Skip Navigation

Thursday April 17th, 2014

Configuring Spam Scanning for
MacOS X Mail

Summary: OS X comes with its own email client, Mail. Since OS 10.2, Mail has included built in Spam filtering. Use the instructions below to configure both Mail's built in Junk filtering and UCI's SpamAssassin rules.

Enabling Junk Mail Filtering in Mail

Related Information

To determine what version of OS X you have installed, click on the blue Apple in the top left corner and select "About this Mac". The version will be listed under the Apple logo.

OS 10.2.x (Jaguar)

  1. Click on the Mail menu at the top of the screen and select Junk Mail.
  2. Set it to Automatic. This will move all messages marked as Junk to a Junk folder.

OS 10.3.x (Panther)
Junk mail filtering is on by default in Training mode. It will mark messages but not move them to a separate folder. To set it to Automatic and move them to a Junk folder, follow the steps below.

  1. Click on the Mail menu at the top of the screen and select Preferences.
  2. Click on the Junk Mail icon at the top of the Preferences window.
  3. Select the Move it to the Junk mailbox (automatic) radio button.
  4. Close the Preferences window.

Configuring UCI's Spam Checking

This will create an additional layer of filtering for Spam using UCI's SpamAssassin program that tags messages before they are delivered to you. Messages that have a score of 5 or higher will be tagged as Spam.

  1. Click on the Mail menu at the top of the screen, then choose Preferences (See Figure 1)

Figure 3: Mail menu
Figure 1

  1. Click on the Rules icon, then click the Add Rule button. (See Figure 2)

Figure 4: Preferences window
Figure 2

  1. In the Description box, type "Spam" as the name for the filter (See Figure 3)
  2. Click on the word From and select Edit Header List (See Figure 3)

Figure 5: Filters configuration
Figure 3
  1. Enter the text "X-UCIRVINE-Spamscore" into the Header: text box (See Figure 4)

Figure 6: Headers
Figure 4
  1. Click the Add Header button and then OK.
  2. Set all options in this window as shown below (See Figure 5)
    "If any of the following conditions are met: X-UCIRVINE-Spamscore Contains sssss Perform the following actions: Move Message to mailbox: Junk." This will set your Spamscore to 5. You can lower this score by typing in fewer "s".

Figure 7: Filters configuration
Figure 5

  1. Click OK and then close the Rules window. This will filter email sent to your '@UCI.EDU' address.
  2. Repeat steps 2-8 to create additional filters. As an example, enter "X-NACS_ES-MailScanner-SpamScore" into the Header: text box to create an additional filter if you use OIT Mailbox Services. Check with your local Computer Support Coordinator in your School or Department to see if there are additional Spam tags on their local mail delivery systems.

Please Note: Because SpamAssassin and SpamCheck are unable to determine with 100% accuracy if a message is unsolicited, you will want to check your Junk folder frequently for legitimate emails, as well as to delete the actual Spam.

Now you are setup for Spam filtering. If you have any problems, please call the OIT Help Desk at 949-824-2222, Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.