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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.

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