7 Replies Latest reply: Apr 27, 2008 5:18 PM by ekruB
KBeat Level 3 (790 points)
I'm attempting to set up a couple of smart mailboxes that will display Junk Mail sorted by which account it was sent to for easier review. However, I can't get smart mailboxes to display any messages from the junk folder.

For example. I have a smart mailbox with the following rules:

Any Recipient: Contains: widget@xyz.com
Message is in Mailbox: Junk

Even though there are a number of junk messages addressed to widget@xyz.com in my junk mail folder, the smart mailbox won't display them. I can do a search within mail and it works just fine, but even saving that search as a smart mailbox fails to yield results.

Is it possible to use smart mailboxes to sort Junk Mail?

MacBook Pro Santa Rosa 2.4 ghz, Power Mac G4 Dual 2.5 ghz, Mac OS X (10.5.2), iPhone 8 GB, iPod Nano 8 GB (2nd Gen), AppleTV 160 GB
  • Austin Kinsella1 Level 6 (11,510 points)
    The answer to your question is, as far as I can tell, no. However, I think there is no need for it in this case. If all you want to do is review your junk by the receiving account, click the triangle by the Junk Mailbox and it will expand to show the sub-mailboxes for the individual accounts.

  • KBeat Level 3 (790 points)
    Hi Austin,

    Rather than checking several email accounts, I have a few company accounts set up to redirect to one main account. This way I can check one account, and get all the email sorted by various accounts. It of course dumps the junk from all the accounts into one junk mailbox. Smart mailboxes would allows me to sort a couple of the accounts which receive the lions share of the spam far more quickly. As it is, I have to type in the search query every time.
  • Austin Kinsella1 Level 6 (11,510 points)
    I have six email accounts, and have Mail check them all. I can't see any saving in having them all funnelled though to a single account, and keeping them separate means that, in general, a reply goes from the account that received the mail, and I can easily keep track of the separate accounts 'cos they have separate inboxes under the main inbox. They also have separate junk boxes, but I have no need to track junk by account.

  • KBeat Level 3 (790 points)
    Companies often use email accounts to track various customer responses to ads, promotions, web postings, etc. So if your company domain was widgets.com you could use an email addresses like sales@widgets.com, specialoffer@widgets.com, fallsale@widgets.com, springsale@widgets.com, and so on. It's a modern day version of codes people used to add to their physical addresses so they could track where snail mail customer orders came from.

    As these change frequently and are updated regularly, it's impractical to set them up individually in an email program as individual accounts. So, when they are set up, they are simply redirected to the accounts of employees designated to handle such email. They can be set up simply as aliases as well, and we use both methods depending on our needs.

    At any rate, when the email arrives it's a matter of a few simple rules to sort it to appropriate folders. Yes, I know you 'can' have Mail check them all individually Austin, it's very cumbersome to have to go to each employees email program and set up a new account every time. It's much easier to set up an alias or a redirect from the server. Additionally, we don't want the replies to come from the account it was sent to since a representative will be replying personally.

    All of this works splendidly until Mail marks the occasional good message as junk. For the most part it's accurate, but it's less so for the accounts which are new. Given this, it's easier to search the junk mail for good messages if we sort it first by intended recipient. This sort takes seconds using the search bar, but it would be much easier to automate it using a smart mailbox. It's a shame smart mailboxes won't search junk folders.
  • V.K. Level 9 (56,110 points)
    Could you not create your own junk mailbox? call it Myjunk or something and set up junk mail controls to move junk mail there instead of the default Mail junk mailbox. You'll need to empty that mailbox periodically but this can be automated too.
  • Austin Kinsella1 Level 6 (11,510 points)
    It won't make an immediate difference, but they do pay some attention to comments posted at OS X Feedback, so it might be worth while telling them there.

  • ekruB Level 1 (0 points)
    You can use Junk mail in smart mailbox, but Apple has made it tricky for now. When creating a smart mailbox, there are "Include messages from Trash" and "Include messages from Sent" checkboxes, but no matching "Include message from Junk" checkbox...like there should be.

    If you make your smart mailbox and then close Mail, you can edit the file ~/Library/Mail/SmartMailboxes.plist (be SURE you back it up first), and remove the <dict>...</dict> element that specifies that junk should be excluded:

    *NOTE: You must close Mail while editing this file. This is not a tip for beginners!*

    <string>omit junk</string>

    I put ?????? in place of the Unique ID string, since it will vary. More details available here. You can even edit the smart mailbox within Mail and it will continue to work. Whenever you create a new smart mailbox for Junk mail, you'll need to repeat this trick.

    DISCLAIMER: If you aren't comfortable with XML files, then maybe this tip isn't for you.