window, which displays the following information:

Filtered Mail
Good Messages
The number of non-spam messages that SpamSieve has filtered.
Spam Messages
The number of spam messages that SpamSieve has filtered.
Spam Messages Per Day
The average number of spam messages received per 24-hour period.
SpamSieve Accuracy
False Positives
The number of good messages that SpamSieve identified as spam.
False Negatives
The number of spam messages that SpamSieve identified as good.
% Correct
The percent of messages that SpamSieve identified correctly.
Corpus
Good Messages
The number of non-spam messages that are used to identify spam messages.
Spam Messages
The number of spam messages that are used to identify spam messages.
Total Words
The total number of unique words in the corpus.
Rules
Blocklist Rules
The number of rules on SpamSieve’s blocklist.
Whitelist Rules
The number of rules on SpamSieve’s whitelist.

images/spamsieve-statistics.png

You can copy all the statistics to the clipboard using the Copy command in the Edit menu or by clicking the Copy Stats button.

Normally, SpamSieve shows statistics for all the messages that it processed since it was installed. Because the accuracy and the number of messages you receive change with time, you may wish to only see recent statistics. Click the Set Date… button at the bottom of the window to control which old statistics are hidden from view. You can edit the date and time shown in the sheet, or enter an entirely new date. SpamSieve will also accept dates specified in natural language, such as “last Sunday at dinner” or “today.” The Now button enters the current date and time.

If you’ve chosen a suitable date and the “Filtered Messages” section shows zero filtered messages, that means that your mail program did not ask SpamSieve to filter any incoming messages. You should check to make sure that the mail program setup is correct.

5.3.4   Open Log

SpamSieve keeps a log of which messages it has filtered, which messages you’ve trained it with, and any errors that have occurred. The Open Log command in the Filter menu opens the log file so that you can look at it.

Normally, there is no reason (aside from curiosity) to look at the log file. However, if you believe SpamSieve is not working as it should, the log file provides useful information about what SpamSieve has done.

“Predicted: Good/Spam” Log Entries

For each incoming message, there should be a log entry that says Predicted: Good or Predicted: Spam. Here are some questions that these entries can help you answer:

  1. Why did a particular spam message make it to my inbox?
    1. If there is no Predicted: Good log entry for the message, SpamSieve was never given a chance to analyze it.
    2. If there is a Predicted: Good log entry for the message, the Reason will say why SpamSieve thought the message was good. For example:
      • If it says sender <address> in address book, you might want to remove that address from address book, add it to the Me card, or else uncheck SpamSieve’s option to Use Mac OS X Address Book. See also the How do I make SpamSieve catch spams sent from my own address? section.
      • If it says sender <address> in Entourage/Outlook address book, you might want to remove that address from Entourage’s address book (then click Load while holding down the Option key) or uncheck SpamSieve’s option to Use Entourage/Outlook address book.
      • If it says <From (address) Is Equal to "[…]"> in SpamSieve whitelist, SpamSieve thought the message was good because (a) you had trained a previous message from that sender as good, or (b) you had received a previous message from that sender, SpamSieve thought it was good for other reasons, and you had not trained the message as spam (see the Correct All Mistakes section).
      • If spam messages are being predicted as good and you don’t understand why, please send in a report.
  2. Why is a particular good message in my spam mailbox?
    1. If there is no Predicted: Spam log entry for the message, SpamSieve did not move the message out of the inbox. In fact, SpamSieve was never even given a chance to analyze the message.
    2. If there is a Predicted: Spam log entry for the message, the Reason will say why SpamSieve thought the message was spam.
      • If good messages are being predicted as spam and you don’t understand why, please send in a report.

“Trained: Good/Spam (Manual)” Log Entries

These log entries represent messages that you had trained as good or spam using the menu commands in your mail program.

“Trained: Good/Spam (Auto)” Log Entries

These log entries represent messages that SpamSieve auto-trained. It’s normal for SpamSieve to auto-train a message as good if it thinks that the message isn’t spam. This will add the sender to the whitelist to ensure that future messages from that sender get through to your inbox. If you later train the message as spam, SpamSieve will disable (uncheck) the whitelist rule. Thus, auto-training should not ordinarily cause problems unless you receive a large flurry of messages from the same sender address, or if you forget to train the message as spam and then the address remains enabled on the whitelist. For more information, see the Auto-train with incoming mail section.

Searching the Log

If you have a question about a particular message, you can search the log to see whether there’s a Predicted entry for it. It’s best to search the log using Console’s Edit ‣ Find ‣ Find… command, rather than the Filter search field in the toolbar.

You may also find it easier to search by using the Edit Log command.

Accessing the Log Files

SpamSieve stores its log in the folder:

/Users/<username>/Library/Logs/SpamSieve/

(See the How can I open the Library folder? section.) If you find that the logs are taking up too much disk space, you can delete the .bz2 files at any time.

5.3.5   Edit Log

This command opens the log file in a text editor such as TextEdit or TextWrangler instead of Console. This makes it easier to read and search large log files. You can control which editor SpamSieve uses by choosing Get Info in the Finder on a .txt file, changing the application in the Open with pane, and pressing Change All.

5.3.6   Show Blocklist

The Show Blocklist command in the Filter menu opens the Blocklist window. The blocklist consists of a list of rules. If a message matches one or more enabled rules on the blocklist (and Use SpamSieve blocklist is checked), SpamSieve will predict that it is spam. As always, SpamSieve does not prevent you from receiving the spam messages; rather, the blocklist ensures that they will go to the spam mailbox rather than the inbox. You can also configure Apple Mail so that the blocklisted messages go directly to the trash.

images/spamsieve-blocklist.png

The counterpart to the blocklist is the whitelist.

Creating Rules

There is normally no need for you to manually create or delete blocklist rules because SpamSieve learns to recognize your spam automatically. Thus, it’s OK if you receive spam from constantly changing addresses; you don’t have to worry about creating blocklist rules to match all of them. If a lot of spam is in your inbox, your first step should be to follow the instructions in Why is SpamSieve not catching my spam? rather than to create blocklist rules that may not be needed or even used (e.g. if the real problem is that your mail program isn’t set up properly).

Rules and Training

By default, the Train SpamSieve blocklist preference is enabled. This means that SpamSieve will automatically create blocklist rules when you train a message as spam. You won’t get spam from the same address or sender name twice.

SpamSieve will also disable (uncheck) matching blocklist rules when you train a message as good. This prevents a bad blocklist rule from blocking similar good messages.

Editing Rules

You can edit a rule’s Header or Match Style by clicking in the corresponding column and selecting from the pop-up menu. To edit a rule’s Text to Match, double-click the text. For more information about the available options see the Rule Columns, Headers, and Match Styles section.

Deleting and Disabling Rules

You can delete a rule from the blocklist by selecting it and pressing Delete. Generally, there is little reason to delete rules. SpamSieve is optimized such that having lots of rules does not reduce performance.

If you don’t like what a rule is doing, you should uncheck the rule rather than deleting it. This will prevent SpamSieve from re-learning the rule automatically (see “Rules and Training” above). For example, say that you get forged spam messages from your own address. When you receive such a message, and tell SpamSieve that it’s spam, any rule on the whitelist with your address would be disabled. This will enable future such spam messages to be caught. If you later get a legitimate message from your own address and tell SpamSieve that it’s good, the whitelist rule will remain disabled, so SpamSieve will still be able to catch that spam. If you had previously deleted the rule instead of disabling it, telling SpamSieve that the message was good would create a new, enabled whitelist rule, which would prevent those spam messages from being caught.

Blocklisting Domains and Countries

You can tell SpamSieve to classify every message from a particular domain as spam. For example, to block every message from Spammy Company, open the Blocklist window, click the + button, and create a rule that says From (address) Ends With @spammycompany.com. You can also create rules for particular countries. For example, to block every message from an e-mail address in Nigeria, create a rule that says From (address) Ends With .ng

Blocking Messages to Invalid Addresses

If you have your own domain name, it’s best to configure the server not to have a catch-all address because that would lead to your receiving spam messages send to addresses that are not even valid. SpamSieve could filter out those spams, but it’s better if you can avoid downloading them and cluttering your spam mailbox in the first place.

If you cannot configure your server in that way, you can use the Matches Regex match style to create a blocklist rule that matches messages sent to invalid addresses at your domain. For example, this regex:

^.*(?<!^sales|^support)@domain\.com$

would match all messages where the match field ends with @domain.com but is not sales@domain.com or support@domain.com.

Finding Rules

You can type the first few letters of a rule’s Text to Match to quickly locate that rule, or use the search field in the toolbar to focus on a group of related rules.

Troubleshooting Rules

Blocklist rules will not match a message if:

  • One of the Filters above the blocklist classified the message as good.
  • The blocklist rule is disabled.
  • The mail program did not send the message to SpamSieve for analysis. See the Why is SpamSieve not catching my spam? section.

5.3.6.1   Rule Columns, Headers, and Match Styles

This section explains the options available for each rule in SpamSieve’s blocklist and whitelist windows.

Rule Columns

The meanings of the columns are as follows:

Date

The date that the rule was added to the blocklist.

Header

The part of the message that will be matched against the rule.

Match Style

How the rule text will be matched against the text from the message’s header.

Text to match

The text that will be matched against the message’s header.

✓ (Enabled)

If this is checked, the rule is enabled. Disabled rules do not block any messages, but they are useful because they prevent SpamSieve from re-learning a rule that you don’t want. (See “Rules and Training” below.)

Hits

The number of god or spam messages that the rule blocked, a rough measure of how effective it is.

Rule Headers

When SpamSieve checks whether a message matches a rule, it compares the part of the message named by the Header column with the contents of the rule’s Text to Match column. The following are the message parts that may be used in the Header column:

From (address)

The e-mail address of the message’s sender.

From (name)

The name of the message’s sender.

To (any address)

The e-mail addresses of the primary recipients of the message. SpamSieve checks each recipient separately to see whether it matches the rule.

CC (any address)

The e-mail addresses of the carbon copy recipients of the message. SpamSieve checks each recipient separately to see whether it matches the rule.

Reply-To (address)

The address that you would be sending to if you replied to the message. This is often the same as the From address, but it could also be a mailing list or an alternate address for the sender. If the message does not specify a Reply-To, then the rule will not match.

Any Recipient

The To and CC addresses.

Any Address

The From, To, CC, Reply-To, and SendTo addresses.

List-ID

For mailing list messages, this hidden header indicates which mailing list the message was sent to.

List-Unsubscribe

For mailing list messages, this hidden header indicates how to unsubscribe from the mailing list. Some mailing list messages that do not have a List-ID header do have a List-Unsubscribe header.

Mailing-List

For mailing list messages, this hidden header indicates which mailing list the message was sent to. Some mailing list messages that do not have a List-ID header do have a Mailing-List header.

Received (any)

The Received headers contain information about the servers that relayed the message on its journey from the sender to the recipient.

Return-Path

This header contains information about where the message originated.

Subject

The subject of the message.

Body (any text part)

The contents of the message. Some messages contain more than one text part (for instance, plain text and HTML representations of the same message). The rule matches the message if any of the text parts matches the rule’s text.

Any Character Set

The character set often indicates the language of the message. Many spam messages are sent using Asian or Cyrillic character sets, and SpamSieve is pre-configured to block these. The IANA maintains a list of character sets.

Any Attachment Name

Many spam messages contain attachments whose names end with .pif or .scr. SpamSieve ships with some blocklist rules pre-configured to catch messages containing spammy attachments.

Rule Match Styles

There are several different ways in which SpamSieve can compare the text in the message’s header to the rule’s text. In all cases, capitalization does not matter; lowercase letters are considered the same as their uppercase counterparts.

Is Equal to

The message matches the rule if its text is exactly the same as the rule’s text. This is the fastest style of matching. If you leave the text blank, the rule will match messages that have blank values for that header—for example when there is an empty Subject header. Sometimes, messages (especially spam ones) omit headers. To match an omitted header, enter <SpamSieve-Unknown-Subject>, <SpamSieve-Unknown-From>, <SpamSieve-Unknown-FromName>, or <SpamSieve-Unknown-To> depending on the header selected.

Contains

The message matches the rule if the message text contains the rule text.

Starts with

The message matches the rule if the message text begins with the rule text.

Ends with

The message matches the rule if the message text ends with the rule text. This is useful for matching domain names. For example, to match messages sent from Apple, you could create an Ends with rule with text @apple.com.

Matches Regex

This is like Contains, except that the rule text is treated as a Perl-compatible regular expression. Regular expressions are a powerful way of specifying patterns of text, for instance: e-mail addresses that contain numbers before the @ sign or subjects that are longer than 30 characters.

If the regular expression entered in the Text to Match column is invalid, SpamSieve will color it in red, and it will not match any messages.

5.3.7   Show Whitelist

The Show Whitelist command in the Filter menu opens the Whitelist window. The whitelist consists of a list of rules. If a message matches one or more enabled rules on the whitelist (and Use SpamSieve whitelist is checked), SpamSieve will predict that it is good. The whitelist is most commonly used for matching messages sent from particular addresses, domains, or mailing lists.

images/spamsieve-whitelist.png

The counterpart to the whitelist is the blocklist.

Creating Rules

There is normally no need for you to manually create or delete whitelist rules because SpamSieve learns to recognize your good automatically. If a lot of good messages are in your Spam mailbox, your first steps should be to check the setup in your mail program and to check the log rather that to create whitelist rules.

Rules and Training

By default, the Train SpamSieve whitelist preference is enabled. This means that SpamSieve will automatically create whitelist rules when you train a message as good. Once you receive one good message from a person, all future messages will get through to your inbox.

SpamSieve will also disable matching whitelist rules when you train a message as spam. This prevents a bad whitelist rule from letting through similar spam messages.

By default, the Auto-train with incoming mail preference is enabled. This means that if you receive a message that SpamSieve thinks is good, SpamSieve will automatically add whitelist rules so that future messages from that same sender are also classified as good. Thus, it is important to correct all the mistakes to avoid having incorrect whitelist rules.

Editing Rules

You can edit a rule’s Header or Match Style by clicking in the corresponding column and selecting from the pop-up menu. To edit a rule’s Text to Match, double-click the text. For more information about the available options see the Rule Columns, Headers, and Match Styles section.

Deleting and Disabling Rules

You can delete a rule from the whitelist by selecting it and pressing Delete. Generally, there is little reason to delete rules. SpamSieve is optimized such that having lots of rules does not reduce performance.

Spammy Whitelist Rules

It is normal to see spammy rules on the whitelist that are unchecked. This is because of auto-training. When SpamSieve thinks an incoming message is good, SpamSieve also adds a rule to the whitelist. SpamSieve may be wrong about that message, and that’s OK. If SpamSieve makes a mistake and lets a spam message through, when you train the message as spam it will disable the corresponding whitelist rules. The rules will then be shown as unchecked. A disabled rule won’t match any messages, so it won’t cause any spam to get through.

If you see spammy rules that are checked, this is not normal. It means that you have not been correcting all the mistakes.

Do not delete spammy whitelist rules. This is almost never a good idea:

  • If the rules are disabled, you should leave them in place to prevent SpamSieve from creating those incorrect rules again in the future.
  • If the rules are enabled, you should find the spam messages from those addresses and train them as spam. Not only will this disable the rules, but it will also update SpamSieve’s corpus and statistics.

Whitelisting Domains

You can tell SpamSieve to classify every message from a particular domain as good. For example, to whitelist every message from Apple, open the Whitelist window, click the + button, and create a rule that says From (address) Ends With @apple.com.

Mailing List Messages

The whitelist has special support for mailing lists. If you train SpamSieve with a good message from a mailing list, it will add a rule to the whitelist that matches the message’s mailing list header (List-ID, List-Unsubscribe, or Mailing-List). Then SpamSieve will know that all messages from that mailing list are good, regardless of who sent them.

Codewords

You can use the whitelist to create codewords. For instance, you could create a rule in the whitelist that matches subjects containing “eggplant” (or some other word unlikely to occur in regular mail). You can tell select people to put “eggplant” in the subject of messages that they send you, and then you can be assured that their messages will get through, even if the sender addresses are not in your address book or whitelist.

Finding Rules

You can type the first few letters of a rule’s Text to Match to quickly locate that rule, or use the search field in the toolbar to focus on a group of related rules.

Troubleshooting Rules

Whitelist rules will not match a message if:

  • One of the Filters above the whitelist classified the message as spam.
  • The whitelist rule is disabled.
  • The mail program did not send the message to SpamSieve for analysis. See the Open Log section.

5.3.8   Add Rule

This command creates a new rule in either the whitelist or blocklist. This is useful if you want to add your own rules to the whitelist or blocklist, rather than having SpamSieve learn the rules when you train it with messages. For example, you could create a blocklist rule to catch spam messages with a particular subject, or a whitelist rule to always accept messages sent from a certain domain.

6   Preferences

6.1   Filters

SpamSieve uses a variety of filters to determine whether messages are spam or good. It consults the filters in the order listed in this window. When a filter decides that the message is good or spam, SpamSieve stops moving down the list. Thus, the order of the filters makes a difference. You can see from the order that if a message’s sender is on the whitelist, it will be marked as good even if the Bayesian classifier would have predicted it to be spam. Normally this is what you want; the point of a whitelist is that you can be sure that certain messages will never be marked as spam.

images/spamsieve-filters-prefs.png

6.1.1   Check for message in corpus

SpamSieve learns as you train it, but training is not instant. Training SpamSieve with a message will not necessarily give it enough information to classify that message correctly based only on the words in the message. However, once you have added a message to the corpus, SpamSieve knows whether it is good or spam, even though it might not make the correct prediction based on word probabilities. This option causes SpamSieve to see if it knows whether a message is good or spam before trying to calculate its spam probability. This is especially useful when testing the setup in your mail program. If SpamSieve has seen the message before, it will always classify it correctly. You can disable this option if you want to see what SpamSieve would have predicted if it did not already know whether the message was good or spam.

6.1.2   Use Mac OS X Address Book

With this option enabled, SpamSieve will never predict a message to be spam if its sender’s e-mail address is in the Contacts (previously Address Book) application.

You can add addresses to the system address book using the Contacts or Address Book application (located in the /Applications folder), or directly from an e-mail program that supports the system address book.

If spam messages get through to your inbox because they are sent from addresses in your address book, you can either uncheck Use Mac OS X Address Book or see the Exclude my addresses section. For more information, please see the How do I make SpamSieve catch spams sent from my own address? section.

Access to Your Contacts

On Mac OS X 10.8 and later, the first time you launch SpamSieve it will ask for permission to access your contacts. You can change the access setting by opening System Preferences, going to the Security & Privacy pane, clicking on the Privacy tab, clicking on Contacts in the list, and checking or unchecking SpamSieve.app. (Please note that the applications in the list are not sorted alphabetically.)

If the system keeps asking you for permission and does not remember this between launches, you may need to reset the privacy database by entering this command in Terminal:

tccutil reset AddressBook

Mail Clients Address Books

Entourage users may prefer to use Entourage’s address book as a whitelist instead of Apple’s. This is described in the Setting Up Entourage section.

PowerMail users should be sure to enable the option to use Apple’s address book.

6.1.3   Exclude my addresses

Enable this option so that spam messages with your own return address are not marked as good. (Spammers sometimes forge the return address to be your own, in an attempt to get through spam filters.) Disable this option if you send yourself messages and want to make sure that they are never marked as spam. SpamSieve looks on the “Me” card in Apple’s Contacts (previously Address Book) application to determine which addresses are yours. The easiest way to add your addresses to the “Me” card is to open your mail program and then use SpamSieve’s Update Address Book “Me” Card command.

You can also use this feature to catch spam messages sent from certain addresses in your address book. Normally, if you have Use Mac OS X Address Book checked, messages from addresses in your address book will never be classified as spam. This is generally what you want, but there may be one or two particular addresses that spammers keep forging. By using Exclude my addresses and adding those addresses to the “Me” card in Contacts, you can get SpamSieve to analyze the full contents of those messages to determine whether they are spam. SpamSieve will continue to use the other addresses in the address book as before, always classifying messages from them as good.

For more information, please see the How do I make SpamSieve catch spams sent from my own address? section.

Note: You can use Terminal to add additional addresses that you want to exclude but that are not listed on the “Me” card. Enter a command such as:

defaults write com.c-command.SpamSieve ExtraAddressesToExclude -array a@b.com d@e.com

Changes take effect the next time you launch SpamSieve.

6.1.4   Use Entourage/Outlook address book

With this option enabled, SpamSieve will never predict a message to be spam if its sender’s e-mail address is in the the contacts list for Entourage or Outlook. When you install SpamSieve, you should click the Load button to make SpamSieve read in the addresses in the Entourage or Outlook address book. The addresses are loaded into SpamSieve’s memory and stored in its preferences file, but they are not displayed in the Whitelist window because they are not whitelist rules.

Re-loading Addresses

Whenever you add addresses to the Entourage or Outlook address book, you should go back to SpamSieve’s preferences and click Load so that SpamSieve learns about the new addresses. (This is not necessary for addresses that have already sent you e-mails, as SpamSieve will automatically see those messages and add the addresses to its whitelist.)

If you remove addresses from the Entourage or Outlook address book, you should hold down the Option key when clicking Load; this tells SpamSieve to forget the old addresses before loading the new ones. Do not click Load while Entourage or Outlook is downloading and filtering mail, as this may cause it to freeze.

Your Own Addresses

If you have Exclude my addresses checked, addresses on the Mac OS X address book’s “Me” card will not be checked against Entourage or Outlook’s address book. This helps prevent forged spams from getting through. For more information, please see the How do I make SpamSieve catch spams sent from my own address? section.

Multiple Identities

If you have multiple Entourage or Outlook identities, you can load the addresses into SpamSieve in sequence. Click Load, then change to another identity and click Load again, etc.

Sync Services

Prior to Mac OS X 10.8, Entourage and Outlook could automatically synchronize their address books with the system address book using a technology called Sync Services. SpamSieve could access the system address book directly, so there was no need for SpamSieve to load the addresses from Entourage or Outlook. As of Mac OS X 10.8, Apple has deprecated Sync Services, and customers report that it no longer works reliably. Thus, it is recommended that you use the Use Entourage/Outlook address book option instead.

If you have Mac OS X 10.6 through 10.7, you may prefer to use Sync Services since it is more automatic. If you have Outlook:

Open Outlook’s Preferences window and click on Sync Services. Make sure that Contacts is checked and that it’s set to sync with On My Computer. This will let Outlook to sync its contacts with the Mac OS X address book so that SpamSieve can access your addresses and know from the start that your regular contacts aren’t spammers. (If the Sync Services list is empty, see this page or this page.)

If you have Entourage:

Open Entourage’s Preferences window. If you see an option in the General Preferences for Sync Services, select it and make sure that Synchronize contacts with Address Book and MobileMe (or .Mac) is checked. This will cause Entourage to sync its contacts with the Mac OS X address book so that SpamSieve can access your addresses and know from the start that your regular contacts aren’t spammers.

6.1.5   Use SpamSieve whitelist

Enable this option so that messages that match (enabled) rules on the SpamSieve whitelist are never marked as spam.

6.1.6   Use SpamSieve blocklist

Enable this option so that messages that match (enabled) rules on the SpamSieve blocklist are always marked as spam.

6.1.7   Use Habeas Safelist

The Habeas Safelist is list of senders who agree to only send e-mail that meets Habeas’ stringent compliance requirements. With this option checked, SpamSieve will consider a message to be non-spam if finds the sending mail server’s IP address on the Habeas Safelist. This entails contacting Habeas’ server to lookup the address, but there is little performance penalty for doing this, since SpamSieve only contacts the server when the message contains Habeas headers:

X-Habeas-SWE-1: winter into spring
X-Habeas-SWE-2: brightly anticipated
X-Habeas-SWE-3: like Habeas SWE (tm)
X-Habeas-SWE-4: Copyright 2002 Habeas (tm)
X-Habeas-SWE-5: Sender Warranted Email (SWE) (tm). The sender of this
X-Habeas-SWE-6: email in exchange for a license for this Habeas
X-Habeas-SWE-7: warrant mark warrants that this is a Habeas Compliant
X-Habeas-SWE-8: Message (HCM) and not spam. Please report use of this
X-Habeas-SWE-9: mark in spam to <http://www.habeas.com/report/>.

or:

Accreditor: Habeas
X-Habeas-Report: Please report use of this mark in spam to <http://www.habeas.com/report/>

6.1.8   “ADV” messages are spam

This option causes SpamSieve to always mark messages as spam if they contain some variant of “ADV” at the start of the subject line. The “ADV” marker is used by some commercial bulk mailers.

6.1.9   Encoded HTML mail is spam

Many spammers encode the contents of their messages with base-64 so that filters cannot see the incriminating words they contain. SpamSieve can decode and look inside these messages. This option causes it to mark all such as spam, regardless of their contents, on the theory that legitimate senders do not try to obscure their messages. This does not affect messages encrypted with PGP or unencoded HTML messages.

6.1.10   Use Bayesian classifier

This enables SpamSieve’s main spam detector, which uses the corpus and word probabilities to identify spam messages.

6.2   Notification

All e-mail programs can notify you when you receive new messages, but some will also notify you even when all the new messages are spam. If your e-mail program is not savvy in this way, you can turn off its notification and let SpamSieve notify you only when there are new good messages.

images/spamsieve-notification-prefs.png

6.2.1   Play sound

This makes SpamSieve play a sound when new good messages are received. To add a sound to the menu, copy the sound file to the Sounds folder in your Library folder. (See the How can I open the Library folder? section.) SpamSieve will also look for sounds that are built into your installed e-mail programs.

You can adjust the Alert volume in the Sound Effects tab of the Sound pane in System Preferences. If the volume is set to zero, the Mac flashes the screen instead of playing the sound.

6.2.2   Bounce Dock icon

This makes SpamSieve bounce its Dock icon once when new good messages are received.

6.2.3   Keep bouncing

You might not be looking at the Dock icon when it first bounces, so this makes SpamSieve continue bouncing its Dock icon until you activate SpamSieve or your e-mail program.

6.2.4   Show number of new good messages in Dock

This option makes SpamSieve show the number of new good messages in its Dock icon. “New” means “since the last time the number was reset”; it’s not related to the number of messages that are unread. “Good messages” means “messages for which there is a Predicted: Good entry in SpamSieve’s log.”

If there are no new good messages or if SpamSieve or the mail program is frontmost, SpamSieve will not show any number (rather than showing zero).

Clicking the Dock icon, activating your e-mail program, or training SpamSieve with a message will reset the count.

The slider lets you control the size of the number in the Dock icon.

If you’re using DragThing 5.3 or later, SpamSieve can show the message count in its tile in DragThing’s process dock.

6.2.5   Flash PowerMate

If you have a Griffin PowerMate, this option will make it flash when new good messages arrive. The flashing will stop when you activate SpamSieve or your mail program.

This feature is compatible with version 3.0 of the PowerMate software.

6.2.6   A spam message is uncertain if

SpamSieve assigns each message a score between 0 and 100, and it considers messages with scores 50 or greater to be spam. The farther the score is away from the middle (50), the more confident SpamSieve is about whether the message is spam. Put another way, if you are trying to double-check SpamSieve’s work, you should focus your attention on the messages with scores closer to 50. If SpamSieve has made any mistakes, it is more likely to be with messages scored at 70 or 30 than with those scored at 95 or 5.

Spam messages that SpamSieve thought were good (false negatives) are generally easy for humans to spot. They tend to stick out amongst lots of good messages in the inbox.

Good messages that SpamSieve thought were spam (false positives) are harder to spot. They can be buried amongst piles of messages in the spam folder. To help you find these messages, SpamSieve can notify you about uncertain spam messages, i.e. the messages in the spam folder that you should focus your attention on.

