to commonly asked questions.

junk mail filtering

Can I stop getting junk mail?

How can I reduce the amount of junk mail that I get?

There’s no real magic bullet to resolve junk mail other than the basic tried/true strategies. We all have it. Set junk to auto delete, never use the unsubscribe button on an email you don’t trust, in general, unsubscribe with caution, don’t cc people. Ask people never to cc you. BCC is the only way to go. If all else fails, make rules to junk things if nothing else works.

Why am I still getting junk?

Still a good deal of junk seems to accumulate, but you think once I upgrade to the newer iOS system this will go away too?


Adjusting settings will not reduce the amount of junk you receive. It will just make sure it stays in the junk folder until the time you’ve set to delete it. Everyone gets tons of junk once their email address has been exposed. If the amount of junk you get concerns you, you can always set it to erase when quitting mail or once a day. Right now you have it set to one week I believe. Junk mail is harmless as long as it’s moving into the junk folder and out of the way. If it doesn’t get filtered and lands in the inbox, that’s when you have to use the junk button at the top your email application on the Mac to tell the computer, this is in fact junk and don’t let that sender land in my inbox again.

You can do this on your phone as well but takes a few extra steps. Swiping an email to the left should reveal the “more” then “move to junk” command. I find it easier to just use a computer.

The junk is killing me.

Are there better junk mail filters out there!? I’m deleting around 2,000 a day.

You shouldn't have to be tasked with deleting junk mail yourself. Let's look at how junk mail filtering works.

First, junk mail (spam) is filtered at a couple different levels. It's usually first filtered at the email provider level. Gmail will remove garbage email before it ever gets to you. That happens at their server first. The second layer of filtering happens on the Mac within Apple's mail program. Note that if your computer is closed or off, that level of junk mail filtering will not apply until it is awake again. This means that you may still see junk on your iPad or iPhone in the mean time. So it's a good idea to leave mail open on your computer while you are away.

Next, let's look at the options available in Apple's Mail app. There are three variations of junk filtering.
1. Mark it brown but leave it in the inbox.
2. Move it to the junk folder without asking.
3. Setting up custom rules.

Screen Shot 2021-11-12 at 6.04.16 AM

For 95% of us, the second option is really the best. Just move it automatically. Then you can set the junk folder to empty periodically automatically. To do this, you'll use the mailbox behaviors setting.

Screen Shot 2021-11-15 at 9.15.37 AM

This will give you a period of time to go through your junk mail folder to rescue any false positives before it is permanently deleted. Using this method, you are responsible for marking what email is junk or not junk. Use the junk button to determine the fate of future emails from the SAME sender. There's the catch. Junk mailers often use a different email address each time they send in order to circumvent junk mail filters. Example:

If you still feel there's too much getting through then you can use the third option of customizing junk filtering. Time to be careful however. These are very powerful tools that can end up going further than you'd like. First, you'll need to understand the "all" versus "any" command in the top left of the pic below. "All" means that every single rule you have added must be true at the same time in order for them to apply. This usually results in very few emails moved to junk. "Any" along with less rules is a better plan in my opinion.

By setting "any" then reducing the number of rules, you're more likely to catch exactly what you're after. This takes trial and error so you'll have to have patience to work out exactly what you're looking for. You can think of this window as an algebraic equation. If this, then that. If the following is true, then take the following action. It's best to stick with one action. That action is usually to simply move the message to the junk folder. That's the safest bet.

Next, subscribing and unsubscribing. By law, all bulk email from American companies must provide an unsubscribe option. However, the loophole that exists in that law is that while you can choose to unsubscribe from the monthly newsletter lets say, you may inadvertently be signing up for the weekly newsletter. Another note to keep in mind is that just because there's an unsubscribe option, the company may not be within the US and just be looking to gather more info. The amount of data companies can collect in today's internet is extraordinary. They can tell how long you looked at an email, whether you clicked on the link, hovered over the link, how long you hovered over a particular link, what site you were on before you visited theirs, where you went next after visiting their site, etc….Unsubbing is still a good option if you feel like the company is legitimate. However, keep in mind political email works very differently. Once a person signs up or interacts with a political organization, they will generally start getting a million more emails from various political organizations of the same beliefs. They work together to maximize donations etc…so those are usually harder to disassociate oneself from.

If Apple's built in junk filtering doesn't seem to do what you want, there are still other options. Spam Sieve is a popular third party filtering system you may find luck with. Around $30, it runs locally on your computer which means you'll need to keep your email client open in order for its effects to push over to iOS devices.

Hope this helps.

Why am I not getting all my email?

Problem not resolved from last session- still have settings with junk and spam coming in brown to my inboxes.

Junk mail settings in Apple’s Mail program have three tiers:

Level one: Mark it as junk (brown) but leave it in your inbox.

Level two: Move junk automatically into your junk box therefore not even seeing it unless you look in your junk box.

Level three: (never used) perform custom actions.

Keep in mind junk mail filtering for any account happens at TWO levels. It happens at the server level (your email provider) before it ever gets to you. Then it is filtered again once it arrives in your email program on your computer. (No junk filtering software exists on the phone level). This means Godaddy is filtering a bunch of stuff you’d never want to see like drug ads, adult ads, etc…. So most of that never gets to you. Then Apple’s Mail is using the settings from above to apply even more junk filtering.

Important: Whenever you get an email that has been classified as junk, be sure to select “not junk” in the menu bar at the top of mail. The email should automatically move from the junk folder into the inbox. Or, if you have “mark as junk mail but leave it in my inbox” setting as discussed above, clicking “not junk” would change it from brown to black.

I suggest you choose the second option in Apple’s Mail settings “move it to the junk mailbox”.

Another very important setting to be familiar with is the frequency that Apple’s Mail program deletes the junk folder. It is possible that email has been marked as junk then deleted too quickly. To set the frequency, go to settings then select “accounts” at the top then “Mailbox Behaviors”. Next find “Erase Junk Messages” and choose one, day, one month, or never. You probably want to choose month or never so you have plenty of time to find any mislabel emails.

Account with ( had to reset password, had them send 3 times but never received any of the 3.
Acxxxxxx sent confirmation of order( and then a second with pick up time - I don't have either.

We would want to check the following:

Log into the web browser version of your email and check the email account from your browser first. This eliminates Apple’s Mail as a suspect if it can be found in a folder on the web. Keep in mind, junk and spam are the same thing so you’d want to look in either of those folders then if you find either the minted or ace hardware emails, select them, mark them as “not junk” then move them into your inbox.

Lastly, you’d want to check that you don’t have any specific rules set up to manage mail. This is doubtful that you have rules that would effect either of these senders but it’s worth checking by going to “Rules” in Settings. You can see the Rules selection in the top right corner of the previous screen shot.

Don't need to conference at all - just need it fixed this time please, but will be available if you need to chat, thanks!

Managing junk mail can be so frustrating. I hear from clients often that they missed an important email due to it being marked as junk. I also hear from people upset at the amount of actual junk mail they get also. Unfortunately there is no perfect solution, only compromise between too much or too little filtering.

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