5 Replies Latest reply: Jan 11, 2009 11:58 PM by Mhlg66
pianoman1976 Level 1 Level 1 (100 points)
My email provider is AOL. I use Apple Mail and was wondering how spam is handled. Do items that AOL deems as spam wind up in my Apple Mail spam folder - or are they filtered out all together, never to be seen on Apple Mail?

Does Apple Mail do it's own spam filtering or is this handled by my mail provider?


iMac 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4 GB SDRAM, Mac OS X (10.5)
  • 1. Re: How Spam Filters Work?
    Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (226,855 points)
    AOL provides its own filtering if you enable it. Otherwise you would just have everything pass through to you. I do not know if AOL provides filtering if you are simply using their mail servers and not using their access software. You will need to ask AOL about that.

    Mail does have a spam filter. It's what you use the Junk Mail icon in the Mail preference's toolbar. Some mail ISPs do have spam filtering but may only pass on mail header information. Mail's Junk Mail filter can use that information or ignore it. In the latter case you would have to set up your own mail rules to handle the information.
  • 2. Re: How Spam Filters Work?
    pianoman1976 Level 1 Level 1 (100 points)
    So mail that AOL deems as spam will not go to my Apple Mail spam folder?
  • 3. Re: How Spam Filters Work?
    Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (226,855 points)
    I did not say that. AOL's desktop software for the Mac can be configured to block mail based on certain criteria provided by AOL. If you are simply using their POP mail server then I don't know if the do any junk mail filtering, and I suggested you need to ask them about it.
  • 4. Re: How Spam Filters Work?
    j.v. Level 5 Level 5 (4,150 points)
    One of my mail accounts is on AOL (well, AIM, actually, but they are really the same thing). It is an IMAP account. It shows up on the lefthand column of my mail viewer window, underneath my "Mailboxes" and "On My Mac." If I single-click on that little gray triangle to the left of the AIM account, it expands into a Junk, Sent, Spam, Trash and VoiceMail folders (VoiceMail is a feature of paid AOL/AIM accounts, not the free ones, even though it shows up for free accounts). I believe that the Junk folder there is a mirror of the local junk folder on my computer, where mail that slipped by AIM's spam filters goes when I move junk into, or my rules move into, my junk folder. But I have never really checked that out. The Spam folder there is where AOL/AIM puts messages that they have flagged as spam, and messages parked there have not been download locally to your computer's junk folder, they are on the server only. These guys have not been subjected to AppleMail's junk filtering and won't be unless you drag them into your inbox and you have junk filtering enabled.

    AppleMail does its own junk filtering. Go to Mail Preferences > Junk Mail to turn it on.
  • 5. Re: How Spam Filters Work?
    Mhlg66 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    I have a POP account with Ntlworld (Virginmedia), which I suspect may be fairly similar. Virginmedia has fairly good filtering, though a little overzealous. I log into Virginmedia on the web and set filtering to mark but deliver Spam. This gives me a chance to check through the junk.
    I also set Mail filtering to transfer Spam to its Junk folder. Mail seems to have a problem recognising a class of Spam which fakes my email address as the sender. I also email working documents to myself as a convenient way of transferring them between computers. Virginmedia can distinguish and mark the fakes.
    The two problems with Mail filtering are: (1) Although I tick "Trust junk mail headings set by ISP", it doesn't do anything. (2) I can't tell the Mail junk filter directly to transfer anything with [SPAM?] in the subject to the Junk folder. I don't want to set up a new custom filter and lose all the training.
    The fix I have adopted is to use a mailbox rule instead to transfer [SPAM?] to Junk, also ticking "apply rule after junk filtering". This has the added bonus that Spam missed by the Mail filter is a different colour.
    The last step is to train the Virginmedia filter to stop labelling mail from a few legitimate senders as Spam. This is possible but complicated