The pop-up menu lets you control the range of scores that SpamSieve considers to be uncertain. For example, if you set it to 75 (the default), messages that SpamSieve thought were spam but which have scores below 75 will be considered uncertain.

By making it easier to spot uncertain messages, these mechanisms help you to efficiently verify whether SpamSieve has filtered your mail correctly.

Uncertain messages are considered to be spam, unless you tell SpamSieve otherwise, so you should not train SpamSieve that they are spam.

6.2.7   Use Growl global notification system

Growl is a free, third-party application that can enhance SpamSieve’s notification abilities. Once you have downloaded and installed Growl, the next time SpamSieve is launched it will use Growl to notify you when new messages arrive. If you are not using Growl, turn off this option in order to improve performance.

images/growl.png

The following notifications are available:

Good Message Count
This notification mimics the red number in SpamSieve’s Dock icon (see Show number of new good messages in Dock). After a batch of good messages arrives, it tells you how many new messages there are and then fades away.
Good Messages (in Address Book)
This posts one notification for each good message that arrives (where the sender is in your address book), showing the message’s subject, the first few lines of its body, and (if possible) a picture of the sender.
Good Messages (Not in Address Book)
This posts one notification for each good message that arrives (where the sender is not in your address book), showing the message’s subject and the first few lines of its body.
Uncertain Spam
This notification helps you spot false positives by telling you when a message has arrived that SpamSieve thinks is spam, but that may actually be good. By watching these notifications, you can spot false positives without having to look through the entire contents of the spam folder in your mail program. Unlike the other notifications, Uncertain Spam notifications will persist until you click to dismiss them. For more information, see the A spam message is uncertain if preference.

You can customize the notification style and enable/disable notifications:

Growl 2.x
Open the Growl application and choose Preferences… from the Growl menu. Click on the Applications tab and select SpamSieve at the left of the window.
Growl 1.3.x
Choose Open Growl Preferences… from the Growl menu.
Growl 1.2
Open the Growl pane in System Preferences.

6.2.8   Include message bodies

Growl notifications always include the message’s subject and sender. This setting controls whether they also include the first few lines of the message’s body. Including the message body provides more context, which is particularly useful for Uncertain Spam notifications, but it also uses more screen space.

6.3   Training

images/spamsieve-training-prefs.png

6.3.1   Allow duplicates in corpus

If you allow duplicate messages in the corpus, training SpamSieve with the same message twice will increase the corpus counts for the words in that message. If you do not allow duplicate messages, the second and subsequent trainings with that message will have no effect. By default, duplicate messages are not allowed in the corpus. This is nice because it means that you do not have to remember which messages you have already trained SpamSieve with; accidentally training with the same message more than once will not skew the data that you are providing to SpamSieve. If you wish to intentionally skew the data, you can check one or both boxes to allow duplicates.

6.3.2   Auto-train with incoming mail

This option causes SpamSieve to automatically train itself with newly received messages based on their predicted categories. The whitelist will stay up-to-date so that messages from previous correspondents are never marked as spam. Also, after the initial training you would only need to train SpamSieve to correct its mistakes. It would automatically learn from the other new messages, as needed, trying to keep a proper balance of good and spam messages in the corpus. As the corpus increases in size, the rate of auto-training will automatically decrease to prevent it from growing too large.

Most SpamSieve users should keep auto-training on at all times. Reasons that you might turn it off include:

Testing Purposes
If you’re trying to figure out why SpamSieve is processing a certain kind of message in a certain way, turning off auto-training reduces the interactions among SpamSieve’s components and makes it easier to see what’s happening.
Unable to Correct Mistakes
When auto-training is enabled, it is imperative that you correct SpamSieve when it makes a mistake; otherwise it will “learn” things that aren’t true and begin making predictions based on that incorrect information. If your mail program and filters are set up such that you cannot tell when SpamSieve has made a mistake (or if you can see the mistakes but sometimes forget to correct them), then you should not use auto-training.
Multiple Copies of SpamSieve
If you are using multiple copies of SpamSieve (on different Macs) to filter the same IMAP account, it’s hard to know which one(s) to correct when a mistake is made. With auto-training off, you don’t have to worry about that.
Bulk Processing
For example, if SpamSieve will be processing a large number of incoming messages in a row, and you will not be able to correct any mistakes until later. In this case, using auto-training could magnify one or two mistakes into many, as SpamSieve would assume that it had classified the earlier messages correctly, and learned from that (possibly incorrect) assumption.
Delayed Corrections
If it will be a long time between when SpamSieve filters some messages and when you can correct any mistakes, the situation is similar to Bulk Processing, so you may want to turn off auto-training.

6.3.3   Train SpamSieve whitelist

With this option enabled, training SpamSieve with a good message will add the message sender’s name and address to SpamSieve’s whitelist. This will make SpamSieve classify all future messages from that sender as good. Training SpamSieve with a spam message will disable the name and address if they appear in the whitelist.

Example: You receive an Amazon order receipt and train SpamSieve with it as a good message. This puts auto-confirm@amazon.com on the whitelist so that future order receipts are always marked as good. A spammer might decide that auto-confirm@amazon.com would make a good fake return address. If you receive such a spam, SpamSieve would mark it as good because the sender was on the whitelist. If you then tell SpamSieve that the message is spam, it will disable the whitelist rule so that it can catch future spam messages with that return address.

6.3.4   Train SpamSieve blocklist

With this option enabled, training SpamSieve with a spam message will add the message sender’s name and address to SpamSieve’s blocklist. This will make SpamSieve classify all future messages from that sender as spam. Training SpamSieve with a good message will disable the sender’s name and address if they appear in the blocklist.

6.3.5   Train Bayesian classifier

With this option enabled, training SpamSieve with a message will add the words from that message to SpamSieve’s corpus. It is highly recommended that you train the Bayesian classifier, as it is what SpamSieve uses to catch most spam messages.

6.4   Advanced

images/spamsieve-advanced-prefs.png

6.4.1   Spam-catching Strategy

This slider lets you adjust SpamSieve’s bias. The bias controls how aggressive SpamSieve’s Bayesian classifier is at catching spam. When SpamSieve is more aggressive, it is better at catching spam messages that share some characteristics with your good mail. When SpamSieve is more conservative, it will be better at marking borderline messages such as order confirmations and press releases as good. This setting is very powerful, and most users should stick to the middle range. It is also not a substitute for training SpamSieve or making sure that it’s setup properly. Only change the bias if SpamSieve is consistently making errors in the same direction.

6.4.2   Save false negatives to disk

False negatives are spam messages that SpamSieve examined but didn’t think were spam. This option causes SpamSieve to save such messages for later analysis. Clicking the Show button opens the folder containing the saved messages. You can e-mail this folder, along with SpamSieve’s log file, to spamsieve-fn@c-command.com. By looking at the messages that SpamSieve missed, I can improve its algorithms to catch such messages in the future.

Note: Enabling this option will slow down SpamSieve’s processing.

Note: If the False Negatives folder is empty, even after enabling Save false negatives to disk and training SpamSieve with an uncaught spam message, there is probably a setup problem in your mail program. Use the Open Log command to see whether SpamSieve made a prediction for that message.

6.4.3   Use photo-realistic Dock icon

This option causes SpamSieve to use a more modern Dock icon, which may or may not fit in better with your other Dock icons.

6.4.4   Quit when mail client quits

With this checked, SpamSieve will quit itself when you quit an e-mail program, provided that there are no other mail programs running. This prevents SpamSieve’s icon from filling up your Dock when it’s not actually being used.

6.5   Esoteric Preferences

You can set esoteric SpamSieve preferences by clicking the links on this page. Unlike with regular preferences, you must generally quit and re-launch SpamSieve in order for an esoteric preference to take effect.

AddStandardRules
Normally, SpamSieve will create its standard set of whitelist and blocklist rules if it detects that they are missing. You can also turn this feature off if you prefer to manage the rules yourself.
AppleMailLaunchSpamSieveSooner
Normally, the Apple Mail plug-in will launch SpamSieve when Mail launches so that it’s ready to filter new messages as soon as they’re downloaded. You can also set it to only launch SpamSieve when it actually starts filtering messages.
AppleMailPlugInSetIsJunk
Normally, when SpamSieve classifies an incoming message as spam, it tells Apple Mail that the message is junk. This makes sure that Mail will not display remote images for that message, thus protecting you from Web bugs. You can also tell SpamSieve not to mark the messages as junk. This will speed up mail filtering (especially on Mac OS X 10.9), as it will reduce the amount of communication with the mail server.
AppleMailShowOpenWindow
When SpamSieve’s Dock icon is hidden, the Apple Mail plug-in normally adds a SpamSieve - Open Window command to Mail’s Message menu so that SpamSieve’s commands are still accessible. If the plug-in is not able to detect that the Dock icon is hidden, you can force it to show the Open Window command or revert back to auto-detection.
AppleMailTrainGoodClearFlags
Normally, when you train a message as good in Apple Mail, SpamSieve preserves any colored flags. If you are using a rule (such as Example 3 in Spam Message Colors in Apple Mail) to set flags according to spamminess, you can also set SpamSieve to clear the flags when training a message as good.
AppleMailTrainGoodGUIScripting and AppleMailTrainSpamGUIScripting
Please see the Faster Apple Mail Training section of the manual.
MJTUpdaterDeleteDiskImage
Normally, the Software Update… feature will clean up after itself after downloading a new version. You can also set it to leave the disk image file in your Downloads folder.
ParseImages
Normally, SpamSieve analyzes the contents of attached images and PDF files to help detect whether a message is spammy. You can turn off this feature if you find that corrupt files are confusing Mac OS X’s imaging subsystems and leading to crashes.

7   Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

7.1   Why is SpamSieve not catching my spam?

SpamSieve is normally highly accurate at filtering out spam messages, and once properly trained it will usually keep working well. If you notice a sudden drop in the filtering accuracy, this is usually because of a problem in your mail program’s setup, not because a new type of spam message is evading SpamSieve. This section will help you to fix such setup problems yourself. You can also ask for help if you need additional assistance.

  1. When you receive new messages, the mail program needs to send them to SpamSieve for analysis. To make sure that it’s set up to do this, find the Checking the <Mail Client> Setup section below that corresponds to your mail program and follow the instructions in that section.
  2. The mail program will only apply SpamSieve (and your other rules) to messages that arrive in the Mac’s inbox and are unread.
    • Are you reading the messages on a phone or other computer before your Mac sees them?
    • Do you have rules set up on your mail server that move the messages out of the inbox?
    • Is a server junk filter moving the messages to a Junk mailbox?
  3. SpamSieve keeps a log of all the messages that it examined and why it thought they were good or spam. The Open Log section describes how the log can tell you whether a spam message was missed because of the mail program’s settings, SpamSieve’s settings, or SpamSieve’s training.
  4. For the best filtering accuracy, SpamSieve needs to be properly trained.
    • The Checking the Training section has more information about this.
    • Also, make sure that you do not have other rules (besides SpamSieve) in your mail program that move messages to the spam mailbox or trash. Such rules can prevent you from properly training SpamSieve.
  5. You can contact technical support at spamsieve@c-command.com. Before sending your message, please read the What information should I include when I report a problem? section. Make sure that you’ve included all of the general information, as well as the items requested in the If you have spam messages in your inbox section.

7.1.1   Checking the Apple Mail Setup

  1. If you do not see the SpamSieve training commands in Mail’s Message menu, choose Install Apple Mail Plug-In from the SpamSieve menu. If you still don’t see them, follow the instructions in Sending in an Error Report.
  2. Go to the Junk pane of Mail’s Preferences window and make sure that Enable junk mail filtering is unchecked.
  3. Go to the Rules pane of Mail’s Preferences window and make sure that you’ve created a rule like the one shown in the Setting Up Apple Mail section:
    1. Make sure there is a check mark next to the SpamSieve rule, indicating that it’s active.
    2. Make sure that the rule’s name starts with SpamSieve.
    3. Make sure that the rule’s conditions say Every Message.
    4. Make sure that the rule does not have any Set Color actions.
    5. Drag the SpamSieve rule to the top of the list, if it isn’t there already. (Exception: If you’re using the drone setup, the Remote Training rule should be above the SpamSieve rule.)
    6. Make sure there are no other rules that move spam messages to another mailbox.
    7. Even if the rule looks correct, it can help to delete it and create a new one. (If you do this, be sure to click Don’t Apply when it asks whether you want to re-apply the rules.)

To test that the rule works:

  1. Select a spam message in Mail.

  2. Choose SpamSieve - Train as Spam from the Message menu to tell SpamSieve that it is spam.

  3. Drag the message to your inbox and select it again.

  4. Choose Apply Rules from the Message menu.

    Note: This will also apply your other Mail rules.

If the message moved to the spam mailbox after Step 4, the rule worked. SpamSieve will be able to catch other messages like this if it’s properly configured and trained.

If the message did not move to the spam mailbox, there is some other problem with Mail or SpamSieve. Please contact technical support and explain what happened when you followed these instructions.

7.1.2   Checking the Entourage Setup

  1. Choose Install Entourage Scripts from the SpamSieve menu.
  2. Choose Junk E-mail protection… from Entourage’s Tools menu and make sure it’s set to None.
  3. Choose Mailing List Manager from Entourage’s Tools menu. If there are any rules, for each rule click on the Advanced tab and make sure that Do not apply rules to list messages is unchecked. (If you continue to experience problems, try unchecking each rule itself, to disable it.)
  4. Choose Rules… from Entourage’s Tools menu and make sure that you’ve created two SpamSieve rules, as shown in the Setting Up Entourage section:
    1. Make sure that the rules are of the proper type. That is, if you have a POP mail account, you need two POP rules; if you have an IMAP account, you need two IMAP rules.
    2. Make sure that the SpamSieve - Move Messages rule says “if any criteria” rather than “if all criteria.”
    3. Make sure that the SpamSieve rules are at the top of the list.
    4. Make sure that the SpamSieve - Move If Spam rule is above the SpamSieve - Move Messages rule.
    5. Make sure both SpamSieve rules have check marks next to their names, indicating that they are enabled.
    6. Make sure there are no other rules that move messages to the Junk E-mail folder.

To test that the rules work:

  1. Select a spam message in Entourage.
  2. Choose SpamSieve - Train Spam from the Scripts menu to tell SpamSieve that it is spam.
  3. Change the category of the message to None (using Edit ‣ Categories ‣ None).
  4. Choose Apply Rule ‣ SpamSieve - Move If Spam from the Message menu.

If the message’s category was changed to Junk after Step 4, the rule worked. SpamSieve will be able to catch other messages like this if it’s properly configured and trained.

If the message’s category did not change to Junk, there is some other problem with Entourage or SpamSieve. Please contact technical support and explain what happened when you followed these instructions.

7.1.3   Checking the Eudora Setup

The Setting Up Eudora section describes how to set up Eudora to filter your mail using SpamSieve.

  1. Make sure that you see SpamSieve’s plug-in (and no other junk/spam plug-ins) listed when you choose About Message Plug-Ins from the Eudora menu.
  2. Make sure that the Junk Threshold is set to 50 and Hold junk in Junk mailbox is checked in Eudora’s Junk Mail settings.
  3. Make sure that Run junk scoring plugins on this IMAP account is checked in Eudora’s IMAP settings (if you have an IMAP account).
  4. Make sure that Mail isn’t junk if the sender is in an address book in Eudora’s Junk Mail pane is not checked.

7.1.4   Checking the Mailsmith Setup

The Setting Up Mailsmith section describes how to set up Mailsmith to filter your mail using SpamSieve.

  1. Make sure that you are using version 2.3.1 or later of Mailsmith.
  2. Make sure that Use SpamSieve is checked in the preferences. If that option is disabled:
    1. Make sure you have only one copy each of Mailsmith and SpamSieve installed. If there are any old versions in the trash, empty the trash.
    2. Launch SpamSieve directly from the Finder, by double-clicking its icon. (Do not use the Dock icon or an application launcher.)
    3. Launch Mailsmith (again, by double-clicking its icon).
    4. Open Mailsmith’s Preferences window, and verify that the Use SpamSieve option is enabled.
  3. If you are using the Leave it in “(incoming mail)” option, make sure that a deposit or transfer filter isn’t acting on the spam messages before your spam filter can.
  4. To test the connection between Mailsmith and SpamSieve, select a message and choose Recalculate Spam Score from Mailsmith’s Message menu. Then choose Open Log in SpamSieve and verify that a “Predicted” entry for that message was added to the log.

7.1.5   Checking the Outlook Setup

  1. Choose Install Outlook Scripts from the SpamSieve menu.
  2. Choose Junk E-mail protection… from Outlook’s Tools menu and make sure it’s set to None.
  3. Choose Mailing List Manager… from Outlook’s Tools menu. If there are any rules, for each rule click on the Advanced tab and make sure that Do not apply rules to list messages is unchecked. (If you continue to experience problems, try unchecking each rule itself, to disable it.)
  4. Choose Rules… from Outlook’s Tools menu and make sure that you’ve created two SpamSieve rules, as shown in the Setting Up Outlook section:
    1. Make sure that the rules are of the proper type. That is, if you have a POP mail account, you need two POP rules; if you have an IMAP account, you need two IMAP rules.
    2. Make sure that the SpamSieve - Move Messages rule says “If any conditions” rather than “If all conditions.”
    3. Make sure that the SpamSieve rules are at the top of the list.
    4. Make sure that the SpamSieve - Set Category rule is above the SpamSieve - Move Messages rule.
    5. Make sure both SpamSieve rules have check marks next to their names, indicating that they are enabled.
    6. Make sure there are no other rules that move messages to the Junk E-mail folder.
  5. Choose Accounts… from Outlook’s Tools menu. If you have any IMAP accounts, click the Advanced… button, then click the Folders tab, and make sure that it’s set to “Move deleted message to this folder.” Otherwise, the caught spams may still appear on your iPhone.

To test that the rules work:

  1. Select a spam message in Outlook.
  2. Choose SpamSieve - Train as Spam from the Scripts menu to tell SpamSieve that it is spam.
  3. Remove the categories of the message (using Message ‣ Categorize ‣ Clear All).
  4. Drag the message back to your inbox and select it there.
  5. Choose Rules ‣ Apply ‣ SpamSieve - Set Category from the Message menu.

If the message’s category was changed to Junk after Step 4, the rule worked. SpamSieve will be able to catch other messages like this if it’s properly configured and trained.

If the message’s category did not change to Junk, there is some other problem with Outlook or SpamSieve. Please contact technical support and explain what happened when you followed these instructions.

7.1.6   Checking the Postbox Setup

The Setting Up Postbox section describes how to set up Postbox to filter your mail using SpamSieve.

  1. Make sure that Do not mark mail as junk if the sender is in… is not checked.
  2. Make sure that Trust junk mail headers set by… is not checked.

To test that the setup works:

  1. When you receive a new message, note its subject.
  2. Click on SpamSieve’s icon in the Dock.
  3. Choose Open Log from the SpamSieve menu.

The setup is correct if there’s a log entry (near the bottom) that says Predicted: Good or Predicted: Spam and shows the subject for the new message.

If you don’t see the expected log entries for new messages, please contact technical support and explain what happened when you followed these instructions.

7.1.7   Checking the PowerMail Setup

  1. Quit PowerMail, delete the folder:

    /Users/<username>/Library/Application Support/PowerMail
    

    and then re-launch PowerMail. (See the How can I open the Library folder? section.) If the script files that PowerMail uses to communicate with SpamSieve are damaged, this will fix them.

  2. Make sure that you’ve followed the instructions in the Setting Up PowerMail section.

    • Make sure that the conditions for the Spam: evaluate filter are not excluding the messages that you want SpamSieve to filter. For example, try editing the filter so that it has just a single condition that says Always.
    • Make sure that the Spam: evaluate filter is at the top of the list.
    • Make sure that the Spam: actions filter is directly below the Spam: evaluate filter.

To test that the setup works:

  1. Select a spam message in PowerMail.
  2. Choose Mark as Spam from the Mail menu to tell SpamSieve that it is spam.
  3. Choose Perform Filter ‣ Spam: evaluate from the Mail menu.
  4. Click on SpamSieve’s icon in the Dock. Then choose Open Log from the SpamSieve menu.

The setup is correct if the last entry in the log says Predicted: Spam and shows the subject for the message that you had selected. SpamSieve will be able to catch other messages like this if it’s properly configured and trained.

Otherwise, there is some other problem with PowerMail or SpamSieve. Please contact technical support and explain what happened when you followed these instructions.

7.1.8   Checking the Thunderbird Setup

The Setting Up Thunderbird section describes how to set up Thunderbird to filter your mail using SpamSieve.

  1. Make sure that Do not mark mail as junk if the sender is in… is not checked.
  2. Make sure that Trust junk mail headers set by… is not checked.

To test that the setup works:

  1. When you receive a new message, note its subject.
  2. Click on SpamSieve’s icon in the Dock.
  3. Choose Open Log from the SpamSieve menu.

The setup is correct if there’s a log entry (near the bottom) that says Predicted: Good or Predicted: Spam and shows the subject for the new message.

If you don’t see the expected log entries for new messages, please contact technical support and explain what happened when you followed these instructions.

7.1.9   Checking the Training

SpamSieve is nearly 100% accurate, but only when properly trained. Here’s how you can check the training:

  1. Choose Show Statistics from the Filter menu. Does the Corpus section show at least 100 spam messages and 100 good messages? If not, follow the instructions in the Do an Initial Training section.

  2. If SpamSieve has misclassified any messages, it needs to know this or its accuracy will decline. This is described in the Correct All Mistakes section. If SpamSieve misclassified some messages and you have not yet corrected its mistakes, do so now. If you’ve already deleted the misclassified messages, it’s too late to correct the mistakes; choose Reset Corpus from the Filter menu and then follow the instructions in the Do an Initial Training section.

  3. Check the percentage of spam messages in the Corpus section of the Statistics window. It should be between 55% and 75%. If not, train SpamSieve with more spam or good messages so that the percentage is in this range.

  4. Check the number of spam and good messages in the Corpus section of the Statistics window. If the corpus is very large (more than 4,000 messages) and SpamSieve is not catching your spam, the corpus may contain incorrect or obsolete messages that reduce SpamSieve’s effectiveness and make it slower to adapt. Choose Reset Corpus from the Filter menu and then follow the instructions in the Do an Initial Training section.

    Note: You should only reset the corpus after you’ve checked all the other items in the Why is SpamSieve not catching my spam? section.

7.1.10   How do I make SpamSieve catch spams sent from my own address?

Sometimes spammers forge one of your e-mail addresses and send you spam messages that appear to be coming from yourself. If SpamSieve is not properly configured, these spams will keep coming into your inbox even after you train them as spam. Once you fix the configuration, SpamSieve will be able to catch these messages as easily as any other spams.

Why does SpamSieve let these obvious spams into my inbox?
SpamSieve does what you tell it to do. Under the standard configuration, the Use Mac OS X Address Book option is enabled in SpamSieve’s preferences. This is safety feature so that messages from people in your address book are never marked as spam. If your address is in the address book and a spammer sends a message from that address, SpamSieve will let it through to your inbox. It will do this no matter how blatantly spammy the message is; doing otherwise would counteract the safety feature.
How can I tell whether I need to fix the setup?
The Open Log section of the manual explains how SpamSieve keeps a log of all the messages that it filtered and why it thought they were good or spam. For each incoming message that SpamSieve thought was not spam, there is a Predicted: Good entry in the log. If it says Reason: sender <address> in address book or Reason: sender <address> in Entourage address book, that means that SpamSieve thought the message was good because it was sent from an address that’s in your address book. If the address is one of your addresses, please follow the instructions below. (If there’s no Predicted entry for the message, please see the Why is SpamSieve not catching my spam? section for instructions on checking the setup in your mail program.)
How do I make SpamSieve catch these spams?

SpamSieve has a feature specifically for catching this kind of spam. For messages sent from your address, SpamSieve will ignore the fact that your own address is in your address book. It will apply its normal Bayesian filtering engine to examine the entire contents of the message and evaluate whether it is spam. To use this feature, you need to do two things:

  1. Make sure that Exclude my addresses is checked in SpamSieve’s preferences. This tells SpamSieve to pretend that your address is not in the address book, thus bypassing the Use Mac OS X Address Book safety feature (but only for messages sent from one of your own addresses).

  2. Tell SpamSieve which addresses are yours. You do this by listing them on your card in the Contacts (previously Address Book) application.

    If the addresses are already entered in your e-mail program’s preferences, you can quickly add them by choosing Update Address Book “Me” Card from the SpamSieve menu. If you have other addresses, you’ll need to add them manually from the Address Book application. Add the addresses to your card, making sure to enter them in the e-mail address section rather than the phone number section.

    Your card is the one that has your name and photo (or login image). It says “me” on top of the photo, and in the name list it has a black silhouette of a head and shoulders instead of a white address book card. To find your “me” card, choose Card ‣ Go to My Card. If you don’t have a “me” card, you can make one by creating a new card with your name and addresses and choosing Card ‣ Make This My Card.

7.2   What information should I include when I report a problem?

It will be faster and easier to help you if your e-mail includes all of the following information:

The version of Mac OS X that you are using
Click on the Apple menu and choose About This Mac.
The version of SpamSieve that you are using
Click on the SpamSieve menu and choose About SpamSieve. (Please do not say “the latest version,” as this is ambiguous.)
The name and version of your e-mail program
In your mail program, click on the application menu and choose About <Mail Program Name>. (If you’re using Apple Mail, it’s not necessary to specify the version.)
Information about your e-mail setup
  • Do you access your e-mail from multiple computers? If so, on how many of them is SpamSieve installed?
  • If you are using SpamSieve with the same e-mail account on multiple Macs, which one of the four approved setups are you using?
  • Do you access your e-mail from a mobile device such as an iPhone, iPad, iPod, or BlackBerry?
  • Are you using SpamSieve with multiple e-mail accounts? If so, does the problem pertain to all of them?
Errors reported in Console
Please see Sending in an Error Report.

Additionally, for certain types of problems, please include the following information:

If you have spam messages in your inbox

Please do not forward the problem messages using your mail program. Instead, make a new e-mail to spamsieve-fn@c-command.com and include the following items as attachments:

If you have good messages in your Spam mailbox

Please also include:

If SpamSieve or the mail program hangs, freezes, or is very slow
Please see Sending in a “Sample” Report.
If the mail program crashes
Please see Sending in Crash Log Files.

For other types of problems, please describe what you did, what happened, and what did you expect to happen instead. This will make it easier for us to understand the issue that you are reporting.

7.2.1   Sending in an Error Report

If an error window appeared on your screen, please include the exact text of the error message in your e-mail. (It may help to use Copy and Paste.)

Please also send in any errors that were reported in the system log:

  1. Click on Finder in the Dock.

  2. From the Go menu, choose Utilities.

  3. Double-click the Console application.

  4. Click on All Messages at the left of the window.

  5. If it shows any recent error messages, select them (or choose Edit ‣ Select All).

    Note: You may need to click the Earlier button at the bottom of the window to find errors that did not occur recently.

  6. Choose File ‣ Save Selection As… and save the file as My Log.log on your desktop.

  7. Drag this file into your e-mail message to attach it.

7.2.2   Sending in the SpamSieve Log File

SpamSieve’s log file contains information about the incoming messages that it has processed as well as the messages that you’ve trained it with. If SpamSieve is not behaving the way that you expect, the log file can help pinpoint the source of the problem. The log file is stored at:

/Users/<username>/Library/Logs/SpamSieve/SpamSieve Log.log

To send in the log file:

  1. Open your Library folder, as described in How can I open the Library folder?.

  2. Inside the Library folder, open the Logs folder.

  3. Inside the Logs folder, open the SpamSieve folder.

  4. Inside the SpamSieve folder, find the SpamSieve Log.log file.

    Note: In most cases, you can ignore old, dated log files, whose names end with .log.bz2. Just send the SpamSieve Log.log file.

