Contents  SpamSieve Manual  Technical Support   Enabling and Updating the Apple Mail Plug-In

On macOS 10.14, after you install the plug-in for Apple Mail or SpamSieve auto-updates it to a newer version, Mail will not load the plug-in until you enable it.

To Enable the Plug-In

  1. Quit Mail if it’s open.

  2. Launch Mail and choose Preferences… from the Mail menu.

  3. Click on the General tab.

  4. Click the Manage Plug-ins… button at the bottom of the window.

  5. Make sure that SpamSieve.mailbundle is checked.

    apple mail manage plug ins

  6. Click Apply and Restart Mail.

Why the Plug-In Needs to Be Enabled

When you first install the plug-in or when a new version of SpamSieve updates it, Mail will not load the plug-in until you have given your permission by enabling it.

If SpamSieve’s Mail plug-in is not loaded, Mail will not filter new messages through SpamSieve, and you will not be able to train SpamSieve. Additionally, if Mail receives new messages while the SpamSieve plug-in is disabled, the SpamSieve rule in Mail will move them to the Spam mailbox without consulting SpamSieve. SpamSieve will try to prevent this by temporarily deactivating the rule if it notices that the plug-in is disabled. You can also do this yourself by unchecking the SpamSieve rule in Mail’s preferences before updating SpamSieve. Or you can just drag the messages back to the inbox if you happen to receive any before you’ve had a chance to re-enable the plug-in. (They do not need to be trained as good because SpamSieve did not think they were spam; they were moved by Mail.)

If You No Longer Want to Use Apple Mail With SpamSieve

If you’ve switched to another mail client and don’t want SpamSieve to remind you to enable its Mail plug-in, choose Uninstall Apple Mail Plug-In… from the SpamSieve menu to tell SpamSieve that you are no longer using Mail.

If SpamSieve Tells You the Plug-In Isn’t Loading, But It Is

If you see the SpamSieve commands in Mail’s Message menu, that means its plug-in has loaded. In rare cases, SpamSieve may think that the plug-in has not loaded, and ask you to enable it, even though it was actually working properly. For example, this can happen if Mail takes a very long time to launch. If this happens to you, please:

  1. Click this link to enable some additional debug logging.
  2. If Mail takes a long time to launch, please use Activity Monitor to record a few samples of it while it’s launching.
  3. The next time SpamSieve incorrectly reports that the plug-in has not loaded, please save a diagnostic report and send it in (along with the sample logs) so that we can investigate what is going wrong on your Mac.

If the Plug-In Won’t Load or Stay Enabled

In rare cases, you may click the checkbox to enable the SpamSieve plug-in, but it will not stay enabled when you restart Mail. First, check the location of Mail’s data store:


This folder must be stored on the same volume as your home folder (and, ideally, on the boot volume) or Mail will not trust its contents. So you should not try to redirect the folder to another location, e.g. using a symlink.

Second, it’s possible that Mail’s DataVaults folder is damaged. You can delete it (without losing any important data), and then Mail will recreate it when you try to enable the plug-in, hopefully fixing the problem:

  1. First, we will temporarily turn off System Integrity Protection so that we have access to delete the folder. You may want to print these instructions or write them down so that you have access to them while rebooting your Mac.

  2. Click on the Apple menu and choose Restart….

  3. Hold down the Command and R keys so that your Mac will reboot in Recovery Mode.

  4. From the Utilities menu, choose Terminal.

  5. Type csrutil disable and press Return.

  6. Click on the Apple menu and choose Restart.

  7. Drag the folder:


    to the trash. (See How can I open the Library folder? if you have trouble finding it.)

  8. Launch Mail and click on Manage Plug-ins… to enable the SpamSieve plug-in.

  9. You can then repeat Steps 2–6, typing csrutil enable instead, in order to turn SIP back on.

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