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3.15   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 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, battery power, or cellular data downloading or processing spam messages.

Cleaning the iPhone’s Inbox

In most cases, 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. (If you are not already using IMAP or Exchange, please see the Converting Your Apple Mail Setup to IMAP section.) New messages will arrive in the inbox, and SpamSieve will move the spam messages to the Junk mailbox. When the iPhone checks for new mail, the spam messages will generally already have been moved out of the inbox.

When Filtering Occurs

In order for messages to be filtered, your mail program needs to be running on your Mac. The Mac either needs to be on or set up for Filtering Spam During Power Nap. If your Mac is not on and connected to the Internet all the time, you will want to at least make sure that it is running shortly before you check mail on your phone so that there’s time for the messages to be filtered.

You can set your Mac to automatically wake up at a certain time so that it can filter messages:

Training SpamSieve to Correct Mistakes

SpamSieve puts the spam that it catches into the special Junk, which syncs between all your devices. Thus, you will always have access to the suspected spam messages, in case a good message is accidentally moved there.

Timing Issues

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

Troubleshooting iPhone Spam Filtering

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

  1. If the Mac hasn’t yet downloaded the spam messages at all, you may need to adjust the Check for new messages preference in Mail. Make sure that the IDLE command is enabled in Mail’s settings for your account. With some servers, it may help to check for new messages every minute rather than Automatically.
  2. If the spam messages are in the inbox on your Mac, this is not an iPhone-specific problem. You should follow the regular Why is SpamSieve not catching my spam? instructions.
  3. If the spam messages are in the iPhone’s inbox but in the Mac’s Junk 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.
  4. 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.
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