  5. Drag the SpamSieve Log.log file into the message window in your e-mail program to attach it to your message. The file should be attached as an enclosure, not as text in the body of the message.

7.2.3   Sending in Screenshots

To help troubleshoot problems in your mail program, please include screenshots of:

  1. Any errors that were reported (if applicable).
  2. The message list in your mail program.
  3. The rule list in your mail program (including both regular rules and mailing list manager rules, if applicable).
  4. The individual SpamSieve rule(s) that you created in the mail program.

To take a screenshot, hold down the Apple and Shift keys and press the number 4. Then use the mouse to select the area of the screen that you want to take a picture of. This will create a file called Picture 1 on your desktop. Pressing the keys again will create Picture 2, etc. You can drag these into the e-mail window to attach them to your message. If you’re using Apple Mail, be sure to set the Image Size pop-up menu at the bottom of the message window to Actual Size.

7.2.4   Sending in False Negative Files

In the Advanced tab of SpamSieve’s Preferences window, make sure that Save false negatives to disk is checked. When you train a message as spam that SpamSieve thought was good, it will save that message as a file. Click the Show button in the Preferences window to open the folder. You can then drag the folder (or particular files in it) into the message window in your e-mail program. You can use Quick Look to view the message files to help find the ones that you want.

If a spam message gets through and is not saved in the False Negatives folder, this likely means that there is a setup problem and that SpamSieve was not given an opportunity to filter that message. Please see the Why is SpamSieve not catching my spam? page for information about how to fix setup problems.

7.2.5   Sending in a “Sample” Report

If a program is slow, hangs, or freezes, a “sample” report can record what your Mac was doing in order to locate the source of the problem.

  1. Click on Finder in the Dock.
  2. From the Go menu, choose Utilities.
  3. Double-click the Activity Monitor program.
  4. Select SpamSieve in the Activity Monitor window.
  5. Do whatever it is in SpamSieve that causes the slowness, hang, or freeze. Immediately, click on Activity Monitor in the Dock and choose Sample Process from the View menu.
  6. After Activity Monitor has finished taking the sample, click the Save… button in the “Sample of SpamSieve” window. Save the file to your desktop and then include it in your e-mail message as an attachment. (Please do not copy and paste the text from the Activity Monitor window.)

(If you aren’t sure whether the problem pertains to SpamSieve or the mail program, please repeat steps 4–6 for both SpamSieve and the mail program.)

7.2.6   Sending in Crash Log Files

If SpamSieve itself crashes, the SpamSieve Crash Reporter window should automatically come up. Make sure that you enter a valid e-mail address and then click the Send Report button.

If your mail program (or a helper process such as spamsieve-reader) crashes, you’ll need to send in the crash log file manually. Crash logs are stored in the folder:

/Users/<username>/Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports/
  • On Mac OS X 10.7 through 10.9, first click on the Finder in the Dock, then click on the Go menu, and hold down the Option key as you choose Library. Open the Logs folder, then DiagnosticReports.
  • On Mac OS X 10.6, first click on the Finder in the Dock, then click on the Go menu, and choose Home. Open the Library folder. Then open the Logs folder, then DiagnosticReports.

Once you’ve opened the DiagnosticReports folder, find the most most recent crash log file for the program that crashed and add it to your e-mail message as an attachment.

Note: You may be able to temporarily stop crashes in Apple Mail by removing all of the .mailbundle files from the folder:

/Users/<username>/Library/Mail/Bundles/

7.2.7   Sending in Apple Mail Rules

If there is a problem setting up your rules in Mail, please send in the rules file(s):

  • On Mac OS X 10.8 through 10.9, the files are stored at:

    /Users/<username>/Library/Containers/com.apple.mail/Data/Library/Mail/V2/MailData/RulesActiveState.plist
    /Users/<username>/Library/Containers/com.apple.mail/Data/Library/Mail/V2/MailData/SyncedRules.plist
    /Users/<username>/Library/Containers/com.apple.mail/Data/Library/Mail/V2/MailData/UnsyncedRules.plist
    
    1. Click on the Finder in the Dock.
    2. Click on the Go menu at the top of the screen, hold down the Option key, and then choose Library.
    3. Open the Containers folder, then com.apple.mail, then Data, then Library, then Mail, then V2, then MailData to find the RulesActiveState.plist, SyncedRules.plist, and UnsyncedRules.plist files.
  • On Mac OS X 10.7, the file is stored at:

    /Users/<username>/Library/Mail/V2/MailData/MessageRules.plist
    
    1. Click on the Finder in the Dock.
    2. Click on the Go menu at the top of the screen, hold down the Option key, and then choose Library.
    3. Open the Mail folder, then V2, then MailData to find the MessageRules.plist file.
  • On Mac OS X 10.6, the file is stored at:

    /Users/<username>/Library/Mail/MessageRules.plist
    
    1. Click on the Finder in the Dock.
    2. Click on the Go menu and choose Home.
    3. Open the Library folder. Then open the Mail folder to find the MessageRules.plist file.

7.3   Why is every message going to the Spam mailbox?

Apple Mail

  1. If SpamSieve’s plug-in is not installed (e.g. if it was disabled by an OS update), Mail will move every message to the Spam mailbox without consulting SpamSieve. To re-install the plug-in, choose Install Apple Mail Plug-In from the SpamSieve menu. When the plug-in is property installed and loaded, you will see the training commands in Mail’s Message menu. See also the Why don’t I see the SpamSieve commands in Apple Mail’s Message menu? section.
  2. Make sure that you’ve disabled Mail’s built-in junk mail filter, as described in Step 7 of the Setting Up Apple Mail section.
  3. Make sure that the only spam/junk rule that you have in Mail’s preferences is SpamSieve.
  4. The name of the SpamSieve rule in Apple Mail must begin with “SpamSieve”. Make sure that there are no leading spaces in the name. If the rule name does not begin with “SpamSieve”, Mail will move every message to the Spam mailbox without even showing the messages to SpamSieve.
  5. To separate the good messages in the Spam mailbox from the spam ones, drag all the unread messages to the inbox. Then select them and choose Apply Rules from the Message menu. (You can alternatively use the Apple Mail - Move If Spam script with the moveGoodMessagesToInbox option.)

Entourage

  1. Make sure that you’ve disabled Entourage’s built-in Junk Mail Filter.
  2. Make sure that the SpamSieve rule in Entourage are set up exactly as shown.
  3. Make sure that the only spam/junk rules that you have in the Rules window are the two SpamSieve rules.

Outlook

  1. Make sure that you’ve disabled Outlook’s built-in Junk Mail Filter.
  2. Make sure that the SpamSieve rule in Outlook are set up exactly as shown.
  3. Make sure that the only spam/junk rules that you have in the Rules window are the SpamSieve rules.

All Mail Programs

It’s possible that the messages are being moved by a mail program on another Mac, device, or server. To see whether the messages are going to the Spam mailbox because of SpamSieve, you can use the Open Log command.

7.4   Why do good messages keep going to the Junk or Spam mailbox?

Normally, as soon as you train one message as good, SpamSieve will add the message’s sender to its whitelist. This means that SpamSieve will never classify future messages from that sender as spam. Nevertheless, there a several reasons why such messages might keep ending up in the Junk or Spam mailbox:

  1. A junk filter on the server might be classifying the messages as spam. This is especially likely to be the case if the messages are going to a different mailbox than the one that SpamSieve uses. Please see the How should I configure the junk filter on my mail server? section.

  2. Regardless of whether SpamSieve thinks a message is spam, the message can still end up in the Spam mailbox if you have created other rules in your mail client that move messages to the Spam mailbox. It is recommended that you disable or delete such rules. Also make sure that your mail client’s built in junk filter is off.

  3. Another computer that accesses your mail account may have rules or a spam filter that are moving the messages.

  4. Your mail client may be moving all incoming messages to the spam mailbox because of a setup problem. Please see the Why is every message going to the Spam mailbox? section.

  5. SpamSieve might have classified the message as spam. You can see whether it has done this by using the Open Log command and looking for a Predicted: Spam entry for the message.

    How could this happen? If you subsequently train a message from that sender as spam, SpamSieve will disable the whitelist rule and add a rule to the blocklist. Then SpamSieve will classify messages from that sender as spam until you train another one as good. At that point, there will be rules on both the whitelist and the blocklist, both disabled, so SpamSieve will determine whether messages are spam by looking at their complete contents. If you don’t want it to do this, but to instead treat all the messages from that sender as good, you can add the sender to your address book or find the sender’s rule in the Whitelist window and click the checkbox to re-enable it.

7.5   Can I delete spam messages that are in the spam folder?

Yes. It is not necessary to keep the spam messages in your e-mail program’s spam folder because SpamSieve stores the information that it has extracted from the messages elsewhere. However, before you delete any messages, make sure that you have corrected all the mistakes.

To manually delete old spam messages, you can simply select them in your mail program (using Edit ‣ Select All may help) and press the Delete key.

To automatically delete old spam messages, please see the Automatically Deleting Old Spam Messages page.

7.6   How should I configure the junk filter on my mail server?

Spam in Other Locations

SpamSieve moves the spam messages that arrive in your inbox into a separate mailbox, usually called Spam. When you train a message as spam, SpamSieve also puts it in that mailbox.

You may find that you have a second Spam mailbox or a Junk mailbox that is also filling up with spam. These spams were likely caught by a junk filter on your mail server. The server filter catches its spam messages before the Mac sees them, so:

  • It is normal for some spams to be in the server’s spam mailbox rather than SpamSieve’s. SpamSieve never had a chance to process these messages, so they are not mistakes. You should not train them as spam.
  • It is normal for there to be some good messages in the server’s spam mailbox. These are also not SpamSieve mistakes, since the server filter put them there without SpamSieve seeing them. You should not train them as good.

SpamSieve vs. Server Filters

SpamSieve is compatible with junk/spam filters that run on the mail server, however we recommend that most users turn them off because:

  • In most cases, SpamSieve will catch the same spam messages (and more), so the server spam filter is not providing much benefit. Exception: If your Mac and SpamSieve will often be off or disconnected from the Internet, the server spam filter can help keep spam off your iPhone during that time.
  • Server spam filters are more likely to mistakenly classify your good messages as spam. Because the server filters the messages before they get to your Mac, SpamSieve cannot “save” you from these mistakes. In some cases, these good messages may be deleted sight-unseen or “lost,” only visible when you log into a special spam quarantine mailbox via a Web browser.
  • Server spam filters often move suspected spam messages to a special mailbox, which is separate from your other accounts and from SpamSieve’s Spam mailbox. (See “Spam in Other Locations” above.) Most users find it simplest to review a single spam mailbox for all their accounts.

Turning Off Your Server-Side Spam Filter

Please find the “Turning Off” section below that corresponds to your mail provider. If your mail provider does not let you turn off its spam filter, we recommend switching to one of the Recommended Mail Hosts.

Re-filtering Messages Caught by the Server Filter

You can use the Apple Mail - Server Junk Mailbox script to have SpamSieve save you from mistakes that the server junk filter made by moving any messages that it thinks are good back to the inbox. It will also consolidate the spam messages from all the accounts into a single spam mailbox (the same one where SpamSieve is already putting your spam).

Bulk Mail and Quarantine

Some mail providers have a mailbox called Bulk Mail or a special Web site to view messages that are “quarantined.” If possible, we recommend turning off these features for the same reasons described above. Regardless, there are two important points to keep in mind:

  • The server puts the messages in the bulk mailbox before SpamSieve sees them. Thus, there is no setting you can change in SpamSieve to prevent this from happening.
  • Since these messages are invisible to SpamSieve, it is not necessary or recommended that you train it with them.

7.6.1   Turning Off the AOL Spam Filter

There are instructions for disabling AOL’s spam filter using the AOL Desktop software as well as the AOL Web site.

7.6.2   Turning Off the Gmail Spam Filter

  1. Go to Gmail’s Settings and click on Filters.

    images/gmail-spam-filter-1.png
  2. Click Create a new filter and enter @ in the From field. Click Create filter with this search.

    images/gmail-spam-filter-2.png
  3. Click OK.

    images/gmail-spam-filter-3.png
  4. Make sure that Never send it to Spam is checked and click Create filter.

    images/gmail-spam-filter-4.png
  5. Your filter should now look like this:

    images/gmail-spam-filter-5.png

7.6.3   Turning Off the iCloud Spam Filter

It is not possible to turn off iCloud’s junk filter, and iCloud deletes some suspected spam messages without even putting them in your Junk mailbox. You can use the Apple Mail - Server Junk Mailbox script to have SpamSieve move any good messages that iCloud caught in its Junk mailbox to the inbox and consolidate the spam in a single mailbox. Otherwise be sure to check the account’s Junk mailbox to make sure that there are no good messages stuck there.

7.6.4   Turning Off the Yahoo Mail Spam Filter

Click on the gear menu, then Mail Options, then Filters. Create a filter that matches @ in the sender and delivers the messages to Inbox:

images/yahoo-mail-spam-filter.png

7.6.5   Turning Off Other Spam Filters

Many mail hosts offer SpamAssassin or a similar filter. Make sure the filter is set not to add **Junk**, [Spam], or another tag to the message’s subject. Also, try to configure the filter not to move the messages out of the inbox. It is actually good if you can leave the filter on, but set so that it only tags the message’s headers (e.g. by adding X-Spam-Status and X-Spam-Report headers). This will allow SpamSieve to incorporate the work that the server filter has done into its analysis.

7.7   Why does a message disappear or go back to the spam mailbox after I train it as good?

When you train a message in the spam mailbox as good, SpamSieve normally moves it back to the inbox. Mac Mail programs do not automatically re-apply rules (or SpamSieve) to old messages, so normally the message will stay in the inbox.

However, it is possible that a server filter or a mail program on one of your other computers will see the message as new and move it elsewhere. The other computer might think the message is spam and move it right back to the shared server spam mailbox. Or, if the other computer is using a local spam mailbox, it would move the message off the server and into the spam mailbox on that computer. This would make it appear—on the first computer—as though the message had disappeared.

For more information about multi-computer setups, please see the SpamSieve and Multiple Macs section.

It is also possible for messages to disappear from Apple Mail if Mail’s database is damaged. For more information, please see the How can I rebuild Apple Mail’s database? section.

If you want messages trained as good to remain in the spam mailbox, please see the Change Settings (Apple Mail) section.

7.8   Does SpamSieve protect me from viruses?

Computer viruses generally do not cause problems for Mac users because there is no automated way for them to execute their malicious code. If you receive a virus in an e-mail attachment, it will not do anything if the message is just sitting in your inbox. Even opening the attached file is not, by itself, dangerous because Mac OS X will not execute code from a single file. You would need to, for example, decompress the ZIP archive and then double-click the extracted .app file. Even if you do all this, the Mac is likely to warn you that you are launching an unknown application.

SpamSieve will generally classify messages with viruses as spam and move them to the Spam mailbox. This will prevent them from cluttering your inbox and provide some protection if you access your mail on a Windows PC (where attached .exe files can more easily cause harm).

If you are running anti-virus software, it is normal for it to find viruses in your Spam mailbox and in SpamSieve’s False Negatives folder (if you’ve enabled the Save false negatives to disk preference). You can safely ignore these warnings because the viruses are embedded in the e-mail messages and are inert.

7.9   Does SpamSieve stop Web bugs?

A Web bug is a tracking image in an HTML-formatted e-mail message. The image is referenced on a remote server, rather than included as an attachment to the message. When a mail client displays the message, it loads the image from the remote server. When the server receives the request for the image data, it knows that the e-mail has been read, and it can record the address of the computer that requested the image. Additionally, the image’s URL may include tracking information such as your e-mail address, so the server can tell who read the e-mail.

Some legitimate mailing list providers use Web bugs to track how many of their messages were read, when they were read, and where (approximately) the recipients are.

Spammers use Web bugs to track who is reading their messages. This lets them tell which e-mail addresses are valid as well as which variants of their message content get through spam filters. An e-mail address that is known to be valid is likely to receive more spam.

SpamSieve protects you against Web bugs by telling the mail program not to load remote images for messages that it thinks are spam. Since SpamSieve catches almost all spam messages, you only risk triggering a Web bug if SpamSieve lets a spam message through and you view that message.

For full protection, most mail clients have an option to disable the automatic loading of remote images for all messages, rather than just known spams. The downside to this approach is that to fully view a good message containing remote images you would need to click an extra button to tell the mail client to load the images.

Since SpamSieve is highly accurate, most users opt for the convenience of its automatic protection. If you want full protection and don’t mind manually loading the images for all your messages, follow the these instructions for your mail client:

Apple Mail
In the Preference window, click on the Viewing tab. Make sure that Display remote images in HTML messages is unchecked.
Airmail
In the Preferences window, click on the General tab. Make sure that Autoload Remote Images is unchecked.
GyazMail
In the Preferences window, click on the Display tab. Make sure that Show remote images in HTML messages is unchecked.
MailMate
In the Preferences window, click on the Security tab. Make sure that Image Blocking is checked and set to All Messages.
Mailsmith
Mailsmith does not display remote images, so no setting is necessary.
Outlook
In the Preferences window, click on Reading. Make sure that Automatically download pictures from the Internet is set to Never.
Postbox
In the Preferences window, click on the Privacy tab. Make sure that Block loading of remote images in mail messages is checked.
PowerMail
In the Preferences window, click on HTML reader. Make sure that Download external pictures if connected, for non spam messages is unchecked.

7.10   Does SpamSieve bounce spam messages back to the sender?

SpamSieve does not have a feature to “bounce” spam messages back to the sender, e.g. by sending an e-mail reply saying that the message was not delivered. Apple Mail used to have a built-in Message ‣ Bounce command, but Apple has removed it.

The thought behind bouncing is that a spammer will stop sending to your address if he thinks that the address was invalid and his message didn’t get through. Unfortunately, sending a “bounce message” back would be ineffective or even counter productive for a variety of reasons:

  1. Spammers probably don’t care. They have lists of thousands or millions of e-mail addresses, and it’s cheap to keep sending messages to the entire list. They may get paid based on the size of their list, no matter whether all the addresses are valid. In any case, it wouldn’t be worth the effort to prune it down.
  2. You can’t contact them. Even if you believe that spammers care, your bounce message probably wouldn’t get to them. Spammers use hijacked machines and forged return addresses, so if you reply to a spam message you’re likely sending your bounce to an invalid address or to an innocent bystander.
  3. If you could, it might be bad for you. There is a narrow window of time in which rejecting a spam message might work. When the mail server is in the process of receiving a message, it’s talking to the sending server, and so theoretically it could communicate that the address is invalid. By the time the message has been delivered to your account, downloaded by the mail program on your Mac, and filtered by SpamSieve, this window has long since closed. At this point, if the spammer were listening, he’d already know that the message had been delivered. If you were able to get a bounce back to him, he’d know that it was a fake bounce. The original message must have gotten all through, so he should send you more spam.

Since bouncing doesn’t work, it would be a waste of your time and network resources to do it. Including such a feature in SpamSieve would falsely imply that it should be used.

7.11   Does SpamSieve prevent me from receiving messages?

Spam Messages

SpamSieve does not prevent spammers from sending you spam. This is not possible to do. However, since SpamSieve protects you from viewing the spam that you do receive, the spammers will not see their messages get through, so they are less likely to send you more.

SpamSieve also does not block spam messages from being received by your Mac. This would be dangerous because if it made a mistake (no filter can be perfect) you could completely miss a good message.

Instead, what SpamSieve does is make sure that incoming spam messages end up in your spam mailbox rather than your inbox. No messages are deleted without your knowledge, so you always have the opportunity to review them.

You can optionally configure SpamSieve so that messages from known spam senders go directly to the trash rather than to the spam mailbox.

Good Messages

SpamSieve is designed with safety in mind so that, even if there is a bug in SpamSieve, it will never prevent you from receiving good messages or damage your local mail store. This follows directly from how SpamSieve works:

  • SpamSieve does not communicate with your mail server at all. It does not need or affect your network connection or change whether your mail client is online or offline.
  • Messages are not received through SpamSieve. It does not sit between your mail client and mail server. Instead, after your mail client has downloaded the new messages, it asks SpamSieve which of them are spam and moves those to the spam mailbox.
  • SpamSieve does not read from or write to your mail client’s data store. Instead, it simply decides whether a message is spam and lets the mail client itself move the message from the inbox to the spam mailbox. If SpamSieve thinks that a message is good, it doesn’t touch it at all.
  • SpamSieve does not affect how your mail program filters good messages. It moves the spam message to the spam mailbox, where they stay; the good messages are processed by your other rules as normal.
  • SpamSieve does not touch or even see your sent messages. It only sees the messages that the mail client specifically sends to it for analysis: new, unread messages that arrive in the inbox and messages that you manually train it with.
  • Some spam filters make changes to the messages that they process, e.g. adding subject or headers tags to indicate whether they are spam. SpamSieve does not modify the messages in anyway, so there is no possibility of it damaging them.

Troubleshooting

If you are missing e-mail messages or seem to not be receiving them, here are some things to check:

  1. Because of the design described above, it is impossible for SpamSieve to cause you to lose messages or to interfere with the connection between your mail client and mail server. That said, people sometimes want to “know for sure” that SpamSieve is not the cause of the problem. You can see this by following the instructions in the Uninstalling SpamSieve section to temporarily disable SpamSieve or completely remove it.
  2. Use Web mail or a mail client on another computer or device to check the contents of your various mailboxes. If the messages show up there but not on your main Mac, you may need to rebuild your local mail database.
  3. Make sure that you have not created any rules on your mail server, on your mail client, or on another computer that delete messages or move them to the spam mailbox or trash. For example, a rule on one Mac that moves a message to a local mailbox will make it disappear from other computers that access the same mail account.
  4. Make sure that a junk filter on your mail server is not moving or deleting messages before you see them.

7.12   SpamSieve Application Questions

7.12.1   Why doesn’t my serial number work?

You need to enter the serial name and serial number exactly as they appear on your order confirmation e-mail. If you no longer have this e-mail, you can look up the name and number. Launch SpamSieve and choose Purchase from the SpamSieve menu. Then click the Look Up My Serial Number button.

7.12.2   How can I hide SpamSieve’s Dock icon?

To hide SpamSieve’s icon from the Dock and the Command-Tab application switcher, follow the instructions below depending on which versions of Mac OS X and SpamSieve you are using.

Mac OS X 10.7 (and Later) With SpamSieve 2.9.16 (and Later)

SpamSieve will automatically remember these settings when you update to a new version.

A future version of SpamSieve will include a preferences checkbox for more easily hiding and showing SpamSieve’s Dock icon, as well as a way to access this preference while SpamSieve’s Dock icon and menu bar are hidden.

Mac OS X 10.6 or Earlier (or SpamSieve 2.9.16 or Earlier)

  • To hide SpamSieve’s Dock icon, enter this command in Terminal:

    /usr/libexec/PlistBuddy /Applications/SpamSieve.app/Contents/Info.plist -c "Set LSUIElement 1"
    
  • To show the Dock icon again, enter this command in Terminal:

    /usr/libexec/PlistBuddy /Applications/SpamSieve.app/Contents/Info.plist -c "Set LSUIElement 0"
    

If you download a new copy of SpamSieve, it will have a new Info.plist file, so you would need to make the above change again if you still want SpamSieve’s Dock icon to be hidden.

Opening Windows From Apple Mail

When SpamSieve’s Dock icon is hidden, its menu bar is inaccessible. Therefore, a new command called SpamSieve - Open Window will appear in Apple Mail’s Message menu after quitting and relaunching Apple Mail. This lets you configure SpamSieve’s preferences, view the statistics, and access other parts of SpamSieve’s user interface. With other mail programs, you will need to use the Open Window script in order to do that.

7.12.3   How can I copy my training data to another machine?

SpamSieve stores its training data in the folder:

/Users/<username>/Library/Application Support/SpamSieve/

and it stores its preferences in the file:

/Users/<username>/Library/Preferences/com.c-command.SpamSieve.plist

You should back up both of these.

To transfer SpamSieve’s data to another machine, first quit both copies of SpamSieve. Then copy the folder and the preferences file to the corresponding locations on the other machine. (See the How can I open the Library folder? section.)

Your SpamSieve license will be transferred when you copy the preferences file. You can also transfer it manually, by looking up your order information.

When copying your SpamSieve setup to a Mac that didn’t previously have SpamSieve installed, you’ll need to put the SpamSieve application file in the Applications folder and do the setup in your mail program, but you can skip the initial training process because of the files that you copied above.

7.12.4   Does SpamSieve launch automatically?

Yes. Once it’s installed, you do not need to launch SpamSieve yourself. The mail client will automatically launch it as needed. Apple Mail will launch SpamSieve when it launches. The other mail clients will launch SpamSieve when they receive new e-mail messages that need to be processed or when you train a message as spam or as good.

7.12.5   Can I use SpamSieve with more than one mail program at a time?

Yes; many people do this to separate their personal and business mail, and you can even use the two mail programs simultaneously. You just need to follow the setup instructions once for each mail program. SpamSieve will share its training data, rules, and statistics among all the mail programs.

7.12.6   Why doesn’t SpamSieve launch when I open my mail program?

This is probably normal. Except with Apple Mail, SpamSieve only launches automatically when there is new mail to be processed, or when you train it. Of course, you can manually launch SpamSieve at any time or make it a login item.

7.12.7   Why does SpamSieve need to access my contacts?

SpamSieve tries to read your Mac OS X address book in order to prevent marking messages as spam if they were sent by one of your known contacts. This is controlled by the Use Mac OS X Address Book preference.

It also reads which e-mail addresses are yours, in order to detect spam messages that may have been forged to come from your own address. This is controlled by the Exclude my addresses preference.

Normally, Mac OS X will remember when you’ve given SpamSieve permission to access the contacts. If it keeps prompting you each time SpamSieve is launched, this is probably because you have modified your copy of the SpamSieve application, breaking its code signature. It is no longer necessary to modify SpamSieve to hide its Dock icon; please see the How can I hide SpamSieve’s Dock icon? section.

7.12.8   How can I open the Library folder?

Under Mac OS X 10.7 Lion or later, the Library folder is hidden. To open it, click on Finder in the Dock. Click on the Go menu at the top of the screen, hold down the Option key, and then choose Library.

Under previous versions of Mac OS X, you can click on Finder in the Dock, click on the Go menu, and choose Home. This will show your home folder, and you can open the Library folder directly.

7.13   Apple Mail–Specific Questions

7.13.1   Why does the “Junk” mailbox appear in Apple Mail?

The Junk Mailbox

SpamSieve itself normally puts spam messages in the Spam mailbox, unless you’ve changed this as described in Changing the Name of the Spam Mailbox. The Setting Up Apple Mail instructions have you turn off Mail’s built-in junk mail filter, so it will not put messages in the Junk mailbox. However, it is normal for Mail to still show the Junk mailbox. Any messages in that mailbox were probably moved there by a spam filter running on your mail server. Please see the How should I configure the junk filter on my mail server? section for more information about this.

The Junk Bar

It is normal for Mail to show a brown bar above some messages that SpamSieve or a server filter classified as spam. Do not click the Not Junk button. If the message is not spam, you should instead choose SpamSieve - Train as Good from the Message menu.

images/apple-mail-junk-bar.png

images/apple-mail-junk-bar-mavericks.png

Consolidating Spam Under the Special Junk Mailbox

If you have multiple active server junk filters, as well as SpamSieve, you will have multiple Spam/Junk mailboxes in Mail. You may wish to consolidate them so that all of the spam messages are shown in Mail’s special Junk mailbox. The messages will still be stored under their respective accounts, but there will be less visual clutter.

