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7.1   Why is SpamSieve not catching my spam?

SpamSieve is normally highly accurate at filtering out spam messages, and once properly trained it will usually keep working well. If you notice a sudden drop in the filtering accuracy, this is usually because of a problem in your mail program’s setup, not because a new type of spam message is evading SpamSieve. (Even if the setup initially worked, it can become incorrect over time due to file corruption or iCloud syncing problems.) This section will help you to fix such setup problems yourself. You can also ask for help if you need additional assistance.

  1. When you receive new messages, the mail program needs to send them to SpamSieve for analysis. To make sure that it’s set up to do this, please follow the instructions in the Checking the Apple Mail Setup or Checking the Outlook Setup section. There are also additional sections listed below for other mail programs.
  2. When using the Apple Mail extension, the sections Why are Apple Mail inbox messages not being processed? and Why are other Apple Mail mailboxes not being processed? are also relevant. It may be that filtering is working but delayed. You can use the Add green flag to unread good messages option to investigate this.
  1. The mail program will only apply SpamSieve (and your other rules) to messages that arrive in the Mac’s inbox and are unread.
    • Are you reading the messages on a phone or other computer before your Mac sees them? Mark them as unread again before the Mac downloads them if you want SpamSieve to filter them.
    • Do you have rules set up on your mail server that move the messages out of the inbox? For example, if you have multiple iCloud aliases and are using server rules to separate the messages by alias, none of the messages will arrive in the Mac’s inbox. You may want to enable the Filter spam messages in other mailboxes option.
    • Is a server junk filter moving the messages to a Junk mailbox? Those messages are not SpamSieve mistakes do not need to be trained as spam.
  2. SpamSieve keeps a log of all the messages that it examined and why it thought they were good or spam. The Log section describes how the log can tell you whether a spam message was missed because of the mail program’s settings, SpamSieve’s settings, or SpamSieve’s training.
  3. The mail program may be having trouble communicating with SpamSieve. To check for communication errors, see the Sending in an Error Report section.
  4. For the best filtering accuracy, SpamSieve needs to be properly trained.
    • The Checking the Training section has more information about this.
    • Also, make sure that you do not have other rules (besides SpamSieve) in your mail program that move messages to the spam mailbox or trash. Such rules can prevent you from properly training SpamSieve.
  5. You can contact technical support at Before sending your message, please read the What information should I include when I report a problem? section. Make sure that you’ve included all of the general information, as well as the items requested in the If you have spam messages in your inbox section.
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