Contents  SpamSieve Manual  Technical Support   If the Apple Mail Plug-In Doesn’t Appear in the List or Doesn’t Stay Enabled

In rare cases, you may not be able to enable the SpamSieve plug-in in Mail because the plug-in is not listed in the Manage Plug-ins… sheet. Or you may click the checkbox to enable it, but it will not stay enabled when you restart Mail.

  1. First, try to uninstall and reinstall the plug-in. Choose Uninstall Apple Mail Plug-In… from the SpamSieve menu, restart Mail, and then choose Install Apple Mail Plug-In from the SpamSieve menu. Mail maintains its own separate copy of installed plug-ins, and restarting after uninstalling can get it to clear out its damaged copy, whereas simply installing a fresh copy of the plug-in will not. You may want to temporarily uncheck your SpamSieve rules in Mail’s preferences before doing this, so that the uninstaller doesn’t offer to delete them, and so that Mail doesn’t move any messages to the Spam mailbox while the plug-in is uninstalled.

  2. If that doesn’t help, make sure that you have not redirected Mail’s plug-ins folder to be stored in a different location. If you haven’t tried to move Mail’s files or your home folder, you can skip this step. The 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 whole Mail folder to another location, e.g. using a symlink. If you really want your mail to be stored on a different volume, you can move just the V8 or V7 folder and replace it with a symlink, or use the Users & Groups preferences pane to move your entire home folder to a different volume.

  3. If you still can’t enable the plug-in, the problem may be that Mail’s private plug-ins folder is damaged and needs to be reset. Please follow the instructions below for the version of macOS that you’re using:

    macOS 11

    To delete Mail’s plug-ins folder:

    /Users/<username>/Library/Application Support/Mail/Plug-ins/Bundles/

    you can hold down the Option key when choosing Install Apple Mail Plug-In. Or, to delete it manually:

    1. Quit Mail.
    2. Open your user Library folder as described in How can I open the Library folder?.
    3. Open the Application Support folder, then the Mail folder, then the Plug-ins folder.
    4. Drag the Bundles folder to the trash.

    macOS 10.15 and Earlier

    Ask Mail to Reset the DataVaults

    In most cases, asking Mail to reset the DataVaults folder will work. To do this:

    1. Quit Mail.

    2. Open the Terminal app in the Utilities folder.

    3. Enter this command:

      defaults delete EnableBundles

      and press Return.

    4. Launch Mail and then quit it.

    5. Enter this command in Terminal:

      defaults write EnableBundles -bool YES

      and press Return.

    Delete the DataVaults Folder

    If asking Mail to reset the folder doesn’t work, you can delete the DataVaults folder without losing any important data, and then Mail will recreate it when you try to enable the SpamSieve plug-in, hopefully fixing the problem:

    1. You may want to print these instructions, write them down, or open them on another computer or device so that you have access to them while rebooting your Mac.

    2. Click on the Apple menu and choose Restart…. Hold down the Command and R keys so that your Mac will reboot in Recovery Mode. This will enable you to temporarily turn off System Integrity Protection (as instructed below) so that you have access to delete the protected DataVaults folder.

    3. From the Utilities menu at the top of the screen, choose Terminal.

    4. Type csrutil disable and press Return. (This is what turns off SIP.)

    5. Click on the Apple menu and choose Restart.

    6. The folder:


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

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

    8. You can then repeat Steps 2–5, typing csrutil enable instead, in order to turn SIP back on.

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