  1. This setup requires Mac OS X 10.9 or later. It will only work if Mail is showing the special Junk mailbox at the top of the mailbox list. If the Junk mailbox is not visible, you can get Mail to show it (without enabling Mail’s built-in junk mail filter) by following the instructions in Automatically Deleting Old Spam Messages.
  2. For each account, select the mailbox that the server junk filter is using and choose Mailbox ‣ Use This Mailbox As ‣ Junk Mailbox. This will make Mail show it under the special Junk mailbox.
  3. Change the SpamSieve rule to move messages to the special Junk mailbox rather than the Spam mailbox.
  4. Choose SpamSieve - Change Settings from Mail’s Message menu and, when prompted, enter Junk as the name of the mailbox for trained spam messages.
  5. Delete any Spam/Junk mailboxes that are no longer in use.

7.13.2   Why don’t I see the SpamSieve commands in Apple Mail’s Message menu?

Normally, the Message menu in Apple Mail should contain several SpamSieve commands, as shown in Step 1 of the Setting Up Apple Mail section. If you don’t see these commands, that means that SpamSieve’s Mail plug-in is not loaded. If the plug-in is not loaded, you will not be able to train SpamSieve, and Mail will move good messages to the spam mailbox without consulting SpamSieve.

The plug-in might have been disabled by an update to Mac OS X. To prevent this from happening, it’s best to update to the latest version of SpamSieve before updating Mac OS X. See also the Why does SpamSieve always need an update when Mac OS X is updated? section.

To re-install the plug-in, choose Install Apple Mail Plug-In from the SpamSieve menu. Normally, this is all that you need to do. If you still don’t see the SpamSieve commands in the Message menu after relaunching Mail, try restarting your Mac. There may also be errors reported in the Console that point to the source of the problem.

In rare cases, Mail may be set not to load plug-ins and “stuck” so that this setting cannot be changed. To fix this, open the Terminal application and enter these commands:

cd ~/Library/Containers/com.apple.mail/Data/Library/Preferences/
/usr/libexec/PlistBuddy com.apple.mail.plist -c 'Add EnableBundles bool YES'
killall -SIGTERM cfprefsd

7.13.3   Why do good messages move to the wrong inbox when trained in Apple Mail?

When you train a message in the Spam or Junk mailbox as good, SpamSieve normally moves it back to your inbox. (You can adjust this behavior using the Change Settings command.) If you have multiple mail accounts, you may sometimes find that SpamSieve moved the message to the inbox of a different account than the account that received the message.

The reason this happens it that Apple Mail does not keep track of which account received each message. Therefore, SpamSieve has to try to figure out the proper account by looking at the addresses in the message and the addresses associated with your accounts. Most of the time, this will work automatically. There are some exceptions, however:

  • If you have multiple account aliases, SpamSieve will only know about them if they are configured in Mail’s preferences. See “Adding Account Aliases” below.
  • If you receive a “Bcc” message, where your address does not appear in the “To” or “Cc” header, SpamSieve can’t tell which address it was sent to, so it can’t determine the proper account. In that case, it will choose the first account in Mail that is not disabled.
  • If you are using the AppleMailTrainGoodGUIScripting esoteric preference described in the Faster Apple Mail Training section, this bypasses SpamSieve’s telling Mail which inbox to use. The message will always move to the inbox that you added to the favorites bar.

Adding Account Aliases

Some users configure multiple aliases for a single e-mail account. For example, if your iCloud account is john.q.public@icloud.com, you may also want to receive messages sent to johnp@icloud.com.

Go to the Accounts tab of Mail’s Preferences window and click on your account in the list. In this example, Mail’s preferences would have the User Name entered as john.q.public. By default, the Email Address field would say john.q.public@icloud.com.

In order for SpamSieve to know which account’s inbox to move a message to when you use the Train as Good command, you should enter all of your e-mail addresses (the main one and the aliases) into the Email Address field, separated by commas. In this example, the contents of the Email Address field should be:

john.q.public@icloud.com, johnp@icloud.com

For regular IMAP, Exchange, and POP accounts, you can edit the Email Address field directly. For iCloud accounts, first choose Custom from the Alias pop-up menu so that the Email Address field becomes editable.

Per-Account Spam Mailboxes

Another way to help SpamSieve find the proper inbox is to have a separate spam mailbox for each account. If you are using the standard setup, you have a single spam mailbox stored On My Mac. If you instead use per-account spam mailboxes, each spam message will be stored on the same account that received the message. SpamSieve can then move the message to the inbox on that same account, and the message will always end up in the right place.

To use this setup, follow the instructions in the Using a Spam Mailbox on the Server section and then follow the instructions in the Separate Spam Mailboxes for Each Account section, being sure to create each account’s spam mailbox on that account.

7.13.4   Why do I see spam messages in my “Unread” smart mailbox in Apple Mail?

A smart mailbox in Apple Mail is not a mailbox in the sense of “a place where messages are stored.” Rather, a smart mailbox is a “saved search” across multiple actual mailboxes. When you’re viewing a smart mailbox, the message list shows the name of the mailbox that actually stores the message.

Thus, a smart mailbox that searches for unread messages will, by default, also find unread messages in the Spam mailbox. To avoid seeing spam messages in your Unread smart mailbox, make sure it’s set up as follows:

  • Contains messages that match all of the following conditions:
  • Message is Unread
  • Message is not in Mailbox Spam

7.13.5   Why does the Spam mailbox in Apple Mail appear empty even though there’s a number beside it?

Mail shows a number next to the Spam mailbox to indicate how many unread messages it contains. Sometimes you’ll see the number, but when you click on the mailbox to see its contents you’ll see either no messages or no unread messages. This may be because:

  1. The unread messages are actually in a second mailbox, inside the Spam mailbox. If there’s a triangle to the left of the mailbox icon, click to make it point down. This will reveal any mailboxes inside and allow you to access their contents.
  2. Mail’s database is damaged so that the numeric display is out of sync with the actual mail that’s stored on your Mac and/or your server. You can fix this by rebuilding Apple Mail’s database.

7.13.6   What can I do if my Spam mailbox in Apple Mail disappeared?

Most likely your Spam mailbox is still there but Mail is currently hiding it. To show the Spam mailbox, move your mouse over On My Mac in the mailbox list. Then click the Show button that becomes visible at the right.

images/apple-mail-on-my-mac-show.png

7.13.7   Why are messages marked as spam in Apple Mail but not moved?

Sometimes SpamSieve may classify a message as spam, and change its color in Apple Mail, but the message does not move to the Spam mailbox; it remains in the inbox. Here are some ways to fix this:

  1. Make sure that your SpamSieve rule in Apple Mail looks like the one shown in Step 3 of the Setting Up Apple Mail section of the manual. If Mail loses track of the Spam mailbox, there may be no mailbox specified in the rule’s actions, and so Mail will not move the spam messages.
  2. You can test that the rule works and that Mail is able to move the messages by manually applying the SpamSieve rule. Select one of the messages in the inbox that was marked as spam and choose Apply Rules from the Message menu. You can check in the Open Log section of the manual whether SpamSieve predicted the message to be spam. If it did, but the message did not move, Mail may be encountering an error when it tries to move the message. Please see Sending in an Error Report.
  3. Sometimes Mail rules will not move messages that were processed immediately after the Mac woke from sleep. You can work around this problem by quitting Mail before sleeping your Mac or by changing the Energy Saver settings so that your Mac does not to go to sleep automatically.
  4. Recent versions of Mail have problems communicating with certain mail servers. Mail is more reliable at moving messages from the inbox to another mailbox on the same server than it is at moving the messages to a local mailbox. The Using a Spam Mailbox on the Server section of the manual explains how you can store your spam on the IMAP or Exchange server, so that Mail is better able to move it out of the inbox.
  5. Mail’s database may be damaged. Please see the How can I rebuild Apple Mail’s database? section of the manual.

7.13.8   Why does SpamSieve always need an update when Mac OS X is updated?

Compatibility With Mac OS X Updates

SpamSieve is developed using best practices, so it ordinarily continues to run normally when Mac OS X is updated. That said, newer versions of SpamSieve are better at recognizing the latest types of spam—and contain many other improvements—so it’s best to run the latest version of SpamSieve that your Mac supports. You can easily update to the latest version by choosing Software Update… from the SpamSieve menu.

Compatibility With Apple Mail Updates

If you are using Apple Mail, you will probably have to update SpamSieve each time you update Mac OS X. The reason for this is that SpamSieve uses a plug-in to integrate with Apple Mail. Each time Apple makes a change to Mail—which it does in most OS updates—there is a chance that the plug-in will stop working properly. Depending on the nature of the changes, an old plug-in running in a newer version of Mail could prevent Mail itself from working properly. (This has never actually happened with the SpamSieve plug-in, but we can’t rule out the possibility.)

Apple Mail Compatibility UUIDs

There are many Mail plug-ins, and Apple understandably cannot test all of them, let alone their interactions with each other. Thus, starting around Mac OS X 10.6, Apple adopted a policy where each plug-in declares (using UUIDs) which versions of Mail it has been tested with. If a plug-in has not been tested with the version of Mail that you’re using, Mail will not load it.

The advantage to this system is that it makes Mail more reliable; it will not load any untested code. The disadvantage is that plug-ins like SpamSieve’s, which make only a few hooks into very stable areas of Mail, usually do not require any changes to work with the new version of Mail. When Apple updates Mail, we have to ship a new version of the plug-in, with the new UUID to prove that it was tested with that version; customers have to update SpamSieve and its plug-in; but the new plug-in has the exact same code as the old one (aside from improvements unrelated to OS compatibility). Nevertheless, the UUID system does improve Mail’s reliability and does not cause problems so long as customers are aware that they need to update SpamSieve (and any other plug-ins).

Timing of SpamSieve Update Availability

Typically we ship an update to SpamSieve the same day that Apple updates Mac OS X. Some customers have asked why SpamSieve updates do not become available until after Apple has shipped a Mac OS X update.

From Mac OS X 10.1 through 10.8, we would test SpamSieve with pre-release version of the OS. If a SpamSieve update was needed for compatibility with the new OS, we would try to ship the update before that version of the OS was released to the public. This was possible because there was generally only one set of UUIDs for each public release of Mac OS X.

With later releases of Mac OS X 10.8 and 10.9, there are new UUIDs for most pre-release versions of Mac OS X. With this new policy, we still test with pre-release versions of the OS, so we can have a SpamSieve update ready to go, but we cannot actually ship it until after the OS update ships. The reason for this is that the compatibility UUID that we need to declare is not known until we have the final shipping version of the OS update. This is the system working as designed: the UUID certifies that we have tested SpamSieve on the exact version of the OS that is running on your Mac.

Update SpamSieve Before Updating Mac OS X

The smoothest way to update Mac OS X and SpamSieve is to update SpamSieve before updating Mac OS X.

The reason for this is that if you update Mac OS X first, and then open Mail, Mail will not load the old version of the SpamSieve plug-in. Without the plug-in loaded, you will not see the SpamSieve commands in Mail’s Message menu, and Mail will move good messages to the spam mailbox without consulting SpamSieve. If you get into this situation, quit Mail and then update SpamSieve. The next time you launch SpamSieve, it should detect that the plug-in was disabled by an OS update and reinstall the plug-in. If this does not happen automatically, you can choose Install Apple Mail Plug-In from the SpamSieve menu.

On the other hand, if you update SpamSieve before updating Mac OS X, you will have the latest version of the plug-in when you launch the new version of Mail, so Mail will not disable it.

Using Pre-Release Versions of Mac OS X

If you are using a pre-release version of Mac OS X, it will likely have a different compatibility UUID than the shipping version of SpamSieve. There are several ways to deal with this:

  • You can temporarily disable SpamSieve by unchecking its rule in Mail’s preferences. This will prevent all your messages from going to the Spam mailbox.
  • You can request a beta version of SpamSieve to work with the pre-release version of Mac OS X.

7.13.9   How can I rebuild Apple Mail’s database?

Many common problems with Mail can be fixed by rebuilding all or part of its index database. For example:

  • You have a mailbox that shows a number of unread messages in the mailbox list, but when you click on the mailbox there do not seem to be any unread messages inside.
  • Messages seem to have disappeared; they show up when you search your Mac using Spotlight but not when browsing or searching in Mail.
  • A smart mailbox doesn’t seem to be finding the messages that you think it should.
  • You click on a mailbox that you know contains some messages, but Mail doesn’t show any.
  • Messages are colored as spam but remain in the inbox, even though your SpamSieve rule is set to move them to the Spam mailbox.
  • You try to delete messages, but they come back.
  • Mail is very slow at browsing or searching messages.

First, try a quick rebuild. Select the problem mailbox, go to the Mailbox menu, and choose Rebuild.

If this doesn’t solve the problem, try a complete rebuild:

  1. Quit Mail.

  2. Locate the Envelope Index file:

    • On OS X 10.7 through 10.9, the file is stored at:

      /Users/<username>/Library/Mail/V2/MailData/Envelope Index
      

      See the How can I open the Library folder? section. Then open the Mail folder, then V2, then MailData to find the Envelope Index file.

      Make sure that you also delete Envelope Index-shm and Envelope Index-wal (if they exist).

    • On Mac OS X 10.6, the file is stored at:

      /Users/<username>/Library/Mail/Envelope Index
      

      See the How can I open the Library folder? section. Then open the Mail folder to find the Envelope Index file.

  3. Once you’ve found the file, drag it to the trash.

    Note: Rebuilding the index database is perfectly safe. Even though it seems that you are deleting a file, Mail stores its primary copy of your message data elsewhere. When you delete the damaged database, Mail uses this primary copy to create a new index database.

  4. Relaunch Mail. This step may take a few minutes, as Mail builds your new database file.

7.13.10   How can I reset Apple Mail’s junk database?

A corrupt database for Mail’s built-in junk mail filter can cause Mail to crash when processing incoming messages or when training messages with SpamSieve. To reset the database, find the LSMMap2 file and drag it to the trash.

  • On OS X 10.7 through 10.9, the file is stored at:

    /Users/<username>/Library/Mail/V2/MailData/LSMMap2
    

    See the How can I open the Library folder? section. Open the Mail folder, then V2, then MailData to find the LSMMap2 file.

  • On Mac OS X 10.6, the file is stored at:

    /Users/<username>/Library/Mail/LSMMap2
    

    See the How can I open the Library folder? section. Then open the Mail folder to find the LSMMap2 file.

7.13.11   Can other Apple Mail plug-ins cause problems with SpamSieve?

We try to ensure that SpamSieve is compatible with other Apple Mail plug-ins. Nevertheless, it is possible for another plug-in—especially an old version—to prevent SpamSieve or Mail from working properly.

Known Issues

GPGMail

There is a known bug in the GPGMail plug-in that causes it to re-apply Mail’s rules (including SpamSieve) to non-new messages and even to sent messages.

Troubleshooting

If you are using multiple Mail plug-ins and seeing hangs, problems launching, or other unexpected behavior, it’s best to check whether the problem goes away when only the SpamSieve plug-in is installed.

Mail plug-ins can be installed in the global Bundles folder:

/Library/Mail/Bundles

and also in the user Bundles folder:

/Users/<username>/Library/Mail/Bundles

To access this folder, see the How can I open the Library folder? section.

Please check both Bundles folders for any .mailbundle files/folders. You can temporarily disable a plug-in by dragging its .mailbundle to your desktop and then re-launching Mail.

If disabling the other Mail plug-ins fixes the problem:

  • You have a temporary fix for the problem: uninstalling the other plug-ins.
  • You can report the problem to us and to the other plug-in developer so that we can find a way for the plug-ins to work better together.

8   Legacy Mail Programs

The following mail programs are discontinued, but they can still be used with SpamSieve.

8.1   Setting Up Emailer

  1. Choose Show Other Scripts from SpamSieve’s SpamSieve menu. Copy the files from the For Emailer Users folder into Emailer’s AppleScripts folder:

    images/emailer-folder.png

    You may need to quit and re-launch Emailer in order for it to notice that you have installed the SpamSieve AppleScripts.

  2. If you want SpamSieve to color messages that it thinks are spam, set up a mail action in Emailer that looks like this (using the Define Actions… button to set the “Run the AppleScript” action):

    images/emailer-color-filter.png
  3. If, instead, you want SpamSieve to move suspected spam messages to a Spam folder (that it creates automatically), set up a mail action in Emailer that looks like this:

    images/emailer-move-filter.png
  4. Now proceed to the Do an Initial Training section. To train SpamSieve with spam messages, select one or more of them and then choose SpamSieve - Train Spam from Emailer’s Scripts menu. To train SpamSieve with good messages, select one or more of them and then choose SpamSieve - Train Good from Emailer’s Scripts menu.

SpamSieve will process new mail automatically. If you ever need to manually ask it to sift through a mix of spam and good messages, select the messages and choose SpamSieve - Color If Spam or SpamSieve - Move If Spam from Emailer’s Scripts menu.

8.2   Setting Up Entourage

This section applies to Entourage 2004 and 2008. Please see the Setting Up Entourage v.X section if you need to set up an older version of Entourage.

  1. Go to Entourage’s Tools menu and select Junk E-mail Protection. Turn off Entourage’s junk filter by clicking None and then OK.

  2. Switch to SpamSieve by clicking on its icon in the Dock. Go to the SpamSieve menu and choose Preferences…. Make sure that Use Entourage/Outlook address book is checked and click the Load button, then the Entourage button.

  3. Choose Install Entourage Scripts from the SpamSieve menu. After you quit and re-launch Entourage, you should see four SpamSieve items in Entourage’s Scripts menu:

    images/entourage-scripts.png
  4. Choose Rules from Entourage’s Tools menu. Click on the tab corresponding to the type of account you have (e.g. POP, IMAP, or Exchange). If you have more than one kind of account, you will need to repeat steps 4–6 for each account type.

    Click the New button. Change the name of the rule to SpamSieve - Move If Spam.

    Click on the empty space between Change status and Not junk E-mail. Click Remove Action to delete the Change status action.

    images/entourage-empty-space.png

    Click on the menu that says Set category and select Run AppleScript. Then click the Script… button and Select the SpamSieve - Move If Spam\cmM file. This file is stored in the Entourage Script Menu Items folder (which is probably inside the Microsoft User Data folder inside your Documents folder):

    images/entourage-choose-script.png

    Make sure that Do not apply other rules… is unchecked. The rule should now look like:

    images/entourage-move-filter-d.png

    Click OK to close the Edit Rule dialog.

    Note: It is important that you create the rule exactly as shown. Do not add additional actions below the action that runs the AppleScript. Such actions would apply to all messages (not just spam ones), which is probably not what you want.

    Note: If you are using Gmail (via IMAP) or Exchange with Entourage, change the criterion from All messages to Folder Is Inbox (<Account Name>).

  5. Click the New button to create a second rule. Change the name of the rule to SpamSieve - Move Messages.

    Click on All messages and change it to say Category Is Junk.

    Click Add Criterion. Click on From for the new criterion and change it to say Category Is Uncertain Junk.

    Click on if all criteria are met and change it to if any criteria are met.

    Click on the empty space between Change status and Not junk E-mail. Click Remove Action to delete the Change status action.

    images/entourage-empty-space.png

    Click on the menu that says Set category and select Move message. Change the menu at the right from Inbox to Junk E-mail. The rule should now look like:

    images/entourage-move-filter2.png

    Click OK to close the Edit Rule dialog.

  6. Make sure that the SpamSieve - Move If Spam rule appears at the top of the list in the Rules window. Directly below it should be the SpamSieve - Move Messages rule. You can change the order by dragging.

  7. Now proceed to the Do an Initial Training section.

    • To train SpamSieve with spam messages, select one or more of them and then choose SpamSieve - Train Spam from Entourage’s Scripts menu (as shown in the picture for Step 3, above).
    • To train SpamSieve with good messages, select one or more of them and then choose SpamSieve - Train Good from Entourage’s Scripts menu.

    The keyboard shortcuts for these commands are Command-Control-S and Command-Control-G.

    Note: The training commands will move locally stored messages to the Junk E-mail folder or the inbox. Due to limitations of Entourage, they do not move IMAP or Exchange messages. (Incoming spam messages will be automatically moved to the Junk E-mail folder.)

SpamSieve will process new mail automatically. If you ever need to manually ask it to sift through a mix of spam and good messages, select the messages and choose Apply Rule ‣ All Rules from the Message menu.

The above is all you need to know about using SpamSieve with Entourage. The Entourage Customization section explains some more advanced setup options.

8.2.1   Entourage Customization

The following customizations are optional but recommended:

  • Choose Entourage ‣ Preferences… and click on Notification. Turn off the sounds and new mail notifications, and let SpamSieve notify you only when you receive new non-spam messages.
  • If you’re using an IMAP account, choose Tools ‣ Accounts. Edit the account and click on the Options tab. Make sure that Always download complete message bodies is checked and that Partially receive messages over is not checked.

Additional customizations are described below:

8.2.1.1   Change Settings (Entourage)

You can choose SpamSieve - Change Settings from Entourage’s Scripts menu to customize SpamSieve’s behavior in Entourage.

The settings are:

  • Which folder should spam messages be moved to when you use “Train Spam”?
  • Should “Train Spam” mark the messages as read?
  • When you use “Train Good” on a message in the spam folder, should the message be moved back to the inbox?
  • When you use “Train Good” on a message in the spam folder, should the message be marked as unread?
  • Which folder should incoming spam messages be moved to? (This only affects POP messages. For IMAP and Exchange messages, you would need to modify the SpamSieve - Move Messages rule.)
  • Should incoming spam messages be marked as read?
  • Should incoming spam messages be removed from the mail server?
  • Should incoming spam messages be marked with category “Uncertain Junk” rather than “Junk” if SpamSieve thinks they are not as spammy?

8.2.1.2   Spam Message Categories

SpamSieve colors spam messages in Entourage using one of two categories:

Junk
This is for messages that you mark as spam (using the SpamSieve - Train Spam command) and for most incoming messages that SpamSieve thinks are spam.
Uncertain Junk
This is for incoming messages that SpamSieve thinks are spam, but whose scores are below the uncertainty threshold. For more information about scores and uncertainty, see the A spam message is uncertain if preference.

To change the colors associated with these categories, choose Edit ‣ Categories ‣ Edit Categories.

Normally, both Junk and Uncertain Junk messages are put into the same Junk E-mail folder. It is also possible to separate the messages by category. To do this:

  1. Create a new folder in Entourage called Uncertain Junk.
  2. Create a third rule called SpamSieve - Move Uncertain Messages. It should say “If Category Is Uncertain Junk, Then Move message Uncertain Junk.”
  3. Drag the new rule between the SpamSieve - Move If Spam and SpamSieve - Move Messages rules.

To turn off the uncertain spam feature, so that all spam messages are marked using the Junk category, use the SpamSieve - Change Settings command.

8.3   Setting Up Entourage v.X

  1. Go to Entourage’s Tools menu and select Junk Mail Filter. Turn off Entourage’s junk filter unchecking Enable Junk Mail Filter.

  2. Double-click the SpamSieve application and choose Preferences from the SpamSieve menu. Make sure that Use Entourage/Outlook address book is checked, and click the Load button. Then click on the SpamSieve icon in the Dock and choose Update Address Book “Me” Card from the SpamSieve menu (next to the Apple menu).

  3. Choose Install Entourage Scripts from the SpamSieve menu. Quit and re-launch Entourage; then you should see four SpamSieve items in Entourage’s Scripts menu:

    images/entourage-scripts.png
  4. Now, set up a mail rule in Entourage that looks like this:

    images/entourage-move-filter.png

    To do this, choose Rules from Entourage’s Tools menu. Click on the tab corresponding to the type of account you have (e.g. POP). If you have more than one kind of account, you will need to create an identical rule for each account type. Click the New button. Change the name of the rule to SpamSieve - Move If Spam. Then click just to the left of Change status to select the first action. Click Remove Action to delete the Change status action. Click on the menu that says Set category and select Run AppleScript. Then click the Script… button and Select the SpamSieve - Move If Spam\cmM file. This file is stored in the Entourage Script Menu Items folder (which is probably inside the Microsoft User Data folder inside your Documents folder):

    images/entourage-choose-script.png

    Note: It is important that you create the rule exactly as shown. Do not add additional actions below the action that runs the AppleScript. Such actions would apply to all messages (not just spam ones), which is probably not what you want.

  5. Click OK and drag the SpamSieve rule to the top of the list.

  6. Now proceed to the Do an Initial Training section. To train SpamSieve with spam messages, select one or more of them and then choose SpamSieve - Train Spam from Entourage’s Scripts menu. To train SpamSieve with good messages, select one or more of them and then choose SpamSieve - Train Good from Entourage’s Scripts menu. The keyboard shortcuts for these commands are Command-Control-S and Command-Control-G.

SpamSieve will process new mail automatically. If you ever need to manually ask it to sift through a mix of spam and good messages, select the messages and choose Apply Rule ‣ All Rules from the Message menu.

The above is all you need to know about using SpamSieve with Entourage. The Entourage Customization section explains some more advanced setup options.

IMAP Accounts

Entourage v.X does not support moving IMAP (or Hotmail or Exchange) messages via AppleScript. Thus, if you have one of these types of accounts, the spam messages will not be moved to your Junk E-mail folder. The best solution is to update to Entourage 2004 or 2008, which do not have this limitation. If you do not wish to do this, here are some possible workarounds:

  • If you do not require IMAP, you can try creating a POP account in Entourage and re-entering your account information. Many IMAP accounts also work via POP, and this will allow SpamSieve to move the messages that it thinks are spam.
  • Create an Entourage rule that moves messages that SpamSieve has marked as junk into another folder. After receiving mail, manually apply this rule to the messages in your IMAP account.
  • Make a mail view of your IMAP account that looks for messages that are not junk. In this way, you can view your good messages without being distracted by the spam ones.
Rule Tips

Once an Entourage v.X rule runs an AppleScript or moves a message, it cannot apply any more rules to that message. This limitation means that extra steps are necessary to integrate SpamSieve into a complex set of Entourage rules. The easiest solution is to update to Entourage 2004 or 2008, which are more flexible about how they handle AppleScript rules. If you do not wish to do this, here are some possible workarounds:

  • One option is to order your rules so that Entourage applies the SpamSieve rule after all your other rules. You can change the order of the rules by choosing Rules from Entourage’s Tools menu and dragging the rules in the list to change their order. With this approach, you can filter your good messages into folders however you want. Any mail that is not moved into another folder will remain in your inbox. Then, the SpamSieve rule will either mark the spams as junk or move them to a Junk E-mail folder. The disadvantage to this approach is that SpamSieve cannot catch any spams among the messages that were moved by your other rules.

  • Another option is to add the Run AppleScript action to each rule that moves messages. For instance, suppose you have a rule that moves all the messages from your Work Account account into a Work folder. You could set up the rule as shown below.

    Now, messages sent to that account will be moved to the Work folder. Spam messages sent to that account will be moved to the Junk E-mail folder. You can add the SpamSieve AppleScript action to every rule that moves messages and also to a “catch-all” rule that applies to messages that aren’t moved. Then SpamSieve will be able to filter all the messages that you receive.

images/entourage-combo-filter.png

8.4   Setting Up Eudora

This section applies to Eudora 6.x. Please see the Setting Up Eudora 5.2 section if you need to setup Eudora 5.2 or Eudora 6 Lite.

  1. Double-click the SpamSieve application and choose Install Eudora Plug-In from the SpamSieve menu. SpamSieve will install its plug-in, disable other junk mail plug-ins (which would conflict with SpamSieve), and reveal the Eudora application file for you.

    images/eudora-finder.png

    Note: If there is an error installing the plug-in, see the Installing the Plug-In Manually section below.

  2. Control-click on the Eudora application file, choose Show Package Contents, and open the Contents folder.

    Make sure that the Esoteric Settings 6.0 file is in the PlugIns folder; if necessary, move it there from the PlugIns Disabled folder.

