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

Sometimes SpamSieve may classify a message as spam (as shown in the log), and change its color in Apple Mail, but the message does not move to the Junk mailbox; it remains in the inbox.

Here are some ways to fix this:

  1. Follow the Setting the Junk Mailbox in Apple Mail instructions to make sure that each mail account has a Junk mailbox and that it’s stored on the mail server.
  2. If you’re using the Mail plug-in, make sure that your SpamSieve rule in Apple Mail looks like the one shown in the Setting Up Apple Mail (Plug-In) section of the manual. If Mail loses track of the Junk mailbox, there may be no mailbox specified in the rule’s actions, and so Mail will not move the spam messages.
  3. 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 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.
  4. 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 setting your Mac to not go to sleep, as described in the Filtering Spam During Power Nap instructions. You can also use the QuitMailWhenMacSleeps esoteric preference to make SpamSieve automatically quit Mail before the Mac sleeps and launch it when it wakes.
  5. A bug in macOS 10.15 through macOS 14, affecting a small number of customers, can prevent Mail rules from moving messages to certain mailboxes. Although the server may show them as moved, Mail on the Mac may also show them colored in the inbox. You can work around this by ensuring that the rule moves the messages to a mailbox that’s on the same server. The easiest way to do this is to use Mail’s special Junk mailbox, as described in Setting the Junk Mailbox in Apple Mail.
  6. See whether the problem still occurs if you disable other Mail plug-ins, as described in the Can other Apple Mail plug-ins cause problems with SpamSieve? section.
  7. Mail’s database may be damaged. Please see the How can I rebuild Apple Mail’s database? section of the manual.
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