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Keep spam email from reaching the inbox via Gmail
Authored by: murph on Aug 21, '06 10:36:01PM

My comment is ultimately more of a rant about Mail.app's spam filtering, but I also have Gmail and ATT/Yahoo set up for pop access though Mail. Gmail is my secondary address and ATT Yahoo is my primary, largely because I've been using ATT/Yahoo much longer than Gmail. I've always set up Gmail to filter and hold spam (which it does quite well) and ATT/Yahoo is also set up for spam filtering, but I elected to have whatever ATT/Yahoo considered spam downloaded to Mail.app due to the fact that I have been using that account for so long and I wanted to check it just in case there was ever a false positive. ATT/Yahoo also has a feature where it will mark anything it thinks is spam by placing "[Bulk]" in front of the message subject line if you choose to download it via pop access. My idea was that Mail.app would be set up so it would automatically route anything ATT/Yahoo marked as spam directly to the Junk Mailbox and I would periodically check it there. That's where the nightmare began with Mail.app

In Mail.app's preferences, there is a checkbox to trust junk mail headers sent by the service provider. Apparently, Mail.app doesn't recognize ATT/Yahoo's header, because it would occasionally ignore spam downloaded from ATT/Yahoo that had [Bulk] in the subject line. Fine. The next step was to make use of the [Bulk] that ATT/Yahoo places in the subject line so I added a new rule just above the "mail is junk mail" rule in the advanced section of Mail's Junk preferences where [Bulk] in the subject line was included as criteria to mark as junk. That also didn't work, amazingly enough. Mail with [Bulk] in the subject line would STILL occasionally slip through untouched. Fine...

The next attempt was to use a regular Mail.app rule and not one from the advanced section of the Junk mail pref. Low and behold, that worked...except, unlike spam that Mail automatically places in the junk mailbox, the new message sound would occur (like it was a legitimate message) and the message was not marked by Mail as junk, even though the rule routed it right into the junk mailbox as expected. Very odd behavior, since manually dragging and dropping a message into the junk mailbox automatically marks that message as junk.

So finally I just gave up and no longer bother with it. I reset ATT/Yahoo so spam remains there and I go to their website every once in awhile just to check for false positives (so far extremely rare). It's kind of a pain, but this post doesn't attempt to recall all of the conceivable combinations of rules and/or Junk mail settings I tried to get this to work. Apparently, to achieve the utterly simple sounding goal of having any message with [Bulk] in the subject line automatically marked as junk and placed in the Junk mailbox is simply beyond Mail.app's abilities and that's kind of sad.



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