    Make sure that the SpamWatch OSX and SpamHeaders OSX files are not in the PlugIns folder; if necessary, move them to the PlugIns Disabled folder.

  3. When you start up Eudora, you should see SpamSieve listed in the About Message Plug-ins… window that is accessible from the Eudora menu.

    Note: The version number displayed in this window is the version of the SpamSieve Eudora Plug-In; it will not be the same as the version number of the SpamSieve application. The current plug-in version is displayed in SpamSieve’s about box.

  4. Choose Preferences… from the Eudora menu, scroll down to the Junk Extras settings panel (which is at the very bottom), and check Always enable Junk/Not Junk menu items. Next, select the Junk Mail pane and make sure that Hold junk in Junk mailbox is checked. The Junk Threshold slider must be set to the middle position (50). If you are using IMAP, make sure that Run junk scoring plugins on this IMAP account is checked in the IMAP settings pane.

  5. Now proceed to the Do an Initial Training section.

    • To train SpamSieve with spam messages, select one or more of them and then choose Junk from Eudora’s Message menu.
    • To train SpamSieve with good messages, select one or more of them and then choose Not Junk from Eudora’s Message menu.

    You can also use toolbar buttons for training SpamSieve.

The above is all you need to know about using SpamSieve with Eudora. The Eudora Customization section explains some more advanced setup options.

Installing the Plug-In Manually

If the Install Eudora Plug-In command doesn’t work, you can install the plug-in manually as follows:

  1. Go to the SpamSieve menu and choose Show Other Scripts. A Finder window will open.

  2. Choose Enclosing Folder from the Finder’s Go menu. Now you should see a window containing the file SpamSieve Eudora Plug-In.

  3. Create the folder:

    /Users/<username>/Library/Application Support/Eudora/PlugIns/
    

    and drag the SpamSieve Eudora Plug-In file into it.

8.4.1   Eudora Customization

Eudora applies SpamSieve to all incoming messages. The Junk Mail area of Eudora’s preferences lets you customize how Eudora interacts with SpamSieve. Note that the Junk Threshold slider will have no effect because SpamSieve always considers messages with scores of 50 or above to be spam. Thus, you should set Eudora’s junk threshold to 50 and use the slider in the Advanced tab of SpamSieve’s preferences if you need to adjust its sensitivity.

Other settings in the Junk Mail pane do affect SpamSieve. For instance, if you check Mail isn’t junk if the sender is in an address book, then Eudora will not pass those messages along to SpamSieve; it will assume that they are good. Note that Eudora always considers your address to be in its address book, even though it may not be explicitly listed there. Thus, if you receive spam that is forged so that it appears to be sent from your own address, you must uncheck Mail isn’t junk if the sender is in an address book in order for SpamSieve to catch it.

To still have SpamSieve whitelist your address book, you can export the Eudora address book to vCard and then import it into the Mac OS X address book, or use SpamSieve’s Import Addresses… command to import the Eudora Nicknames file.

The Junk Extras area of Eudora’s preferences lets you control some additional settings, such as whether junk messages are removed from the mail server.

8.5   Setting Up Eudora 5.2

Using SpamSieve with Eudora 6 is highly recommended. However, SpamSieve can also work with Eudora 5.2, and some Eudora 6 users may prefer the configuration described here because it is more customizable.

  1. Choose Show Other Scripts from SpamSieve’s SpamSieve menu. Move the SpamSieve Eudora Helper file in the For Eudora 5.2 Users folder to the Applications folder of your hard disk. You will need to launch this applet the first time you use SpamSieve with Eudora.

    Also in the For Eudora 5.2 Users folder is the Uninstall Eudora Helper file. Run this applet if you no longer want to use SpamSieve with Eudora.

  2. Create a mailbox in Eudora called Spam that is at the same level as the In mailbox. When you receive new spam messages, SpamSieve will move them to the Spam mailbox. It will also mark good messages by setting their priority to lowest (indicated by two downward pointing carets) and mark spam messages by setting their status to transfer error (indicated by a red “X”).

  3. Now proceed to the Do an Initial Training section. To train SpamSieve with spam messages, select one or more of them. Choose the Filter Messages command in Eudora’s Special menu. Then double-click Train Spam.

    images/eudora-dialog.png

    To train SpamSieve with good messages, select one or more of them. Choose the Filter Messages command from Eudora’s Special menu. Then double-click Train Good.

SpamSieve will process new mail automatically. If you ever need to manually ask it to sift through a mix of spam and good messages, select one or more of them. Choose the Filter Messages command in Eudora’s Special menu. Then double-click Filter.

Setting Options

By configuring the SpamSieve Eudora Helper applet, you can tell SpamSieve to process your good messages and spam messages in other ways. First, quit the applet. Then open it using the Script Editor program in the AppleScript folder of your Applications folder. The top of the script contains the following lines:

property moveToSpamFolder     : true  -- moves spams to a "Spam" mailbox
property markSpamMessages     : true  -- marks spams with red x
property markSpamMessagesRead : false -- marks spams as "already read"
property labelSpamMessages    : false -- colors spam messages brown
property markGoodMessages     : true  -- marks good messages with carets
property labelGoodMessages    : false -- colors good messages green
property removeSpamMessagesFromServer : false

You can change a false to true or a true to false to set the options the way you want. For instance, to have SpamSieve not move spam messages into a separate mailbox, change the true in the first line to false. When you are finished making changes, choose Save in Script Editor’s File menu, close the window, and then re-launch the SpamSieve Eudora Helper.

Script Editor 2.0 cannot edit the SpamSieve Eudora Helper applet. To customize the applet, use Script Editor 1.9 or a third-party script editor.

Eudora Limitations

The following limitations are due to problems with Eudora’s “notification” interface. Because of these limitations it is recommended that you use Eudora 6 and the SpamSieve Eudora Plug-In. The plug-in avoids these limitations.

  • Eudora gives messages to SpamSieve after all the other filters have run. It is not possible to change this ordering.
  • SpamSieve cannot filter messages that are moved by other filters. For instance, if you have a filter that moves incoming messages from Steve Jobs to a separate mailbox, SpamSieve will not mark any of those messages as spam, even if a spammer pretends to be Jobs. This limitation applies to both automatic filtering of incoming mail and manual filtering of selected messages.
  • Sometimes the wrong message is marked. That is, SpamSieve may decide that message A is spam and ask Eudora to mark it with a red “X”; in rare circumstances, Eudora will instead mark some other message B with the “X.” You can tell if this has happened by comparing SpamSieve’s log to the way the messages are marked in Eudora. This problem seems to occur when the In mailbox is sorted.
  • Sometimes SpamSieve never sees a message that should have been filtered. You can tell if this has happened by the absence of that message in the log. It may help to remove any “notify user” filter action that you have set up.
  • Sometimes SpamSieve determines that a message is good or spam, but Eudora does not mark it at all. You can tell if this has happened by comparing SpamSieve’s log to the way the messages are marked in Eudora.
  • SpamSieve cannot add or filter messages that are stored in the Trash mailbox or in mailbox files outside the Mail Folder folder in the Eudora Folder. Note that this includes all IMAP messages. To access these messages, first move them to a non-trash mailbox file that is stored inside the Mail Folder folder.
  • If you manually apply filters while Eudora is in the process of downloading mail, Eudora will show the SpamSieve dialog box twice. If this happens, just choose Skip the second time.
  • Sometimes Eudora erroneously shows the SpamSieve dialog when you check for new mail.
  • Sometimes after a long delay in talking to the mail server, Eudora stops notifying SpamSieve when it receives new messages. You can work around this by quitting and re-launching the SpamSieve Eudora Helper.

8.6   Setting Up Outlook 14.0

These instructions apply to the initial release of Outlook 2011, from Microsoft Office 2011. If you’re using Office 2011 Service Pack 1 or Service Pack 2, please see the Setting Up Outlook section.

  1. Go to Outlook’s Tools menu and select Junk E-mail Protection…. Turn off Outlook’s junk filter by clicking None and then OK.

  2. Open Outlook’s Preferences window and click on Sync Services. Check the option to Turn on Sync Services for contacts and make sure that it’s set to sync with On My Computer. This will let Outlook to sync its contacts with the Mac OS X address book so that SpamSieve can access your addresses and know from the start that your regular contacts aren’t spammers.

  3. Switch to SpamSieve by clicking on its icon in the Dock. Choose Install Outlook Scripts from the SpamSieve menu. After you quit and re-launch Outlook, you should see four SpamSieve items in Outlook’s Scripts menu:

    images/outlook-scripts-menu.png
  4. Choose Rules… from Outlook’s Tools menu. Click on the source list item corresponding to the type of account you have (e.g. POP, IMAP, or Exchange). If you have more than one kind of account, you will need to repeat the following steps for each account type.

    1. If you had previously used SpamSieve with Microsoft Entourage, delete any SpamSieve rules that Outlook brought over from your Entourage setup.

    2. Click the + button. Change the name of the rule to SpamSieve - Set Category.

    3. For a POP account, the If should say All messages. For an IMAP account or Exchange, it should say Folder INBOX (<Account Name>). (Note: You will need to create one Set Category rule per IMAP or Exchange account.)

    4. Click on the empty space between Change status and Not junk E-mail. Click Remove Action to delete the Change status action.

      images/outlook-empty-space.png
    5. Click on the menu that says Set category and select Run AppleScript. Then click the Script… button and Select the SpamSieve - Set Category.scpt file. This file is stored in the Outlook Script Menu Items folder (which is probably inside the Microsoft User Data folder inside your Documents folder):

      images/outlook-choose-script.png
    6. Make sure that Do not apply other rules… is unchecked. For a POP account, the rule should now look like this:

      images/outlook-set-category.png

      For an IMAP or Exchange account, the rule should now look like this:

      images/outlook-set-category-imap.png
    7. Click OK to close the Edit Rule dialog.

    8. Drag the SpamSieve - Set Category rule to the top of the list.

  5. In the Rules window, as before, repeat the following steps for each type of account that you have.

    1. Click the + button. Change the name of the rule to SpamSieve - Move Messages.

    2. Click on the pop-up menu for the If and change it to say Category. Click on the pop-up menu for None and change it to Junk. The criterion should now say Category Is Junk.

    3. Click Add Criterion. Click on From for the new criterion and change it to say Category. Click on the pop-up menu for None and change it to Uncertain Junk. The criterion should now say Category Is Uncertain Junk.

    4. Click on if all criteria are met and change it to if any criteria are met.

    5. Click on the empty space between Change status and Not junk E-mail. Click Remove Action to delete the Change status action.

      images/outlook-empty-space.png
    6. Click on the menu that says Set category and select Move message. Change the menu at the right from Inbox to Junk E-mail. The rule should now look like:

      images/outlook-move-messages.png
    7. Click OK to close the Edit Rule dialog.

    8. Drag the SpamSieve - Move Messages rule so that it is just below the SpamSieve - Set Category rule(s) (and above your other rules).

  6. Now proceed to the Do an Initial Training section. To train SpamSieve with spam messages, select one or more of them and then choose SpamSieve - Train as Spam from Outlook’s Scripts menu. To train SpamSieve with good messages, select one or more of them and then choose SpamSieve - Train as Good from Outlook’s Scripts menu. The keyboard shortcuts for these commands are Command-Control-S and Command-Control-G.

SpamSieve will process new mail automatically. If you ever need to manually ask it to sift through a mix of spam and good messages, select the messages and choose Rules ‣ Apply All from the Message menu.

The above is all you need to know about using SpamSieve with Outlook. The Outlook Customization section explains some more advanced setup options.

8.7   Setting Up MailForge

  1. Make sure that you are using MailForge 2.0.4 or later.
  2. In MailForge’s Junk Mail preferences, set the Junk Filtering Strictness to Use SpamSieve.
  3. In MailForge’s Accounts preferences, make sure that Full Email is checked for each IMAP account.
  4. Now proceed to the Do an Initial Training section.
    • To train SpamSieve with spam messages, select the messages, go to MailForge’s Message menu, and choose Junk.
    • To train SpamSieve with good messages, select the messages, go to MailForge’s Message menu, and choose Not Junk.

8.8   Setting Up Outlook Express

These instructions apply to Outlook Express, an old Microsoft e-mail program that runs in Classic.

  1. Choose Show Other Scripts from SpamSieve’s SpamSieve menu. Copy the files from the For Outlook Express 5 Users folder to the Script Menu Items folder inside the Microsoft User Data folder (which is likely in your Documents folder).
  2. Follow the instructions in the Setting Up Entourage v.X section, beginning with Step 4.

8.9   Setting Up PowerMail 4

  1. Choose Show Other Scripts from SpamSieve’s SpamSieve menu. Copy the files from the For PowerMail 4.x Users folder to the PowerMail Scripts folder inside the PowerMail Files folder. The PowerMail Files folder is probably located in your Documents folder.

    images/powermail-folder.png
  2. If you want SpamSieve to label messages that it thinks are spam, set up a filter in PowerMail that looks like this:

    images/powermail-script-filter.png
  3. If, instead, you want SpamSieve to move suspected spam messages to a Spam folder (that it creates automatically), set up the filter to use the SpamSieve - Move If Spam script instead.

  4. Now proceed to the Do an Initial Training section. To train SpamSieve with spam messages, select one or more of them and then choose SpamSieve - Train Spam from PowerMail’s Scripts menu. To train SpamSieve with good messages, select one or more of them and then choose SpamSieve - Train Good from PowerMail’s Scripts menu.

SpamSieve will process new mail automatically. If you ever need to manually ask it to sift through a mix of spam and good messages, select the messages and choose SpamSieve - Label If Spam or SpamSieve - Move If Spam from PowerMail’s Scripts menu.

IMAP Accounts
PowerMail does not support moving IMAP messages via AppleScript. Thus, if you use IMAP the SpamSieve - Move If Spam script will not move spam messages into your Spam folder. IMAP users should create the rule that uses the labeling script.

8.10   Setting Up Thunderbird

These instructions apply to Thunderbird 2.x. (Thunderbird 3.x and later are not compatible.) Please see the Setting Up Thunderbird 1.5 section if you need to setup an older version of Thunderbird.

  1. Choose Install Thunderbird Plug-In from SpamSieve’s SpamSieve menu.
  2. Launch Thunderbird. Choose Add-ons from the Tools menu.
  3. Click the Install button in the window that just opened. Thunderbird will ask you to select a file.
  4. Click on Desktop, select the SpamSieve Thunderbird Plug-In.xpi file, and click Open.
  5. Click the Install now button.
  6. Quit Thunderbird and re-launch it. If you now go to the Tools menu and choose Add-ons you should see the SpamSieve Thunderbird Plug-In listed there. Next to it will be the version of the plug-in. The current plug-in version is always listed at the bottom of SpamSieve’s about box. You can now delete the SpamSieve Thunderbird Plug-In.xpi file from your desktop.
  7. Choose Account Settings from the Tools menu. For each of your accounts in the list at the left (plus “Local Folders”), click on Junk Settings and make sure that:
    • Enable adaptive junk mail controls for this account is checked.
    • Trust junk mail headers set by is unchecked.
    • Move new junk messages to is checked.
  8. Now proceed to the Do an Initial Training section.
    • To train SpamSieve with spam messages, select one or more of them and then choose Message ‣ Mark ‣ As Junk or click the Junk button in the toolbar.
    • To train SpamSieve with good messages, select one or more of them and then choose Message ‣ Mark ‣ As Not Junk or click the Not Junk button in the toolbar.

SpamSieve will process new mail automatically. If you ever need to manually ask it to sift through a mix of spam and good messages, select the messages and choose Message ‣ Mark ‣ Run Junk Mail Controls.

The above is all you need to know about using SpamSieve with Thunderbird. The Customization section explains some more advanced setup options.

8.11   Setting Up Thunderbird 1.5

  1. Choose Install Thunderbird Plug-In from SpamSieve’s SpamSieve menu.

  2. Launch Thunderbird. Choose Extensions from the Tools menu.

  3. Click the Install button in the window that just opened. Thunderbird will ask you to select a file.

  4. Click on Desktop, select the SpamSieve Thunderbird Plug-In.xpi file, and click Open.

  5. Click the Install now button.

  6. Quit Thunderbird and re-launch it. If you now go to the Tools menu and choose Extensions you should see the SpamSieve Thunderbird Plug-In listed there. Next to it will be the version of the plug-in. The current plug-in version is always listed at the bottom of SpamSieve’s about box. You can now delete the SpamSieve Thunderbird Plug-In.xpi file from your desktop.

  7. Choose Junk Mail Controls from the Tools menu. You can now configure the junk filtering settings for your different accounts. On the Settings tab, make sure that:

    • Trust junk mail headers set by is unchecked.
    • Move incoming messages determined to be junk mail to is checked.
    • When I manually mark messages as junk is checked.
    • When displaying HTML messages marked as junk, sanitize the HTML is checked.

    On the Adaptive Filter tab, make sure that Enable adaptive junk mail detection is checked.

  8. Now proceed to the Do an Initial Training section. To train SpamSieve with spam messages, select one or more of them and then choose Message ‣ Mark ‣ As Junk or click the Junk button in the toolbar. To train SpamSieve with good messages, select one or more of them and then choose Message ‣ Mark ‣ As Not Junk or click the Not Junk button in the toolbar.

SpamSieve will process new mail automatically. If you ever need to manually ask it to sift through a mix of spam and good messages, select the messages and choose Message ‣ Mark ‣ Run Junk Mail Controls.

9   Legal Stuff

Copyright and Trademarks

SpamSieve and this manual are copyright © 2002–2014 by C-Command Software. All rights reserved.

SpamSieve is a trademark of C-Command Software. Mac is a registered trademark of Apple Computer. All other products mentioned are trademarks of their respective owners.

End User License Agreement

CAREFULLY READ THE FOLLOWING LICENSE AGREEMENT. YOU ACCEPT AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THIS LICENSE AGREEMENT BY DOWNLOADING AND INSTALLING THE PROGRAM. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THIS LICENSE, THEN DO NOT DOWNLOAD AND INSTALL THE PROGRAM, AND REMOVE THE SOFTWARE FROM YOUR COMPUTER.

License Grant

“You” means the person or company who is being licensed to use the Software or Documentation. “We,” “us” and “our” means C-Command Software.

We hereby grant you a nonexclusive license to use one copy of the Software on any single computer, or on multiple computers only used by a single person. The Software is “in use” on a computer when it is loaded into temporary memory (RAM) or installed into the permanent memory of a computer—for example, a hard disk or other storage device.

Title

We remain the owner of all right, title and interest in the Software and related explanatory written materials (“Documentation”).

Archival or Backup Copies

You may copy the Software for backup and archival purposes, provided that the original and each copy is kept in your possession and that your installation and use of the Software does not exceed that allowed in the “License Grant” section above.

Things You May Not Do

The Software and Documentation are protected by United States copyright laws and international treaties. You must treat the Software and Documentation like any other copyrighted material—for example, a book. You may not:

Transfers

You may transfer all your rights to use the Software and Documentation to another person or legal entity provided you transfer this Agreement, the Software and Documentation, including all copies, updates and prior versions to such person or entity and that you retain no copies, including copies stored on computer.

Limited Warranty

The software is provided “as is,” without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to the warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and noninfringement. In no event shall the authors or copyright holders be liable for any claim, damages or other liability, whether in an action of contract, tort or otherwise, arising from, out of or in connection with the software or the use or other dealings in the software. No employee, agent, dealer or distributor of ours is authorized to modify this limited warranty, nor to make any additional warranties.

Term and Termination

This license agreement takes effect upon your use of the software and remains effective until terminated. You may terminate it at any time by destroying all copies of the Software and Documentation in your possession. It will also automatically terminate if you fail to comply with any term or condition of this license agreement. You agree on termination of this license to destroy all copies of the Software and Documentation in your possession.

General Provisions

  1. This written license agreement is the exclusive agreement between you and us concerning the Software and Documentation and supersedes any prior purchase order, communication, advertising or representation concerning the Software.
  2. This license agreement may be modified only by a writing signed by you and us.
  3. This license agreement is governed by the laws of the State of New Hampshire.
  4. You agree that the Software will not be shipped, transferred or exported into any country or used in any manner prohibited by the United States Export Administration Act or any other export laws, restrictions or regulations.

Components

The following open-source components are used in SpamSieve:

10   Version History

2.9.17—October 16, 2014
2.9.16—September 17, 2014
2.9.15—June 30, 2014
  • Works with Apple Mail under Mac OS X 10.9.4. It’s easiest if you update to SpamSieve 2.9.15 before updating to Mac OS X 10.9.4. In any case, if you don’t see the SpamSieve commands in Apple Mail’s Message menu, be sure to choose Install Apple Mail Plug-In from the SpamSieve menu. Otherwise, with the SpamSieve plug-in not installed, Mail will move good messages to the spam mailbox without consulting SpamSieve.
  • Improved compatibility with pre-release versions of Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite.
  • Made various changes to improve SpamSieve’s filtering accuracy.
  • SpamSieve now requires Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later. Versions of SpamSieve for Mac OS X 10.5 and earlier are available.
  • Modernized lots of code and removed old code that’s no longer needed for compatibility with legacy OS versions.
  • Made changes so that SpamSieve launches faster, especially when cfprefsd is slow to respond.
  • Added the Why are messages marked as spam in Apple Mail but not moved? section to the manual.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause the Install Outlook Scripts command to fail if Parallels Desktop was installed and its stub application for the Windows version of Outlook was enabled.
  • The Apple Mail - SaneBox script now reports errors to Console (since Mail was suppressing them) and no longer times out for very large mailboxes.
  • The Software Update… feature is better at explaining what you can do if installation fails.
  • Adjusted the way the Purchase… window displays the remaining demo time to try to make it clearer.
  • Improved the reporting of file permissions errors and damaged sound files.
  • Improved the handling of localized strings when the application is damaged.
  • Fixed a bug where the release notes in the Software Update… window were shown in the wrong font.
  • Fixed a bug where SpamSieve would auto-train even if you had unchecked all of the filters.
  • Updated the Dutch, Japanese, and Spanish localizations.
  • We need help keeping SpamSieve’s Japanese localization up-to-date. Please contact spamsieve@c-command.com if you’re interested.
2.9.14—May 15, 2014
2.9.13—February 25, 2014
  • Works with Apple Mail under Mac OS X 10.9.2. It’s easiest if you update to SpamSieve 2.9.13 before updating to Mac OS X 10.9.2. In any case, if you don’t see the SpamSieve commands in Apple Mail’s Message menu, be sure to choose Install Apple Mail Plug-In from the SpamSieve menu. Otherwise, with the SpamSieve plug-in not installed, Mail will move good messages to the spam mailbox without consulting SpamSieve.
  • Made various changes to improve SpamSieve’s filtering accuracy.
  • On Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks, Apple Mail is slower at moving messages to the Spam mailbox when you choose SpamSieve - Train as Spam and the inbox when you choose SpamSieve - Train as Good. This version of SpamSieve includes some changes to speed this up. It also includes workarounds to move messages faster by using GUI scripting instead of regular AppleScript. To enable the workarounds, please see the AppleMailTrainSpamGUIScripting and AppleMailTrainGoodGUIScripting options in the Esoteric Preferences section of the manual.
  • Documented the AppleMailPlugInSetIsJunk esoteric preference, as it can be used to speed up filtering on Mac OS X 10.9.
  • Improved the Setting Up Airmail section of the manual to recommend not deleting messages from the Spam mailbox when using Airmail 1.3.1 (223).
  • Added the Why does the “Junk” mailbox appear in Apple Mail? section to the manual.
  • Improved the Setting Up a MailMate Drone and iPhone Spam Filtering sections of the manual.
  • The AppleMailTrainSpamGUIScripting esoteric preference now works if you’ve selected the trash as your mailbox for trained spam messages.
  • Optimized and fixed a possible Apple Mail crash when using the Setting Up an Apple Mail Drone configuration.
  • SpamSieve is now able to log more diagnostic information to help track down problems with Apple Mail.
  • When a Mac OS X update disables SpamSieve’s Apple Mail plug-in, and your Mac is running in a language other than English, SpamSieve is better able to detect this and auto-reinstall the plug-in.
  • SpamSieve now cleans up empty folders of disabled Apple Mail bundles.
  • When training messages from Microsoft Outlook, SpamSieve now logs errors to the Console. You can also enable extended error logging via the OutlookScriptDebug default.
2.9.12—December 16, 2013
  • Works with Apple Mail under Mac OS X 10.9.1. It’s easiest if you update to SpamSieve 2.9.12 before updating to Mac OS X 10.9.1. In any case, if you don’t see the SpamSieve commands in Apple Mail’s Message menu, be sure to choose Install Apple Mail Plug-In from the SpamSieve menu. Otherwise, with the SpamSieve plug-in not installed, Mail will move good messages to the spam mailbox
  • On Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks, Apple Mail is slower at moving messages to the Spam mailbox when you choose SpamSieve - Train as Spam. SpamSieve includes a workaround to move messages faster by using GUI scripting instead of regular AppleScript. To enable the workaround, please see the AppleMailTrainSpamGUIScripting option in the Esoteric Preferences section of the manual.
  • Versions 1.2.1 and later of the Airmail e-mail client include support for SpamSieve. The Setting Up Airmail section of the manual describes how to use SpamSieve with Airmail.
  • It is now possible to set up a spam filtering drone using the MailMate e-mail client. This is described in the Setting Up a MailMate Drone section of the manual.
  • The Flash PowerMate feature is now compatible with (and requires) version 3.0 of the Griffin PowerMate software.
  • You can now hold down the Option key when you click Check Now in the Software Update… window to always download the latest version, even if your version is already up-to-date. This is an easy way to download and re-install a fresh copy of SpamSieve if yours is damaged.
  • Added the AppleMailTrainGoodClearFlags esoteric preference, for people who use colored flags on their spam messages for purposes other than indicating the spam level.
  • If Microsoft Outlook is not able to retrieve a message’s source, SpamSieve will now log the message’s subject to Console.
  • Worked around an OS bug that could cause a crash when SpamSieve was processing certain types of multi-part e-mail messages.
  • Improved various error messages.
  • Tried to work around a crash by disabling JavaScript in the release notes view.
2.9.11—November 7, 2013
  • Works with the Mail Update for Mavericks 1.0.
  • Added a workaround for some rare cases where SpamSieve’s commands were not showing in Apple Mail’s Message menu.
  • Updated the Apple Mail - Discard Spam script.
  • Added some defensive coding to protect against a bug in _NSDispatchData that could cause a crash on Mavericks.
  • Made various updates and improvements to the manual.
2.9.10—October 22, 2013
  • SpamSieve is now compatible with the updated GM build of Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks. It is recommended that you update to SpamSieve 2.9.10 before installing Mavericks. If you’ve updated to Mavericks first, and you don’t see the SpamSieve commands in Apple Mail’s Message menu, be sure to choose Install Apple Mail Plug-In from the SpamSieve menu.
  • The How can I hide SpamSieve’s Dock icon? section of the manual has been updated for Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks.
  • Improved various other parts of the manual and Read Me.
  • Tried to work around a problem where the Outlook installer received an error from the system when the Mac was running in French.
2.9.9—October 7, 2013
  • SpamSieve is now compatible with the GM build of Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks. It is recommended that you update to SpamSieve 2.9.9 before installing Mavericks. If you’ve updated to Mavericks first, and you don’t see the SpamSieve commands in Apple Mail’s Message menu, be sure to choose Install Apple Mail Plug-In from the SpamSieve menu.
  • Made various changes to improve SpamSieve’s filtering accuracy.
  • Microsoft Outlook 2011’s notification sounds are now available in SpamSieve’s Notification preferences.
  • Added the Apple Mail - Server Junk Mailbox script. When it’s not possible to turn off a server-side junk filter (e.g. iCloud’s), this lets SpamSieve save you from mistakes that the server junk filter made by moving any messages that SpamSieve thinks are good back to the inbox. It will also consolidate the spam messages from all the accounts into a single spam mailbox (the same one where SpamSieve is already putting your spam).
  • Can now repair the ownership and permissions of the SpamSieve and Apple Mail preferences files if needed. This fixes problems where SpamSieve would lose its registration information or Apple Mail wouldn’t show the SpamSieve menu commands.
  • Fixed some problems where the Open Window command in Apple Mail was not available or did not always open the specified window.
2.9.8—September 12, 2013
  • SpamSieve is now compatible with Mac OS X 10.8.5.
  • Made various changes to improve SpamSieve’s filtering accuracy.
  • The Train as Good command in Apple Mail now considers the message’s CC recipients when determining the proper account inbox.
  • The installer is better at working around incorrect Apple Mail folder permissions.
  • Improved the Why is SpamSieve not catching my spam?, Open Log, Setting Up Outlook, SpamSieve and Multiple Macs, and various other sections of the manual.
  • The AppleScript for Setting Up a Spam Filtering Drone runs faster now.
  • Automatic software updates no longer fail if Hazel is set to move files in the Downloads folder.
  • The Help menu now includes direct links to important sections of the manual.
  • Removed unused code from the Apple Mail plug-in.
2.9.7—May 1, 2013
  • Improved compatibility with pre-release versions of Mac OS X.
  • Made various changes to improve SpamSieve’s filtering accuracy.
  • SpamSieve no longer links against AppleScriptKit. This removes some GUI scripting functionality (which is now largely available by other means) but works around an OS bug that could prevent SpamSieve from launching.
  • Worked around a bug in Apple Mail’s iCloud rule syncing.
  • SpamSieve is better at moving trained messages when Outlook has lost track of the special Junk E-mail folder.
  • Fixed a problem where Apple Mail couldn’t communicate with SpamSieve when the file permissions were incorrect.
  • Fixed a bug where SpamSieve couldn’t load any addresses from Outlook if it reported an error while getting the e-mail address of a contact.
  • Fixed a bug editing counts in the Corpus window (due to suspected 64-bit OS bug).
  • Added more checks that the folders SpamSieve relies upon have the proper permissions.
  • Improved error reporting for Apple Mail, Growl, and more.
  • Improved handling of file permissions errors.
  • The Apple Mail drone script now sets the junk status.
  • Wrote a script that allows SpamSieve to filter messages (in Apple Mail) that have been organized by SaneBox.
  • Improved the Japanese localization.
  • SpamSieve now requires Mac OS X 10.5 or later.
2.9.6—December 19, 2012
  • Worked around a bug in Mac OS X 10.8.2 that could cause spam operations in Postbox to be very slow. If you’re using Postbox, you can update your SpamSieve plug-in by following steps 1 through 6 in the Setting Up Postbox section of the manual.
  • Made various changes to improve SpamSieve’s filtering accuracy.
  • SpamSieve now understands that @icloud.com, @me.com, and @mac.com are equivalent, so it’s better at finding the proper inbox in Apple Mail when you train a message as good. (For non-Apple IMAP and POP mail accounts, you can define aliases manually, as before. Go to the Accounts tab of Mail’s preferences and enter all the addresses—separated by commas—in the Email Address field.)
  • Customers have reported that Sync Services does not work reliably on Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. Thus, rather than having Outlook use Sync Services to sync its contacts with the system address book, SpamSieve now offers a feature to load the Outlook address book directly. (This ensures that SpamSieve doesn’t mark messages from people in your address book as spam.) Outlook users are encouraged to make sure that Use Entourage/Outlook address book is checked in SpamSieve’s preferences and to click the Load button. For more information, see the Use Entourage/Outlook address book section of the manual.
  • SpamSieve is now better able to handle invalid data received from a mail program.
  • When Using a Spam Mailbox on the Server, SpamSieve is better at handling errors from Mail that could cause a trained spam message to go to the local spam mailbox instead.
  • Training a message as good in Apple Mail now removes any flags, in case you were using Spam Message Colors in Apple Mail.
  • Added How should I configure the junk filter on my mail server? to the FAQ.
  • The Automatically Deleting Old Spam Messages section of the manual now includes instructions for Outlook.
  • Worked around various file permissions problems that could prevent training in Apple Mail from working.
  • Worked around a bug in Migration Assistant that could prevent SpamSieve from working properly with Apple Mail.
  • The plug-in and scripts installers are better able to handle non-standard folder structures.
  • Fixed a bug where SpamSieve was unable to see the contents of certain malformed messages, leading to poor filtering accuracy.
  • Fixed a bug where sometimes setting the date in the Statistics window didn’t work when SpamSieve was running in 64-bit mode.
  • Fixed a regression where where messages trained as good in Apple Mail didn’t move back to the inbox if you were using a local spam mailbox and no inbox matched the message’s recipients.
  • Made various improvements to the manual.
2.9.5—September 21, 2012
  • Updated the Apple Mail plug-in to work with Security Update 2012-004 (Snow Leopard) for Mac OS X 10.6.8. If, after installing this update, you don’t see the SpamSieve commands in Mail’s Message menu, it may be necessary to go to the SpamSieve menu and choose Install Apple Mail Plug-In.
  • The AppleScripts for controlling the Griffin PowerMate seem to trigger a crashing bug in OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. Thus, SpamSieve’s Flash PowerMate option has been turned off. You can try re-enabling it in the preferences if desired.
  • When training a message as good from Apple Mail, SpamSieve is better at figuring out which account it came from.
  • Worked around problems on some Macs that could prevent SpamSieve from receiving training commands from Apple Mail on OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.
  • Import Blocklist Regex Rules is a sample AppleScript that shows how to create blocklist rules using the contents of a text file.
  • Made various improvements to the manual.
2.9.4—September 4, 2012
  • Made various changes to improve SpamSieve’s filtering accuracy.
  • Revised and expanded the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to make it easier for people to find, fix, and report problems.
  • Fixed a problem where SpamSieve could crash when processing messages from Apple Mail on OS X 10.8, particularly after the Mac had awakened from sleep.
  • Worked around an issue on OS X 10.8 that could cause training SpamSieve from Apple Mail to be very slow.
  • The Train as Good command in Outlook will now move messages from the trash back to the inbox.
  • Made various updates to the manual for OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, for example clarifying that SpamSieve works (via Apple Mail) during a Power Nap.
  • Worked around a problem where Apple Mail couldn’t communicate with SpamSieve if the /etc/hosts file was damaged.
  • Improved the error reporting when SpamSieve detects that one of its files is damaged.
  • Added defensive coding to try to track down a notification icon problem when running in French.
  • You can now set the MJTSoundLoadFromApps default to false if you want to prevent SpamSieve from looking for notification sounds installed by other applications, e.g. to prevent mounting an encrypted Microsoft User Data folder.
  • Fixed a bug handling errors if a software update failed; if it succeeded, the .dmg file is now deleted to reduce clutter.
  • After purchasing, SpamSieve used to show your user image to indicate that it had been successfully personalized. It now shows a generic checkmark to avoid prompting you for Contacts access on OS X 10.8.
  • Added an icon for the crash reporter, since it’s now displayed under OS X 10.8.
  • Fixed a bug where Apple Mail on Mac OS X 10.5 would log (harmless) errors about _NSAutoreleaseNoPool.
  • Fixed a bug where the Apple Mail plug-in sometimes logged confusing error messages about not being able to launch SpamSieve even though it was already launched.
  • Fixed a bug where the Apple Mail plug-in reported the wrong installation path in an error message when running on OS X 10.8.
2.9.3—July 19, 2012
  • Added support for the forthcoming Mac OS X 10.7.5.
  • Fixed a bug that could prevent SpamSieve from auto-launching on the forthcoming OS X 10.8.
  • SpamSieve is now able to recover from certain unexpected system errors on OS X 10.8.
  • Fixed a layout bug in the German-localized Statistics window.
  • Improved the Automatically Deleting Old Spam Messages instructions.
  • SpamSieve now tells the system that it can use the integrated GPU, which should reduce battery use on newer MacBook Pros.
  • SpamSieve’s disk image background is now displayed at Retina quality on eligible Macs running Mac OS X 10.7 or 10.8. (On Mac OS X 10.6, due to an OS bug, it will incorrectly display at double size.)
  • Fixed a regression where SpamSieve’s disk image icon didn’t display properly.
2.9.2—July 5, 2012
  • Improved compatibility with the forthcoming OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.
  • The recommended condition for the Apple Mail rule is now Every Message rather than Message Type Is Mail. SpamSieve will auto-update your rules at launch on Mac OS X 10.7 if Mail is running.
  • SpamSieve is better at detecting a certain type of tricky spam message.
  • Worked around an OS bug that prevented SpamSieve from properly analyzing some message attachments.
  • False negative files now have the .eml extension so that they work with Quick Look, etc.
  • The Setting Up a Spam Filtering Drone section of the manual has been updated with simpler instructions for Apple Mail and new instructions for setting up a drone using Microsoft Outlook 2011.
  • Added the Using a Spam Mailbox on the Server section of the manual (for Apple Mail).
  • Updated various graphics for retina displays.
  • If the Apple Mail plug-in cannot be installed due to a folder ownership problem, SpamSieve will now ask for an administrator password to try to fix the folder for you.
  • Reverted to version 1.2.3 of the Growl SDK to avoid problems with high CPU usage, internal errors, and crashes.
  • Improved SpamSieve’s reporting of unexpected errors as well as script errors from Apple Mail.
  • SpamSieve no longer responds at all to certain invalid commands. This should work around an OS bug that could lead to crashes.
  • The crash reporter can now make recommendations for you based on the contents of the crash log.
  • Added a link to the forum in the Help menu.
2.9.1—April 26, 2012
  • Added support for Microsoft Outlook 2011 SP2 (a.k.a. 14.2.x). If SpamSieve can detect that you were using Outlook 2011 before, and that SP2 has been installed, SpamSieve will auto-update its scripts automatically. Otherwise, you can choose Install Outlook Scripts from the SpamSieve menu. Either way, the SpamSieve rules in Outlook will continue to work without modification.
  • SpamSieve now tries to detect whether its Apple Mail plug-in is damaged and auto-heal the installed copy if necessary.
  • If there’s an error updating SpamSieve’s Apple Mail plug-in, it now reports more information to try to diagnose the problem.
  • If the Apple Mail plug-in detects that it’s damaged, it will alert the user to download and install a fresh copy.
  • SpamSieve now checksums the Outlook script files (both the installed and built-in copies) to detect whether they are damaged.
  • Made a change to eliminate a particular cause of false positives for some users.
  • SpamSieve no longer triggers Mac OS X’s “accept incoming network connections” firewall dialog.
  • Added some exception guards to work around bugs in the Growl SDK.
  • When an unexpected error occurs and no stack trace is available, SpamSieve will now try to report the approximate location.
  • Improved the What information should I include when I report a problem? section of the manual.
2.9—April 3, 2012
  • Added support for upcoming versions of Mac OS X.
  • Made various changes to improve SpamSieve’s filtering accuracy.
  • SpamSieve is now code-signed using a Developer ID certificate for Gatekeeper.
  • When training an Exchange message as good in Apple Mail, SpamSieve is better at moving it to the proper inbox.
  • Processing incoming messages with Outlook is more efficient. To take advantage of this change, choose Install Outlook Scripts from the SpamSieve menu.
  • If you’ve used the SpamSieve - Change Settings command in Apple Mail to tell SpamSieve not to use a local spam mailbox, training a message as spam will now try to move the message to a spam mailbox on the same server account, rather than always using the first account.
  • Added support for training messages as spam via Herald (version 2.1.2 and later), a notification plug-in for Apple Mail.
  • When sorting spam messages by color in Apple Mail, you can now use Grey as a synonym for Gray.
  • The score script command has a new auto training parameter that can be used to override the setting in the preferences on a case-by-case basis. This might be useful, for example, if you’re writing an AppleScript to triage messages that have already been classified, and you just want to get SpamSieve’s opinion without having to make any corrections.
  • Adjusted the drone AppleScripts so that they’re easier to troubleshoot.
  • If Apple Mail gives SpamSieve empty data for a message, the plug-in now assumes the message is good and does not pass it on to SpamSieve for analysis.
  • Added support for Growl notifications via GNTP (requires Mac OS X 10.7 or later).
  • SpamSieve is better at handling file permission errors.
  • SpamSieve is better at handling errors when running helper tools.
  • Improved SpamSieve’s ability to still function when the application package is damaged.
  • Added the AddStandardRules esoteric preference, which lets you prevent SpamSieve from creating its built-in blocklist and whitelist rules if you prefer to manage the rules yourself.
  • Fixed a bug that could reduce SpamSieve’s filtering accuracy for some messages with attached files.
  • Made various improvements to the documentation.
  • Updated the German localization.
2.8.8—November 17, 2011
  • Improved compatibility with pre-release versions of Mac OS X.
  • Added support for Postbox 3.0.
  • Added support for Growl 1.3.
  • Made various changes to improve SpamSieve’s filtering accuracy.
  • The Exclude my addresses feature now lets you specify additional addresses via Terminal, if you don’t want to clutter your “Me” card in Address Book.
  • The Apple Mail plug-in installer is more resilient to permissions errors.
  • Added example of using colored flags to sort spam messages in Apple Mail by spamminess.
  • Added some logging to detect obscure errors when loading SpamSieve’s Apple Mail plug-in.
  • Improved the French localization.
2.8.7—August 31, 2011
  • Improved compatibility with pre-release versions of Mac OS X.
  • Made various changes to improve SpamSieve’s filtering accuracy.
  • SpamSieve now runs as a 64-bit application on Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. This allows for faster launch times and reduced overall system memory use if you are running exclusively 64-bit applications. It also prevents problems caused by buggy input manager haxies. You can use the Finder’s Get Info window to set SpamSieve to run in 32-bit mode if you want to play classic Mac OS notification sounds or to reduce the memory use of SpamSieve itself.
  • When training an Apple Mail message in the Spam mailbox as good, SpamSieve is now better able to match it up with the proper inbox.
  • Offloaded more PDF processing to the helper tool so that SpamSieve itself doesn’t crash if you receive a message with a corrupt PDF attachment.
  • Made the Apple Mail plug-in installer more robust and better at reporting errors.
  • An error finding the built-in copy of SpamSieve’s Eudora plug-in will no longer prevent SpamSieve from launching, unless it actually needs to install the plug-in.
  • Entourage is supposed to create the Entourage Script Menu Items folder, but for extra robustness SpamSieve will now create it if it’s missing.
  • If SpamSieve’s PDF reader detects that the CTLoader input manager is loaded, it now logs a warning that this may cause SpamSieve to hang.
  • Tried to work around an unconfirmed issue that could prevent SpamSieve from processing the first few Apple Mail messages on Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.
  • Fixed a bug with re-personalizing the application via URL.
  • Clarified the Do an Initial Training section of the manual.
  • Updated the Import Addresses… instructions for Microsoft Outlook.
  • The Setting Up a Spam Filtering Drone section of the manual now includes instructions for setting up a drone for multiple mail accounts.
  • The manual now explains how to open the Library folder on Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.
2.8.6—July 6, 2011
  • Made various changes to improve SpamSieve’s filtering accuracy.
  • Improved compatibility with Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion).
  • Added support for Postbox 2.5.
  • Updated the Setting Up MailMate instructions for the new preferences in MailMate 1.1.2.
  • Updated the Setting Up Outlook instructions for Microsoft Office 2011 Service Pack 1.
  • Updated the Setting Up Postbox instructions to ensure that messages that you train as spam are moved to the junk mailbox or trash.
  • Worked around a rare OS/hardware condition that could prevent SpamSieve from launching.
  • The Apple Mail plug-in is better at reporting errors when it’s unable to fully load itself.
  • Made various other clarifications to the manual.
  • Adjusted the help page titles to fit better in the menu and search results.
2.8.5—March 1, 2011
  • Improved SpamSieve’s filtering accuracy.
  • Improved compatibility with the Thunderbolt MacBook Pros and pre-release versions of Mac OS X.
  • Freron Software’s MailMate now works with SpamSieve, as described in the Setting Up MailMate section of the manual.
  • Whitelisting Previous Recipients now works with Microsoft Outlook 2011.
  • The Train as Good command can now move spam messages out of the spam folder when running a localized version of Microsoft Outlook 2011.
  • SpamSieve’s Apple Mail plug-in helper now runs as 64-bit on Mac OS X 10.6, where possible, to prevent input manager haxies from interfering with the training commands.
  • Added a workaround to prevent SpamSieve from hanging if the address book database is damaged.
  • Clarified the text in the Welcome and Purchase windows.
  • Improved the instructions for using Microsoft Outlook and Entourage with Exchange accounts.
  • Updated the Setting Up Postbox section of the manual.
  • Made various improvements to the documentation.
  • Updated the Danish and Spanish localizations.
2.8.4—October 13, 2010
  • SpamSieve now integrates with Microsoft Outlook 2011. For more information, see the Setting Up Outlook section of the manual.
  • SpamSieve now integrates with Postbox, an enhanced version of Thunderbird. For more information, see the Setting Up Postbox section of the manual.
  • Adjusted SpamSieve’s tokenizer to improve the filtering accuracy.
  • The Train as Good command in Apple Mail is better at moving messages in the spam folder or trash back to the inbox.
  • Fixed a regression where the whitelist and blocklist windows wouldn’t open when running SpamSieve under certain localizations.
  • Improved the localizations.
2.8.3—August 31, 2010
  • Adjusted SpamSieve’s tokenizer to improve the filtering accuracy.
  • Improved compatibility with pre-release versions of Apple Mail.
  • MailForge now works with SpamSieve, as described in the Setting Up MailForge section of the manual.
  • Made some changes to better support the upcoming Microsoft Outlook 2011. (Full support will come when Office ships.)
  • Added various updates and clarifications to the manual.
  • Fixed a regression where SpamSieve wouldn’t be able to install its Apple Mail plug-in if Mail’s folder had been redirected using an alias.
  • Fixed a bug where SpamSieve would sometimes quit when coming out of trial mode.
  • Fixed a bug where sometimes the Hits column in a rules window couldn’t be resized.
  • Worked around an OS bug that could cause an internal error when reporting a corpus error.
  • Made various modernizations to SpamSieve’s code and interface files.
  • The Apple Mail plug-in now shows up with the proper name in Mail Plugin Manager.
  • Updated the disk image layout.
2.8.2—May 25, 2010
  • Improved compatibility with pre-release versions of Mac OS X.
  • Added Dutch, Italian, and Swedish localizations.
  • Made various code improvements and modernizations.
  • SpamSieve is better able to recover from certain types of damaged corpus files.
  • Updated the Setting Up Eudora section of the manual.
  • Improved the layout of the Software Update… window.
  • Adjusted the packaging of the disk image and the installation instructions.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause a crash when parsing messages with an invalid Date header.
  • Fixed a regression where SpamSieve would sometimes bring up an alert sheet to report that you already had the latest version.
  • Fixed a crash in the software updater.
2.8.1—March 24, 2010
  • Fixed a regression in the SQLite build that could cause SpamSieve to crash when running on a PowerPC-based Mac.
2.8—March 24, 2010
  • Made various changes to improve SpamSieve’s filtering accuracy.
  • Adjusted the SpamSieve - Train as Good command in Apple Mail to reduce confusion. Training a message as good now will only move the message into the inbox of an enabled account. If no account matches the message or if the proper account is disabled, it will move the message into the inbox of the first enabled account (even if it doesn’t match). Thus, the message will always move out of the Spam mailbox, and it will no longer seem to disappear because it was moved into an inbox that was hidden.
  • Made various code modernizations.
  • Apple Mail now auto-launches SpamSieve sooner, to speed up the filtering of the first messages.
  • Improved the support for server-side Spam mailboxes in Apple Mail.
  • Clarified the instructions in the Do an Initial Training section of the manual.
  • Added the How do I make SpamSieve catch spams sent from my own address? section to the manual.
  • Expanded the Correct All Mistakes section of the manual.
  • Improved the Apple Mail troubleshooting instructions.
  • Improved the styling of the Apple Help.
  • Improved SpamSieve’s launching speed.
  • Fixed a bug where, in rare circumstances, SpamSieve didn’t filter all of the first batch of messages when using Apple Mail on Mac OS X 10.6.
  • SpamSieve will now warn you if it looks like its Apple Mail plug-in has been damaged by an application slimming utility. This could lead to Mail continually reporting that the plug-in was incompatible.
  • SpamSieve will now complain if it looks like you’ve manually installed the Apple Mail plug-in in the wrong folder instead of using SpamSieve’s installer.
  • Made a change to try to work around a bug in Apple Mail that could make training a message as good create a duplicate copy of the message.
  • Improved the Purchase window to reduce confusion about the demo period, serial numbers, and the number of seats that you’ve purchased.
  • Modernized the Software Update window and code.
  • Changed the way the Software Update feature finds the downloads folder on Mac OS X 10.5 and later because sometimes the one that Internet Config returned would be invalid or unwanted.
  • Fixed a bug where SpamSieve would crash when processing certain invalid URLs.
  • Fixed an error where a newly added whitelist/blocklist rule might not be auto-selected.
  • Removed the Dutch, Italian, and Portuguese localizations because they were out of date. If you would like to update the translation for one of these languages, please contact spamsieve@c-command.com.
2.7.7—October 20, 2009
  • Improved compatibility with pre-release versions of Mac OS X.
  • Made some changes to improve SpamSieve’s filtering accuracy.
  • Fixed a bug where the “Train as Good” command in Apple Mail didn’t move Exchange messages back to the inbox.
  • Encoded HTML mail is spam is now off by default, to reduce the number of false positives.
  • Modernized the code.
  • Updated the Vietnamese localization.
  • Updated the Apple Mail script for discarding spam.
2.7.6—September 9, 2009
  • Improved compatibility with pre-release versions of Mac OS X.
  • Expanded the Can I delete spam messages that are in the spam folder? section of the manual.
  • Fixed a bug in the Setting Up a Spam Filtering Drone instructions.
  • Improved number entry in the corpus window.
  • Improved the reporting of unexpected errors.
  • Updated links to indicate that Mailsmith is now available from Stickshift Software.
  • Added a Console warning if the Apple Mail plug-in detects that CTLoader is installed.
  • The crash reporter works better with Mac OS X 10.6.
  • Fixed a mistake in the French localization.
2.7.5—July 29, 2009
  • Made various accuracy improvements.
  • Fixed a problem where Apple Mail (running on pre-release versions of Mac OS X 10.6) could freeze at launch if you had a rule involving address book groups.
  • Rewrote the Setting Up a Spam Filtering Drone instructions.
  • Added Why does the Spam mailbox in Apple Mail appear empty even though there’s a number beside it? to the frequently asked questions.
  • Updated the Automatically Deleting Old Spam Messages instructions to include Entourage.
  • The search fields are now scrollable.
  • The Apple Mail plug-in is better at detecting when SpamSieve’s Dock icon is hidden.
  • Worked around a problem where Mail could crash if you had installed two copies of the SpamSieve plug-in at the same time.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause SpamSieve to freeze when applying a whitelist/blocklist rule involving certain regular expressions.
  • The crash reporter works better with pre-release versions of Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard).
  • Fixed a bug that could prevent SpamSieve from launching.
  • Updated the Dutch, Japanese, and Korean localizations.
2.7.4—April 13, 2009
  • Improved compatibility with pre-release versions of Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard).
  • SpamSieve is better able to recover from corpus files that were damaged due to disk errors.
  • Improved the Entourage installer’s error handling.
  • Improved the error reporting when saving the corpus.
  • Improved the troubleshooting instructions.
  • Fixed a problem where messages trained as good in Apple Mail could be moved into the inbox of a disabled account.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause harmless error messages to be logged to the Console when playing System 7 sound files.
  • The crash reporter now warns before sending a report without an e-mail address.
  • You can now press Enter to click the Send Report button in the crash reporter.
2.7.3—January 26, 2009
  • Rewrote and restructured the manual to make the setup and troubleshooting instructions clearer.
  • Replaced the Training Tip window with an alert that’s displayed when SpamSieve’s corpus is empty. This goes along with the more explicit guidance that ongoing training is only necessary to correct mistakes.
  • The Entourage installer no longer asks before replacing existing script files. If you want to customize the scripts (rare these days, since there are so many built-in configuration options), you should use copies with different names to avoid having SpamSieve overwrite them.
  • Changed the recommended Entourage rule setup to better handle uncertain messages. The installer now creates the Uncertain Junk category if necessary.
  • Made the Apple Mail plug-in installer more robust.
  • Worked around a problem parsing certain multipart messages.
  • Adjusted the built-in blocklist rules for better accuracy.
  • Reduced memory usage when processing message attachments.
  • Fixed a bug sorting in rules windows.
  • Fixed a bug marking incoming Entourage messages as Uncertain Junk.
  • Updated the localizations.
2.7.2—October 29, 2008
  • Made various accuracy improvements.
  • Improved compatibility with pre-release versions of Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard). There are now two separate versions of SpamSieve’s Apple Mail plug-in. Version 1.3 is for Mac OS X 10.4; version 1.4 is for Mac OS X 10.5 and later. SpamSieve will auto-choose which one to install (or update) based on the version of Mac OS X that you’re running.
  • Added new sections to the manual about Whitelisting Previous Recipients and iPhone Spam Filtering. Expanded the Auto-train with incoming mail section.
  • Worked around a problem where the Edit Log command would try to open SpamSieve’s log using Script Editor if Launch Services was confused.
  • Rewrote filesystem code to improve performance and error reporting.
  • If there’s an error getting the downloads folder for a software update, SpamSieve now defaults to Downloads rather than Desktop.
  • Worked around a problem where training (using Apple Mail on Mac OS X 10.5) could be interrupted.
  • Added Korean localization.
  • Moved .nib files that don’t need localization out of the English.lproj folder. This should make it easier to run SpamSieve in a language other than English without changing the default language on your Mac.
  • Fixed some small memory leaks.
  • Improved reporting of unexpected errors.
  • Added placeholder text to the Purchase… window.
  • Added Help button to the Software Update window.
2.7.1—June 4, 2008
  • Fixed a regression in version 2.7 where SpamSieve was slow loading certain large corpus files when running on Mac OS X 10.5.
  • Worked around a bug in Mac OS X 10.4 that could cause a crash when training a message with Apple Mail.
  • Made some minor accuracy improvements.
2.7—May 21, 2008
  • Now requires Mac OS X 10.4 or later.
  • Made a variety of accuracy improvements, focused on dealing with obfuscations, image attachments, URLs, and HTML.
  • Improved corpus speed and memory use.
  • Made various improvements to the column widths and alignments in the rules and corpus windows, and added alternating row colors.
  • Fixed a rare problem where Apple Mail on Mac OS X 10.5 might hang if you trained a message as spam while Mail was downloading messages.
  • If the OS reports an error when playing a sound as an alert sound, SpamSieve now plays it using the normal sound channel.
  • Increased the range of possible values for the uncertain spam threshold.
  • Improved sorting of sound names in the pop-up menu.
  • Fixed bug where SpamSieve wouldn’t launch if the Microsoft User Data folder had been replaced by an alias file that was invalid.
  • No longer shows the Reset Corpus/History alert at launch if you hold down other modifier keys in addition to Command-Option.
  • Updated the Dutch localization.
2.6.6—January 23, 2008
  • Made various accuracy improvements.
  • Rewrote internal corpus storage to work around a performance bug in Mac OS X 10.5 that could, in some circumstances, make SpamSieve very slow to launch.
  • Worked around a problem on Mac OS X 10.5 where the Apple Mail plug-in would sometimes try to launch multiple copies of SpamSieve (and then they’d all self-quit, leading to -609 errors).
  • Made some internal changes so that Use Growl global notification system works more reliably on Mac OS X 10.5.
  • The Flash PowerMate notification feature now works with version 2.1 of the PowerMate software.
  • If SpamSieve’s corpus file or history database is damaged, you can now hold down the Command and Option keys at launch to reset them.
  • Growl notifications are now posted from a background thread, to speed up message filtering.
  • Fixed bug where the open panel for the Import Addresses… command was slow.
  • Worked around a problem that could cause corruption of SpamSieve’s Entourage scripts.
  • Fixed rare crash when processing HTML messages.
  • If SpamSieve is unable to install its Apple Mail plug-in, it now does a better job of helping you complete the installation manually.
  • Integration with Apple Mail and Entourage no longer relies on the mydefaults command-line tool, since it had some limitations and there were occasional problems installing it.
  • The software updater is better at handling invalid downloads folders.
  • Added Dutch localization and updated the other localizations.
2.6.5—November 14, 2007
  • Now requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
  • Made various accuracy improvements.
  • Added high-resolution version of the application icon.
  • Adjusted the appearance of the status indicators (•, G, S) for better visibility in the Leopard Dock.
  • Updated the default whitelist rules.
  • Updated documentation for Mac OS X 10.5.
  • Updated to PCRE 7.4.
  • Improved compatibility with pre-release versions of Entourage 2008.
  • The Train as Good command in Apple Mail now recognizes spam mailboxes whose names end with “Spam”, and it works with the Trash mailbox on Mac OS X 10.5.
  • Worked around change in Apple Mail on Mac OS X10.5 that could cause the Train as Spam command not to move the messages.
  • Fixed bug where the Apple Help didn’t work on Mac OS X 10.5.
  • Fixed hang processing some pathological HTML spams.
  • Fixed bug where Growl notification preferences got reset if you ran SpamSieve under different localizations.
  • Fixed unnecessary Console logging when loading Entourage addresses.
  • Updated Italian localization.
2.6.4—August 20, 2007
  • Made more accuracy improvements for messages with attachments.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause crashes when processing messages containing PDF attachments.
  • Updated localizations.
2.6.3—August 3, 2007
  • Made various accuracy improvements, particularly for messages with attachments.
  • Improved compatibility with pre-release versions of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.
  • Fixed bug where the Software Update… checker didn’t always re-check for new updates.
  • Restored progress bar when loading Entourage addresses.
  • Updated the localizations.
  • Improved the documentation.
  • Fixed help book icon.
2.6.2—May 4, 2007
  • Made changes to prevent a crash on Mac OS X 10.4.9 when quitting in response to a mail program quitting.
  • Slight changes for better accuracy.
  • Fixed regression where the Import Addresses… command didn’t always work for text files in the default encoding.
  • Blocklist and whitelist rules that use Body (any text part) can now match text from the headers of bounced messages (which e-mail clients often display as part of the message body).
  • The Software Update… feature now checks whether the updated version can run on your installed version of Mac OS X.
  • Better logging of messages that don’t have a sender.
  • Fixed a threading bug.
  • Made an optimization to the Apple Mail plug-in.
  • Adjusted the setup instructions for Apple Mail to avoid problem with the Previous Recipients list.
  • Modernized the crash reporter code.
  • Updated the French and German localizations.
2.6.1—April 9, 2007
  • Fixed regression where SpamSieve wouldn’t launch if you had a large number of Mac OS 9 sound files.
  • Fixed bug where Thunderbird messages that were manually marked as junk weren’t moved to the junk folder. If you are using Thunderbird, first update to SpamSieve 2.6.1, then choose Install Thunderbird Plug-In from the SpamSieve menu to update the plug-in.
  • Made change prevent crash on Mac OS X 10.4.9 when quitting in response to a mail program quitting.
2.6—March 19, 2007
  • SpamSieve now works with Mozilla Thunderbird.
  • Improved detection of image spams and phishing messages.
  • Made various message analysis improvements to increase the accuracy of the Bayesian filter.
  • AppleScripting the whitelist and blocklist is much more efficient for scripts that access a lot of rules.
  • Improved compatibility with pre-release versions of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.
  • When installing a plug-in for a mail program, SpamSieve now opens the relevant page of the Apple Help to help you complete the installation.
  • The alert when SpamSieve has auto-updated its Apple Mail plug-in is now non-modal, so it doesn’t interfere with spam filtering.
  • The Software Update… checker now works behind an HTTP proxy, and the auto-updater is now compatible with FileVault.
  • Can now import addresses from the incorrectly encoded .vcf files that are generated by recent versions of Address Book.
  • Growl notifications are now enabled by default.
  • The Apple Mail plug-in is more robust.
  • Fixed some small memory leaks.
  • Made some performance optimizations to the message tokenizer.
  • SpamSieve is more robust when processing incomplete messages.
  • The Entourage “Train Good” command now moves messages out of the Uncertain Spam folder.
  • The Apple Mail “Train as Good” command now moves messages out of zSpam mailboxes.
  • Updated to PCRE 7.0.
2.5—October 30, 2006
  • Made lots of changes to the parser and classifiers to improve accuracy, especially for HTML and image messages.
  • The in-memory corpus representation is much more efficient, which should lead to lower memory use and greater speed.
  • Rewrote the Software Update… feature. When a new version is available, it can now show you the release notes. SpamSieve now downloads the new version itself, rather than relying on your browser. On 10.3 and later, the Download & Install button will cause SpamSieve to auto-update itself to the latest version.
  • Improved accuracy on messages containing misspelled words.
  • Now requires Mac OS X 10.2.8 or later.
  • Auto-training now places a higher priority on corpus balance compared to learning from novel messages.
  • Improved the Apple Mail plug-in’s Train as Good script to work around a bug in Mail.
  • Improved the reliability of the Apple Mail training commands.
  • Made further changes to improve the success rate of the Apple Mail plug-in installer.
  • Updated to PCRE 6.7.
  • Entourage training progress messages no longer block if Entourage is in the background.
  • Worked around OS bug that prevented the Statistics sheet from properly parsing dates when the user’s date format started with a two-digit year.
  • No longer quits with an internal error if the mydefaults tool can’t be installed.
  • Added keyboard shortcut for Hide Others.
  • Fixed bug with Purchase window sheet.
  • Removed some old, unused code.
  • Updated the toolbar icons.
  • Various localization and documentation improvements.
  • Fixed bug with display of remaining demo time.
  • The Entourage script installer is more robust when contacting Entourage via AppleScript fails.
  • Improved compatibility with Leopard.
  • The date in the Statistics window more closely matches the user’s preferences (10.4 and later).
  • Better at detecting damaged corpus files (instead of crashing).
  • Fixed bug where Uncertain Spam growls were always sent, even if disabled in SpamSieve’s preferences.
  • Adjusted workaround for Help Viewer bug.
  • Increased the maximum width of the Hits column in rule list windows.
  • Added thousands separators throughout the Statistics, Corpus, and rules windows.
  • Fixed bug where adding a rule didn’t create a new rule if there was already a rule with a blank “Text to Match.”
  • Fixed rare crashing bug when performing operations during idle time.
  • Removed the Import Messages command (which let you train SpamSieve directly from a file in mbox format), because there are now very few situations where it is useful, and it was confusing people.
  • Added screenshot showing where to find Entourage scripts.
2.4.4—July 13, 2006
  • Made various changes to improve SpamSieve’s accuracy, particularly when processing blank messages, HTML messages, and messages containing images.
  • The following strings may now be used in rules to match headers that are missing: <SpamSieve-Unknown-Subject>, <SpamSieve-Unknown-From>, <SpamSieve-Unknown-FromName>, <SpamSieve-Unknown-To>. It is somewhat common for messages to have a blank subject (which can be matched using the empty string), but legitimate messages that omit the Subject for From header are rare, and now these can easily be matched by creating the appropriate rules on the blocklist.
  • Quit when mail client quits is now enabled by default.
  • Log entries are now abbreviated when the string that matched the rule is long.
  • The Apple Mail Train as Good command can now move messages out of submailboxes of the Junk mailbox.
  • The Apple Mail plug-in installer works better when the folder permissions are messed up.
  • Can now auto-recover from damaged message store files, rather than complaining to the user about them.
  • If SpamSieve is hidden when launched, it will refrain from opening the Training Tip window.
  • Improved the documentation, training tips, and localizations.
  • Various code modernization and bullet-proofing throughout.
  • Fixed localization bugs that could cause crashes.
  • Fixed crash when hiding the progress panel.
  • Fixed crash when saving false negatives to disk.
  • Made changes to the Entourage scripts to try to work around an OS bug that causes them to grow and eventually become corrupted.
  • Worked around OS bug to prevent freezes when attempting to play damaged sound files.
2.4.3—March 30, 2006
  • Improved SpamSieve’s accuracy by counteracting various spammer tricks.
  • Removed the delay, when using Apple Mail on Tiger, between choosing “Train as Good” or “Train as Spam” and when training actually started.
  • The Entourage scripts now report progress part way through bulk trainings and allow you to cancel. They also warn if it looks like you’re training SpamSieve with too many messages, and they’re better at preventing duplicate categories from being created in Entourage. The “Train Spam” script now removes the spam messages from the server.
  • Growl notifications from people in the address book now include the “To” address for mailing list messages. This makes it easier to decide whether to ignore the notification.
  • Fixed bug that caused part of SpamSieve’s corpus to be written to disk incorrectly when running on Intel. In most cases, no ill effects would have been observed, and SpamSieve will repair the corpus file the first time you launch 2.4.3.
  • Improved the error messages.
  • Improved the display of the demo time remaining.
  • Updated the localizations.
2.4.2—February 23, 2006
  • SpamSieve is now much better at catching a new type of spam message that previous versions had been inconsistent at catching.
  • Worked around some more spammer tricks to improve accuracy.
  • Improved the way message attachments are analyzed.
  • Fixed bug that could cause improper analysis of messages from Apple Mail or Eudora, leading to reduced accuracy.
  • Improved phish detection.
  • Improved the performance of the Apple Mail training commands on Tiger and Jaguar.
  • Made some changes to the way spam messages are colored in Apple Mail. Now, the most spammy color (blue) is reserved for messages with scores 99 or higher, i.e. messages that matched a blocklist rule, had encoded HTML parts, or were known to definitely be spam.
  • The Show Window command in Apple Mail can now open the SpamSieve help.
  • Under certain circumstances, SpamSieve can now detect at launch whether the application package is damaged, rather than too-quietly reporting errors in the log during message processing.
  • Improved the troubleshooting documentation.
  • Updated the Japanese localization.
2.4.1—January 25, 2006
  • SpamSieve is now a universal binary.
  • Made various changes to SpamSieve’s tokenizer and HTML parser to improve accuracy.
  • Improved filtering of messages containing attachments.
  • Added Apple Mail settings to control whether messages trained as spam are marked as read and/or left on the server.
  • Better at finding notification sounds that are built into mail clients.
  • Now shows uncertain growls when notification is suppressed.
  • SpamSieve now delegates more file reveal operations to Path Finder 4, since it fixes a bug in Path Finder 3 that prevented certain reveals from working.
  • Rather than typing (or copying and pasting) your name and serial number to personalize SpamSieve, you can now click the x-spamsieve:// URL that’s sent to you when you purchase SpamSieve or get a serial number reminder.
  • Fixed bug where the rules list would scroll one rule up if it was scrolled to the bottom and you edited a rule.
  • Added Spanish localization and updated the Danish, Italian, Swedish, and Vietnamese localizations.
  • Improved the installation and troubleshooting documentation.
  • Removed spurious Section 4.4.1 of the manual.
2.4—November 16, 2005
  • Made various changes to the Bayesian engine to improve accuracy.
  • Added some heuristics for detecting phishes.
  • Apple Mail messages can now be filed into different mailboxes based on how spammy they are (requires 10.3 or 10.4).
  • The Apple Mail plug-in is now a Universal Binary, so SpamSieve can be used on Intel-based Macs without running Mail in Rosetta.
  • Added support for the new (non-haiku) Habeas headers.
  • SpamSieve now plays notification sounds using the alert volume rather than the master volume, and they’ll be played on the same output device as alerts and sound effects. (The old behavior is still in effect when playing classic sound files and when running on Jaguar.)
  • Added suppressing notification AppleScript parameter. You can use this to prevent SpamSieve from bouncing its Dock icon or showing Growls when recalculating the spam scores of old messages.
  • The Software Update alert is now a sheet, so it won’t interfere with spam filtering.
  • If Path Finder is running, it will be used instead of the Finder to reveal files/folders.
  • Made various tweaks to keep PowerMates from flashing when they shouldn’t.
  • Adjusted the standard set of rules.
  • You can now tab back and forth between the search field and table in the corpus and rules windows (requires 10.4).
  • Predicted entries in the log now show the message’s sender.
  • Added preference to control whether Apple Mail false positives are marked as unread.
  • Added Technical Support & Feedback item to the Help menu.
  • The Entourage scripts try even harder to avoid creating duplicate categories.
  • SpamSieve now avoids loading the address book except when absolutely necessary. Thus, if your address book is corrupted such that loading it would cause a crash, you’ll still be able to receive mail if you turn off SpamSieve’s address book–related features.
  • Messages with empty senders are no longer considered to be from people in the address book, even if the address book contains a contact with such an address.
  • Fixed longstanding bug in which sorting the blocklist or whitelist by Header or Match Style would group the rules appropriately, but wouldn’t order the groups alphabetically by the localized text in the column.
  • Improved the error messages in the application and in the Apple Mail plug-in.
  • Made a change to prevent Apple Mail from deadlocking (in rare circumstances) when training SpamSieve on Mac OS X 10.4.3.
  • Fixed regression where Trained: (Auto) log entries occurred before the corresponding Predicted ones.
  • The Apple Mail training commands now respect the preference for whether to color messages.
  • Added hidden preference LogSpam that you can turn on with defaults write com.c-command.SpamSieve LogSpam YES to make SpamSieve keep a maildir-style folder of the spam messages it’s seen. Right now, this is not recommended for general use on slower machines.
  • Updated link to Habeas Safelist.
  • Updated eSellerate, PCRE, and SQLite libraries.
  • Added Danish localization and improved the other localizations.
  • Various documentation improvements, including:
2.3.2—August 8, 2005
  • Made various improvements to increase SpamSieve’s accuracy.
  • Added Quit when mail client quits option.
  • Sped up filtering when Growl notifications are enabled. Improved the text/layout of the Growl notifications.
  • Re-installing or updating Eudora could have the effect of re-enabling Eudora’s built-in junk plug-ins. This could reduce the filtering accuracy and cause unexpected behavior as multiple plug-ins acted on the same messages. Now, if SpamSieve detects that its Eudora plug-in is installed, it will automatically disable any other Eudora junk plug-ins.
  • When you reset the corpus, SpamSieve automatically creates a dated backup so that it’s possible to revert, if need be.
  • The pop-up menu for selecting the uncertainty threshold now supports scores as high as 98. This makes it possible to designate all non-blocklisted spam messages as uncertain.
  • The S and G indicators are now only shown in the Dock icon after manual training, not auto-training.
  • The log is now UTF-8 rather than ASCII, so it should be much more readable for people using localized versions of SpamSieve.
  • More errors are now logged.
  • Better at finding sound files that are built into Mailsmith.
  • Worked around Tiger bug that would cause archived log files to not decompress automatically when opened.
  • Fixed regression where SpamSieve could crash if you tried to install the Entourage scripts when Entourage was not installed.
  • Fixed bug in Apple Mail’s Train as Good, where it didn’t always move messages out of the Spam mailbox if there were lots of recipients.
  • Fixed Entourage Train Good script to not make a new Uncertain Junk category when one already exists (but Entourage says that it doesn’t).
  • Worked around AppleScript error that could occur when running Entourage scripts.
  • The regex code is more bulletproof in the face of rare OS errors.
  • Added better heuristic for determining which files SpamSieve can import addresses from. This should prevent some rare crashes.
  • Updated the Habeas link in the Preferences window.
  • The history database is more robust on Tiger.
  • The Purchase window now makes it more clear when the serial number has been successfully entered. Merged the Web Purchase… and Instant Purchase… buttons.
  • Adjusted the way the remaining demo time is displayed, as it led many people to believe that they had less than a month of total trial time.
  • Improved training tips and the manual.
  • Added French translation of manual. Updated Vietnamese manual. Fixed regression where the Italian and Vietnamese manuals were inaccessible.
2.3.1—May 16, 2005
  • Works with Apple Mail on Mac OS X 10.4.1. SpamSieve should automatically install a new copy of its Apple Mail plug-in the first time it’s launched, but if it doesn’t you can do so by choosing Install Apple Mail Plug-In from the SpamSieve menu.
  • Various accuracy improvements.
  • Renamed the Apple Mail training commands to Train as Good and Train as Spam.
  • Train as Spam is much faster in Apple Mail on 10.4 when there are multiple messages selected.
  • If SpamSieve’s Dock icon is hidden, a new SpamSieve - Open Window command will appear in Apple Mail’s Message menu. This lets you quit SpamSieve or access its windows and settings while its menu bar is hidden.
  • Worked around Apple Mail bug so that Train as Good now moves spam messages out of Mail’s Spam folder on 10.4, provided that SpamSieve had put them there.
  • Reduced the maximum size of the Growl notification bubbles.
  • Better at parsing malformed messages.
  • The HTML parser is much faster with certain pathological spam messages that could previously drag parsing out for a minute or more.
  • Worked around Entourage bug that could lead to the creation of multiple Uncertain Junk categories.
  • SpamSieve no longer complains about the permissions on Apple Mail’s Bundles folder if you’re using a different mail program.
  • Removed the Prune Corpus command. With auto-training being much smarter than in earlier versions, it’s almost never advisable to prune, and improper pruning severely reduces accuracy.
  • The demo reminder window updates the number of days remaining if you leave SpamSieve running for days or weeks at a time.
  • Fixed bug that could cause a crash when using Instant Purchase.
  • Worked around crash caused by bug in 10.2.
  • Updated localizations.
2.3—April 25, 2005
  • General
    • Works with Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger).
    • Made lots of improvements to SpamSieve’s parsers and tokenizer for better accuracy. To fully take advantage of this, you will need to reset SpamSieve’s corpus and re-train it (e.g. with 300 recent good messages and 600 recent spams). However, this is certainly not required, and I expect that most people will opt for the simpler upgrade of just installing the new SpamSieve application.
    • Auto-training works better. SpamSieve is smarter about selecting which incoming messages to train itself with, so that it reaches a high level of accuracy sooner, and it is better at adapting to new types of mail that you receive.
    • Improved the training tips and the training section of the manual so that it’s clearer what the best practices are.
    • When training the whitelist, SpamSieve will now create rules that match the addresses of the other recipients. This should reduce false positives from people who haven’t previously sent you mail, but who correspond with the same people you do.
    • Added Update Address Book “Me” Card command.
  • Scriptability
    • Added selection AppleScript property, which can be used to get the selected token infos in the corpus or the selected rules in the whitelist or blocklist window. One use of this is demonstrated in a script that adds the addresses of the selected whitelist rules to the Address Book.
    • Added AppleScript properties and commands to access SpamSieve’s windows and log. One use of this is demonstrated in a script that lets you open SpamSieve’s windows if its Dock icon is hidden (and thus the menu bar is inaccessible).
  • Notification
    • Added option to control whether Growl notifications contain excerpts of the message body.
    • The new message count in SpamSieve’s Dock icon is now auto-positioned.
    • Fixed regression where dragging the slider to adjust the size of the number in the Dock icon didn’t temporarily show the number so that you could preview the results.
  • Apple Mail Integration
    • Improved accuracy due to better decoding of Apple Mail messages.
    • The commands for training SpamSieve from Apple Mail are now in Mail’s Message menu, rather than in the Scripts menu. This lets you access those commands in the same way on 10.2 through 10.4, and you don’t have to worry about changing the scripts around if you boot into a different version of the OS.
    • The Apple Mail plug-in is faster at processing messages.
    • If the Apple Mail plug-in is installed but disabled for some reason (e.g. a location switch or OS re-install), SpamSieve will automatically re-enable it (takes effect when you relaunch Mail).
    • Worked around bug in Mail that could prevent Train Good or Train Spam from working properly when training multiple messages at once that were already in their final destination.
  • Eudora Integration
    • The installer no longer asks you to find Eudora except when absolutely necessary.
    • The Eudora plug-in is now installed in the Application Support folder rather than inside the Eudora application package. Thus, it’s no longer necessary to re-install the plug-in when updating Eudora, although you still may need to disable the SpamWatch and SpamHeaders plug-ins if updating Eudora re-enables them.
    • Added a Cancel button to the alert that you get if Eudora is already running when you ask SpamSieve to install the Eudora plug-in, in case you don’t want to quit Eudora at that time.
  • Fixes and Tweaks
    • The Apple Help is now multiple linked pages, rather than a single page, so you can now use Help Viewer’s search box.
    • Simplified the setup instructions in the manual, and added new sections on customization.
    • Improved duplicate message detection.
    • Fixed bug where e-mail addresses were not always correctly parsed out of mail headers.
    • Tweaked the format of Trained entries in the log.
    • Worked around OS bug that could cause SpamSieve to freeze when installing AppleScripts.
    • SpamSieve is better at following aliases and more tolerant of incorrect permissions when looking for its support files.
    • Updated to eSellerate Engine 3.6.1.
    • Improved serial number name entry.
    • Various localization fixes.
    • The ? buttons in the Preferences window now open the specific help sections on Jaguar.
    • Fixed longstanding unreported bug where you could launch multiple instances of SpamSieve if you were using Jaguar.
2.2.4—February 10, 2005
  • Increased the speed of SpamSieve’s message processing.
  • Processing messages with Entourage is much faster. To realize the speed increase, re-install SpamSieve’s Entourage scripts and let it replace the existing ones.
  • Improved accuracy through better HTML and header processing. (It is not necessary to reset the corpus.)
  • Colors to indicate spamminess in Apple Mail are now enabled by default.
  • Can now play sounds (and bounce the Dock icon) when mail arrives, even if SpamSieve or a mail program is frontmost.
  • Added option to Entourage’s Change Settings to make all spam messages marked with category Junk instead of marking some of them with Uncertain Junk.
  • Added more standard blocklist rules for non-Latin character sets.
  • AppleScript errors complaining about not being able to find the SpamSieve application should be much less common now. If you do see such an error, asking SpamSieve to re-install the scripts for Apple Mail or Entourage (and letting it replace the existing scripts) should cure things.
  • Improved name and serial number entry.
  • The Edit Log command is no longer an alternate menu item.
  • Can now load Entourage addresses when Launch Services can’t find Entourage.
  • The default classifier reports better scores.
  • The behavior of the default classifier (if no rules or other classifiers match, and the Bayesian classifier is disabled) may now be changed by setting the DefaultIsGood default. Normally this is YES, but you can set it to NO to make SpamSieve treat all non-whitelisted messages as spam.
  • Pruning now is recorded in the log.
  • Updated the Russian localization.
  • Added Swedish and Vietnamese localizations.
  • Expanded and improved the manual.
  • The Entourage scripts no longer mark messages with multiple copies of the same category.
  • Fixed bug where SpamSieve would sometimes incorrectly think that it had made a mistake (if auto-training was on and the user had asked it to reclassify a message).
  • Fixed bug in the Change Settings scripts.
  • No longer reports an error when trying to reset an empty initial corpus.
  • Fixed crash when quitting after resetting an empty corpus.
  • Fixed bug where SpamSieve would crash when reading a damaged corpus file.
  • Worked around OS bug that could cause crashes when creating the Uncertain Junk category in Entourage.
  • Notification dismissal now works on Tiger.
  • Apple Mail’s scripts are now installed in the correct location when running on Tiger.
2.2.3—November 15, 2004
  • Fixed bug where SpamSieve would complain of a permissions error at startup.
2.2.2—November 14, 2004
  • Can notify with Growl when good messages arrive, and to help spot false positives without looking through the entire contents of the spam folder.
  • Added Change Settings commands for Apple Mail and Entourage, which let you configure script options (spam folder name, behavior when using Train Good and Train Spam, etc.) without having to edit the scripts. The settings are stored in SpamSieve’s preferences file, so they will persist if you update or re-install the scripts.
  • Fixed bug where SpamSieve would report a syntax error when processing certain messages (typically in non-ASCII character sets).
  • Better accuracy due to improved header and body analysis.
  • Better accuracy due to smarter auto-creation of From (name) rules.
  • Auto-training now takes scores into account; the corpus is updated using messages that were harder to classify, to forestall errors.
  • Better handling of spam messages that lie about their encoding.
  • Entourage now uses two separate categories for spam messages, so that you can see which ones are more (or less) spammy.
  • Improved accuracy when processing messages in German.
  • Any Address rules now match SendTo addresses.
  • Better handling of messages with “From ” lines.
  • Worked around Mail performance problem where Add Good would hang if there were a lot of recipients.
  • The Dock (and DragThing) good message counter no longer increases for messages received while the mail program is active.
  • Added Russian localization.
  • Improved the French localization.
  • Better recovery from damaged Rules and History.db files.
  • Added Italian-localized installation instructions.
  • Improved launch time.
  • Better parsing of PGP messages.
  • Worked around 10.2 bug that could cause crashes when the Training Tip window was updated.
  • Fixed bad interaction between auto-training and duplicates when the corpus was small.
  • More tolerant of incorrect file and folder permissions.
  • If Launch Services cannot find the Eudora application, the installer will now try some heuristics and prompt the user to locate Eudora, rather than giving up.
  • The Apple Mail and Eudora plug-ins are better at finding and launching the SpamSieve application, and they will notify the user if they are unable to do this.
  • Updated to eSellerate 3.5.9, which provides support for registration names using non-ASCII characters.
  • When you type in your serial number, SpamSieve normalizes its spacing and case.
  • The Add Good and Add Spam AppleScripts have been renamed Train Good and Train Spam. When installing the new scripts, SpamSieve will automatically move the old ones to the trash.
  • The Entourage spam folder is now called Junk E-mail instead of Spam, since Entourage 2004 already has a so-named folder.
2.2.1—September 20, 2004
  • Shows count of new good messages in DragThing 5.3 and later, if you install an integration script. (This script will be built into future versions of DragThing.)
  • Fixed accuracy regressions from 2.1.4 and made some accuracy improvements.
  • Added Italian localization.
  • Auto-training will no longer add duplicate messages to the corpus, because they interfere with undo.
  • You can now start a new paragraph in the crash reporter by pressing Return rather than Command-Return.
  • Tries to add itself to the Launch Services database at launch, to make it easier for the scripts and plug-ins to find the SpamSieve application.
  • Fixed bug where the help buttons in the Preferences window didn’t work unless the main help had previously been opened.
  • Improved the French and Japanese localizations.
  • The Edit Log command will now open the log using an editor, rather than Console, if BBEdit is unavailable.
  • Improved accuracy statistics when using Apple Mail IMAP accounts.
  • The mailbox parser is faster and more tolerant of malformed mbox files.
  • No longer tries to roll over the log more than once per day.
  • Fixed regression where adding to the whitelist or blocklist didn’t work if a disabled rule matched the message.
  • Fixed crash that could happen when showing progress bar at launch.
  • Fixed crash when scanning System 7–format sounds.
  • Fixed bug where slightly spammy Apple Mail messages would be colored and recorded as spam, but not moved to the Spam mailbox.
2.2—August 24, 2004
  • Accuracy Improvements
    • SpamSieve is smarter about what text to tokenize, it extracts more information from messages, it’s better at detecting invisible text, and it can undo more spammer obfuscations.
    • The Bayesian classifier can leverage the results of SpamAssassin’s heuristic tests. It also assigns better word probabilities and is better at deciding which parts of the message are important.
    • Messages containing Habeas headers are now checked against the Habeas Whitelist. This protects against spam messages that include Habeas headers in order to get through filters.
    • Removed the Import Seed Spam command, as it would reduce accuracy with recent versions of SpamSieve.
  • General Improvements
    • Auto-training is more automatic. There is now a single checkbox to enable auto-training and, if it’s on, SpamSieve will try to do the right thing when it processes new messages. That is, it will train itself using messages of the types that it needs to see more of, and it will prevent the corpus from growing unbalanced or overly large. Also, it will update the whitelist using every incoming good message, so that you can have a complete whitelist without bloating the corpus.
    • The rules and corpus windows now have toolbars, and they support iTunes-style filter-searching.
    • The corpus and rules are now scriptable, and SpamSieve now supports AppleScript Kit terminology.
    • Assorted performance enhancements make SpamSieve faster and improve the responsiveness of its user interface.
    • Added Portuguese localization.
  • Blocklist and Whitelist
    • Rules support more match fields: From (name), Any Recipient, Any Address, Any Character Set, and Any Attachment Name.
    • The new Import Addresses… command lets you import blocklist and whitelist rules from text files (e.g. address book exports or mbox files).
    • Added default blocklist rules for .pif and .scr attachments and a default whitelist rule for lists.c-command.com.
    • Rules can now match the empty string, e.g. when there is a subject header, but the subject is blank. They can also match absent headers by matching against, e.g. <SpamSieve-Unknown-Subject>.
    • The Text to Match field now abbreviates using an ellipsis if the text won’t all fit.
  • Notification
    • Can make a Griffin PowerMate flash when new good messages arrive.
    • Now supports System 7–format notification sounds as well as Entourage sound sets. In addition to the Library/Sounds folders, SpamSieve will now look for sounds installed with Apple Mail, Entourage, Mailsmith, and PowerMail.
    • Doesn’t play the notification sound if you are using fast user switching and SpamSieve is running in one of the background sessions.
    • Notifications that require dismissal (continuous bouncing, PowerMate flashing) are no longer triggered when SpamSieve or the mail program is already frontmost. Thus, you don’t have to deactivate the mail program and then activate it again to dismiss the notification.
  • Apple Mail Integration
    • Sets the colors of spam messages to reflect how spammy they are, making it easier to skim the Spam mailbox for false positives.
    • Protects against Web bugs by telling Mail not to load the images from messages that are classified as spam.
    • The Add Good script is better at moving messages from the Spam folder back to the correct inbox, and it will mark them as unread when it does so.
    • The Add Good and Add Spam now work with Mac OS X 10.3.5.
    • The plug-in will look for SpamSieve in the Applications folder, even if Launch Services is confused and says it can’t find it.
  • Entourage Integration
    • The Exclude my addresses switch now also applies to the Entourage address book, to reduce the chances of a forged spam getting through.
    • Added new scripting verb add entourage addresses. This will allow you to keep the Entourage addresses in sync by using an Entourage shutdown schedule.
    • Can automatically add the recipients of the messages you send to the whitelist.
    • Sanity-checks addresses that are loaded from Entourage. For instance, if both the name and the address were entered in Entourage’s address field, SpamSieve will now extract just the address, rather than taking Entourage’s word for it.
    • The Add Good script now works with the Possible Spam folder and marks false positives as unread.
    • Messages can have more than one category, so SpamSieve now adds and removes the Junk category from the message, rather than replacing the category. This means that marking a message as junk doesn’t wipe out other categories on the message.
    • Shows a progress bar while importing Entourage addresses.
  • Eudora Integration
    • Removed the option to use the full Eudora junk score range; this setting is now always in effect.
  • Mailsmith Integration
  • PowerMail Integration
  • Statistics and Log
    • The Statistics window shows the number of blocklist and whitelist rules and the number of spam messages received per day. The date sheet has a Now button that enters the current date and time.
    • The log is now stored in ~/Library/Logs/SpamSieve. The Open Log command now opens the log in Console, so that it’s easier to monitor as it changes. To get the old behavior of opening the log in a text editor, hold down Option and choose Edit Log.
    • If the log file grows larger than 5 MB, SpamSieve compresses it, archives it by date, and starts a new log.
    • When SpamSieve makes a mistake, the log records which classifier made the error and what the message’s score was. The log also now records parse errors and the number of messages in the corpus.
  • Fixes and Tweaks
    • SpamSieve can optionally show an alternate, more photo-realistic, icon in the Dock.
    • There is a new mailing list for discussion of SpamSieve.
    • Each tab of the Preferences window now contains a help button that will open the corresponding section of the Apple help.
    • Updated to PCRE 4.5 and SQLite 2.8.15.
    • Fixed bug where SpamSieve could crash when generating a message’s identifier if a system routine failed.
    • Fixed bug in EDMessage that could cause crashes when decoding certain quoted-printable messages.
    • Better handling of 8-bit subjects with no specified encoding.
    • Worked around Panther bug that could cause crashes or drawing artifacts on the desktop by no longer trying to draw on the Dock icon when it’s hidden.
    • Worked around OS bug that prevented certain notification sounds from playing.
    • Fixed bug where the selection was not always preserved when editing blocklist and whitelist rules.
    • The Show Corpus, Show Statistics, and Preferences… commands in the Dock menu now bring SpamSieve to the front.
    • The progress window when exporting the corpus sometimes lagged a bit before closing automatically.
    • Fixed bug where SpamSieve would get confused if you entered the empty string as a date.
2.1.4—April 15, 2004
  • Fixed bug where SpamSieve could crash when installing the Eudora plug-in if you were using Eudora 6.0.x.
  • Fixed regression where SpamSieve couldn’t process certain messages, resulting in a script error and reduced accuracy.
  • Added French localization.
  • Updated AOL instructions, since AOL now supports IMAP.
2.1.3—April 13, 2004
  • Added menu commands for installing the Apple Mail plug-in and scripts, the Eudora plug-in, and the Entourage scripts. These items are now stored inside the SpamSieve application package.
  • Scripts for the other applications are now stored inside the application bundle, not at the root of the disk image. The Show Other Scripts menu command will reveal them in the Finder.
  • Apple Mail and Eudora users should update their plug-ins, using the commands in the SpamSieve menu.
  • Added the score script command, which returns an integer between 0 and 100 indicating how spammy the message is. 50 and higher mean spam.
  • The Predicted lines in SpamSieve’s log now show the scores of the messages.
  • Can now use Eudora’s full 0-to-100 junk score range if you check the appropriate box in the Advanced preferences.
  • Improved parsing of messages with 8-bit transfer data.
  • Faster at processing messages.
  • Added support for Outlook Express 5.
  • Worked around OS bug that could cause SpamSieve to come to the front each time a message was processed in Apple Mail or Eudora (usually if an X11 application was frontmost).
  • Fixed bug where errors encountered while processing messages were not reported in the log.
  • Worked around Cocoa problem where certain notification sounds wouldn’t play.
  • Made the Purchase window easier to understand, and added a button for looking up lost serial numbers.
  • Trims the text in the serial number field so people don’t accidentally paste the number in twice.
  • Software updater is better at checking whether the computer can connect to the Internet.
  • SpamSieve now tries to parse Eudora messages according to RFC822, even though this will sometimes fail, as many Eudora messages are not RFC822-compliant.
  • Adjusted the list of headers that SpamSieve ignores.
  • Added keyboard shortcuts for Apple Mail scripts.
  • Improved the training tips.
  • Updated to SQLite 2.8.13.
  • Updated to eSellerate SDK 3.5.5.
  • The Send Report button in the crash reporter is no longer a default button, so there’s no longer confusion about entering returns in the comment field.
  • No longer prints fragments of spam messages to the console when it gets confused.
  • Replaced the copy of the manual outside the app with a read-me.
2.1.2—January 26, 2004
  • SpamSieve can now move Apple Mail POP messages to the Spam folder. Thus, it now fully supports Apple Mail on Jaguar and Panther.
  • Honor Habeas headers is now off by default.
  • Fixed regression where blocklist and whitelist rules got deselected after editing their text.
  • When loading addresses from Entourage, SpamSieve now picks up addresses that are not associated with any contact (that is, they appear only in a group).
  • The default date shown in the Statistics window is now the date that SpamSieve was first launched, rather than September 2002.
  • The Apple Mail Add Good script is better at finding the proper inbox when moving false positives out of the Spam folder.
  • The Apple Mail Mark If Spam script can mark the spam messages as read.
  • The Purchase window now makes it more clear when a serial number has been accepted.
  • In the Statistics window, Set… is now Set Date… and Copy is now Copy Stats.
  • Fixed crash that could happen when processing messages in Japanese encodings.
  • Added Japanese localization.
2.1.1—January 8, 2004
  • Much faster at processing messages when there are many blocklist and whitelist rules. Also improved the speed of loading, deleting, and sorting rules.
  • Improved accuracy tracking with the Panther version of Apple Mail; previously, SpamSieve couldn’t always tell when it was being corrected.
  • Catches more spam because it knows about more spammer obfuscation tricks and also which headers it should ignore.
  • Fixed bug (introduced in 2.0) where the Bayesian engine didn’t work if Mac OS X’s default language was set to Japanese.
  • The SpamSieve Eudora Plug-In is better at launching the SpamSieve application if it is not already running.
  • Loading Entourage addresses now adds to the addresses that were previously loaded, rather than replacing them. This makes it possible for Entourage users who have more than one Entourage identity to give SpamSieve the addresses from all their address books (by loading once for each identity). Hold down Option when clicking Load to get the old behavior of replacing the previously loaded addresses.
  • The sound pop-up menu in the Preferences window now immediately notices when new sounds are installed; previously, it would only check when updating the rest of the preferences window.
  • You can now add a rule without a the Blocklist or Whitelist window being frontmost. SpamSieve will ask which type of rule to add.
  • Regex rules can now start with an options modifier such as (?-i).
  • Copying rules to the clipboard now just copies the text to match (typically an e-mail address), not all the columns. To get all the columns, you can print to PDF.
  • The Entourage Add Good script now finds localized inboxes, rather than creating a folder called Inbox.
  • The Entourage Add Spam script can now remove spam messages from the server.
  • The Statistics window now shows percentages instead of ratios.
  • SpamSieve will now quit at launch if another copy of the application is already running.
  • Re-targeted broken Habeas URL.
  • Added the following menu commands: Close All Windows, Minimize All Windows, and Zoom.
2.1—December 9, 2003
  • Added support for Apple Mail POP accounts. POP messages can be marked as junk and colored, but (due to limitations in the present version of Apple Mail) they cannot be moved to another mailbox.
  • Added a Training Tip window that gives advice on how to improve SpamSieve’s accuracy, based on the current state of the corpus and preferences.
  • Rules in the whitelist and blocklist are no longer limited to just matching sender addresses. They can now match a variety of message fields (To, CC, Subject, etc.), as well as the message body. In addition to exact matches, rules now support the following match styles: contains, starts with, ends with (useful for matching domains), and Perl-compatible regular expressions. You can now edit rules and add new rules manually (as opposed to automatically, as a result of training SpamSieve with a message).
  • When trained with a good message from a mailing list, SpamSieve will automatically create a whitelist rule based on a mailing list header, if present.
  • SpamSieve can now read in the Entourage address book and use it as a whitelist. Thus, the Entourage rule can now give SpamSieve all the messages, not just the ones that were from unknown senders. This means that SpamSieve can now accurately notify the user when non-spam messages are received. Also, the statistics it keeps will be more complete.
  • Improved the accuracy of the Bayesian classifier when the corpus is unbalanced.
  • Made a variety of low-level changes to improve SpamSieve’s accuracy, for instance: adjusted the list of headers that are analyzed and how words are tokenized.
  • The Apple Mail Add Spam script now has an option to control whether the messages are moved to the Spam folder.
  • The Entourage Add Good script now moves messages to the inbox if they’re located in the Spam folder.
  • Mailsmith users can now auto-train using only spam or good messages by turning off training in Mailsmith and turning on one of the auto-train checkboxes in SpamSieve.
  • Improved the importing of mbox files that do not have blank lines between the messages, such as some Eudora mailboxes. Fixed a bug where the the mbox parser could crash if a message had length zero. Also, SpamSieve now shows a progress bar while counting the number of messages that will be imported.
  • Improved the corpus and rule list displays. You can now enter and leave editing mode by typing Return. Type-ahead works better; for instance, if you type “g” and there are no rows that start with “g,” it will look for one that starts with “f.” When you delete a word or rule, you can cancel out of the confirmation sheet by typing Escape. To avoid the confirmation sheet entirely, you can delete using Command-Delete instead of Delete. When a word or rule is deleted, SpamSieve selects a nearby rule so that you don’t lose your place. When deleting many words at once, SpamSieve no longer shows a progress window for deletions that will not take very long.
  • Entering the name and serial number to personalize SpamSieve is now more foolproof: SpamSieve strips leading and trailing whitespace, and it detects when you enter a coupon code in the serial number field. Fixed regression where SpamSieve rejected names containing non-ASCII characters. In addition, there’s a new button for quickly redeeming coupons.
  • Updated to the latest eSellerate SDK so that purchasing SpamSieve from within the application is faster.
  • SpamSieve now requires Mac OS X 10.2.6 or later.
  • Fixed bug where dates entered in the Statistics window were sometimes parsed in GMT instead of the local time zone, thus causing the date to be off by a few hours.
  • Improved the reliability and user interface of the crash reporter.
  • No longer crashes when parsing certain non-RFC822-compliant Eudora messages.
2.0.2—October 1, 2003
  • Now works with Apple Mail (IMAP and .Mac only, not POP).
  • The message count in the Dock icon now resets when an e-mail client becomes active (rather than just when SpamSieve became active). You can also control the size and position of the number in the Dock icon.
  • Much faster at deleting lots of rules at once.
  • Replaced the message store database with custom code that’s faster and more reliable.
  • Improved accuracy for HTML messages containing links.
  • Importing mbox files is faster.
  • Fixed bug where you couldn’t use Web registration after the demo period had expired.
  • The log records which addresses matched the whitelist or blocklist.
  • The log records corpus imports.
  • Auto-training is faster.
  • The Entourage Add Spam script can close the frontmost window if it’s spam.
  • Fixed bug where the date in the Statistics window could get cut off if you changed it to use a more verbose format.
  • Worked around OS bug that caused dates like “01.09.2003” to be interpreted as January 9 in German-style locales.
  • Added Copy button to the Statistics window.
  • Fixed problem updating certain history databases from 1.3.1.
  • More resilient to minor corpus file corruption.
  • Fixed crash that could happen with improperly formed multi-part messages.
  • Shows the number of blocklist or whitelist rules in the title bar.
  • The whitelist now contains some c-command.com addresses by default.
  • Fixed crash when opening the Statistics window while adding messages.
  • The Statistics window shows ratios, where applicable.
  • Assorted minor performance improvements.
  • The modification dates of the AppleScripts are now the actual modification dates, not the date the distribution was built.
2.0.1—September 17, 2003
  • Replaced the database engine that was being used to store the corpus with some custom code. This should be much faster and more reliable.
  • Loading and saving the rules is faster, due to a better file format.
  • The rules and corpus message counts are now saved to disk during idle time rather than when quitting. This should prevent data loss in the event that SpamSieve doesn’t quit normally.
  • The whitelist and blocklist are more memory-efficient.
  • Plugged memory leak in EDMessage.
  • Fixed crash involving certain really long header lines.
  • Fixed bug where the Whitelist and Blocklist windows weren’t always up to date.
  • Table views are smarter about not scrolling unnecessarily to maintain their selections.
  • The Whitelist and Blocklist windows now secondary sort by sender.
  • Changes to the preferences are saved to disk immediately.
  • Fixed bug where tables saved their sorted columns but didn’t restore them.
  • When SpamSieve gets a fatal error, it now quits like it says it will.
2.0—September 10, 2003
  • SpamSieve now extracts a lot more information from each message. This makes it much more accurate and also makes it learn faster.
  • Now integrates with Eudora 6 (Sponsored or Paid) via a plug-in. It can now process every incoming Eudora message and can be trained using the Junk and Not Junk commands in Eudora’s Message menu.
  • SpamSieve now has a blocklist and a whitelist. These are automatically maintained based on the senders of messages that SpamSieve is trained with. The blocklist makes sure that all messages from known spammers are caught and speeds processing for these messages. The whitelist lets you be sure that certain messages will never be marked as spam; this was possible before, but now you don’t have to clutter your address book with addresses from online retailers, etc.
  • You can now control how conservative or aggressive SpamSieve is at catching spam.
  • SpamSieve can now play a sound or bounce its Dock icon after a batch of non-spam messages has arrived. This is meant to replace your e-mail client’s new mail notification, which you don’t want going off if all the new messages are spam.
  • Shows the number of new good messages in the Dock icon.
  • Now parses HTML so that it can better extract relevant information from HTML messages, and also handle various HTML-based tricks that spammers use to fool filters.
  • New method of calculating word probabilities makes SpamSieve better at discerning which words in the message are important.
  • Includes a corpus of seed spam, to jump-start spam recognition for users who do not have many saved spam messages.
  • The corpus is now stored in databases rather than in a property list. This makes it launch faster and use much less memory, as the corpus doesn’t have to be all in RAM at the same time.
  • The statistics file format (for History.db) has changed in order to enable performance improvements and more statistical displays in future versions.
  • Handles more types of plain text obfuscations, and is much faster at undoing them.
  • Added option for the address book whitelist to only use other people’s addresses, so that spam messages from your own address don’t match the whitelist.
  • Can mark all messages with Habeas headers as good.
  • Can mark all messages with some variant of “ADV” at the start of the subject as spam.
  • Can mark all base64-encoded HTML messages as spam.
  • New probability combiner increases accuracy.
  • Uses stop words to speed processing and reduce false negatives.
  • When filtering a message, considers the number of occurrences of the words, not just which words are present.
  • Can import messages from mbox files.
  • Can import the corpus from and export it to an XML property list (the same format used by 1.x).
  • SpamSieve can now check for updated versions of itself.
  • Added crash reporter.
  • Added Dock menu containing frequently used commands.
  • The entries in the log are more detailed.
  • The corpus now stores the date at which each word was last accessed.
  • Fixed bug where storing statistics would fail on systems that didn’t know about GMT.
  • Fixed bug where SpamSieve could throw away long runs of HTML thinking they were attachments.
  • Added button for opening the Mac OS X Address Book from inside SpamSieve.
  • The Statistics window now has a contextual menu item for copying the displayed information.
  • SpamSieve no longer wastes cycles updating the Statistics window after it’s been closed.
  • The Statistics window is smarter about updating only the portions that could have changed.
  • No longer shows Good Words and Spam Words stats.
  • Logging has less overhead.
  • Updates the history asynchronously, resulting in faster message processing.
  • Checks for mistakes in a background thread.
  • False negatives are now written to disk in a background thread.
  • Re-arranged the Corpus window.
  • Pruning the corpus now works by access date rather than by word counts. Of course, you can manually prune the old way by sorting the Corpus window by Total.
  • Updated to SQLite 2.8.6 and tuned it for speed.
  • Updated to PCRE 4.3.
  • Updated to eSellerate 3.5, which should fix crashes some people saw after registering on 10.2.6.
  • Now looks at headers of subparts of messages from Mailsmith.
  • Time-consuming operations now either have a progress bar or a progress spinner.
  • Better at extracting malformed e-mail addresses from headers.
  • Copying rows from the Corpus window to the clipboard now uses the order of the columns in the window rather than the default column order.
  • Fixed regression where the Entourage scripts no longer created the Spam folder if it didn’t exist.
  • Fixed potential crash with regex replacements at the end of a string.
  • The history and the corpus files can now be aliases.
  • Automatically trims carriage returns and other illegal characters when you paste in your name and serial number.
  • Now saves the name and serial number to disk as soon as they’re entered.
  • The Spam folder in Entourage no longer has to be top-level.
  • Entourage can mark good messages as unread.
  • Type-selecting in table views is quicker.
  • No longer nags constantly when unregistered.
  • Fixed bug where it could look as though SpamSieve had hung if it started up in the background with an empty corpus.
1.3.1—June 18, 2003
  • Added direct integration with Mailsmith 2.0 and later. Enabling SpamSieve is as easy as clicking a checkbox. You can train SpamSieve directly from Mailsmith’s Message menu. Bare Bones Software has seamlessly integrated it with Mailsmith’s powerful filtering system, and Mailsmith knows not to bounce its Dock icon after receiving a batch of messages that are all spam.
  • Fixed crashing bug triggered by incorrectly encoded headers.
  • Regex substitutions are faster and much more memory efficient.
  • When adding spam messages to the corpus, the default is now for SpamSieve to move them to the Spam folder.
  • The PowerMail Move If Spam script now changes the color of spam messages.
  • The Emailer scripts now pass text and HTML attachments on to SpamSieve for analysis.
  • Added instructions for using the Entourage and PowerMail address books as whitelists.
  • Compacted the ED frameworks to reduce application size and memory use.
  • Disabled SQLite’s file locking so that SpamSieve’s data folder can now be located on an AppleShare volume.
  • Caches the Address Book to speed whitelist lookups 100 fold.
  • The statistics database is faster due to an updated version of SQLite.
  • Fixed bad pointer in header extractor that caused unnecessary fallbacks to the secondary parser (reducing accuracy).
  • Added experimental support for moving Entourage messages on IMAP accounts to the (local) Spam folder. This can be enabled by editing the scripts with Script Editor.
  • For clarity, the names of AppleScripts that ask SpamSieve to predict the category of a message now contain the word “if.”
  • Added lots of minor clarifications to the documentation.
1.3—February 11, 2003
  • More resilient to spammers’ tricks for obfuscating words.
  • Can use e-mail addresses in the system Address Book as a whitelist. Messages sent from those addresses will never be marked as spam.
  • Greatly reduced overall memory usage as well as launch and quit times.
  • Can save false negatives to disk for later reporting to SpamSieve’s developer.
  • You can edit the spam and good counts associated with a word, remove selected words from the corpus, and reset the corpus entirely.
  • Type-ahead navigation in the Corpus window. Type the first few letters of a word or number to select it (and scroll to it).
  • You can hide statistics from before a set date, to better see the current accuracy and spam reception rate.
  • Improvements to the Corpus window: Shows all words rather than only those considered statistically significant. Re-sorting by numeric columns is twice as fast. You can copy the selected rows to the clipboard or drag them to another application. The selection is preserved when you change the sort column, you can sort in descending order, and the sorted column is remembered between launches. The Home and End keys work.
  • The Prune Corpus command now tells you how many words it would remove and asks for confirmation.
  • The statistics tracking is smarter about handling duplicate messages.
  • The statistics have tooltips explaining what they mean, and you can copy all of the statistics to the clipboard at once.
  • Improved accuracy tracking of PowerMail and Emailer messages.
  • Eudora Integration: Can mark spam messages as read and/or mark them for removal from the server.
  • Expanded the AppleScript dictionary, to enable better integration with mail and news clients.
  • Entourage Integration: Creates Junk category if there isn’t one, and can mark spam messages as read.
  • Mailsmith Integration: The adding scripts now set the appropriate message properties.
  • Better parsing of messages with illegal characters in the headers.
  • SpamSieve’s Info.plist file contains an LSUIElement entry. Change the 0 to a 1 to hide the application’s Dock icon. (You’ll need to change it back to access the preferences.)
  • The message count display has moved from the Corpus window to the Statistics window.
  • Better error message when the corpus couldn’t be saved.
  • Added tooltips to preferences.
  • The registration window gives better feedback when you personalize.
  • Better recovery from errors in the corpus file.
  • The secondary parser is better at handling DOS linebreaks.
1.2.2—November 20, 2002
  • Fixed bug in the PowerMail Add Good script.
  • Added uninstaller for Eudora users.
  • Better handling of errors while adding messages to the corpus.
  • Removed bloat from the Entourage Mark Spam script.
  • The application icon now has an alpha channel, so it doesn’t appear with a white halo when viewed on a colored background.
  • Minor changes to the manual.
1.2.1—November 18, 2002
  • Modified Info.plist to work around a bug in Mac OS X 10.1 that could cause the Finder to crash when launching SpamSieve.
1.2—November 18, 2002
  • Added support for Emailer 2.0v3 and Eudora (5.2 and later).
  • Decodes base64 and quoted-printable text parts, thus finding words that spammers try to hide from anti-spam software.
  • Decodes subjects that use different character sets (e.g. big5).
  • Adds special tokens for MIME entities such as part boundaries and uninterpretable message parts.
  • Keeps track of the messages added to the corpus, and can optionally prevent you from adding the same message more than once (biasing the counts). Thus, you no longer have to remember which messages you’ve already added.
  • You can now “undo” adds to the corpus, e.g. if you added a message as good when you meant to add it as spam.
  • Can now add messages to the corpus as they are filtered, so after the initial training you only have to add messages when SpamSieve makes a mistake.
  • When filtering a message, SpamSieve can optionally check whether the message is in the corpus. If it is, SpamSieve looks up the answer rather than trying to predict. One use of this feature is that if SpamSieve makes a mistake, you can Add Spam and then Label/Move If Spam and be sure that the message will be labeled/moved.
  • Keeps a log of additions to the corpus, filtering results, and errors.
  • Mailsmith: If SpamSieve thinks a message is spam, it sets the deleted property of the message to true; otherwise it sets the flagged property of the message to true. Therefore, if SpamSieve has classified the message then exactly one of the properties will be true, and if it hasn’t they’ll both be false. (Normally, neither of these message properties is used by Mailsmith itself.)
  • Entourage and PowerMail: If you tell SpamSieve to move spam messages to a spam folder and the spam folder doesn’t exist, the script will create the spam folder for you.
  • When you add spam messages to the corpus, can optionally move them to a Spam folder.
  • Added status indicators in the Dock icon (like Norton DiskLight).
  • The spam probability of unknown words is now 0.4 instead of 0.2.
  • The Corpus window uses less memory and sorts much faster.
  • Accuracy tracking is faster and uses less memory and disk space.
  • Fixed bug where accuracy tracking didn’t work for some Mailsmith messages with multiple parts.
  • Improved the manual’s instructions for e-mail client integration.
  • Compiled with GCC 3 for greater speed.
  • Uses the latest version of the eSellerate SDK, which eliminates a crash at startup under certain circumstances.
  • No longer shows the “Upgrading From 1.0” message when starting with a blank corpus.
1.1—September 19, 2002
  • E-Mail Client Integration
    • Added support for PowerMail.
    • Added instructions and an AppleScript for making Mailsmith download and filter mail faster.
    • Added an AppleScript for Entourage that moves spam into a Junk folder.
  • Performance
    • Launches about 60% faster than 1.0.
    • You can now prune the corpus to remove words that are taking up memory without contributing to spam recognition. This can also dramatically decrease SpamSieve’s launch time.
    • Recalculating spam probabilities is about 10% faster and uses less memory.
    • Quitting is faster because SpamSieve now writes corpus changes to disk during idle time.
    • Saving the corpus is slightly faster.
  • Displays statistics about the number of messages filtered, SpamSieve’s accuracy, and the types of words in the corpus.
  • SpamAssassin’s X-Spam-Status headers are now treated as single words. This means that if SpamAssassin is running on your mail server, SpamSieve will learn to respect (or ignore) its judgment.
  • Does a better job of ignoring e-mail attachments, thus reducing corpus bloat.
  • Installs the eSellerate Engine if it’s not present, thus enabling “Instant Registration” for more users.
  • Asking SpamSieve to categorize a message now forces an update of all the word probabilities. Previously, the update only happened during idle time.
  • Highlights the sorted column in the Corpus window. The columns themselves have shorter names. There’s a new “Total” column. Auto-resizing of the columns works better. You can now manually resize any column, and manual resizings and reorderings are saved between launches.
  • Shows fatal errors as alert panels rather than just printing them on the console.
  • The Corpus.plist data file is now sorted by word. This makes it easier to examine the corpus manually, and to compare it to other users’ corpora.
1.0—September 10, 2002
  • First public release.