Email going to "Junk"

About 2-3 weeks ago email have been going to my wife’s junk that is not junk - including emails from me (you can stop laughing now…). We both have the same 2020 MBP running the latest Ventura. I have experienced some emails that were not put in junk before now going to junk. Both mail prefs are set up the same and we share a contacts list. The emails going to junk are from people or orgs in our contacts.
Anyone else seeing this? I’ve reset the junk system and it is still doing it. Recommendations on fixing? Thank you. David

Junk mail is a mystery. I’m constantly seeing things flagged as junk which are legitimate.

What’s worse is the ‘Not Junk’ learning option seems to do nothing. I receive many regular emails and no matter how many times I tell Mail it’s not junk, it still stubbornly classifies it as junk.

Unfortunately this has been going on for literally decades

It’s truly astonishing that Apple has been so completely incompetent in handling junk in – and that they continue to be after 20+ years.

If you want a tried and true remedy take a look at SpamSieve:

The thing that bothers me is that if one uses Apple’s new(ish) Hide My Email service, those emails seem to ALWAYS go to Junk!

I am a happy, long-term user of SpamSieve, highly recommend it to every Mac user I meet, but Apple Mail moves iCloud mail to Junk on the server side, i.e., before SpamSieve can do its magic.

You’d think Apple Mail would be able to tell that mail sent through its own servers (via Hide My Email) is legit, but nope, not in my experience.

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I’ve noticed something else in the past week. I subscribe to a mailing list for a local airline. Typically their emails arrive without issue but this past week they arrive and are blank. They’re not flagged as junk, just an (apparently) empty email.

When I log in to iCloud via a browser the emails renders properly. There’s something odd when the browser based ‘client’ can render an email but the dedicated Mail app can’t.

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Apple no longer lets you turn off the iCloud server junk filter, but you can set SpamSieve to rescue the good messages from the Junk mailbox after the server has moved them there.


trilo: this fix often works for blank e-mails. Start up in Safe Mode and see if the Mails show their content. Then restart normally, and they should show up now. Apparently a Safe Mode startup clears some caches that don’t get cleared with normal restarts.

Neither of us have “hide my email” activated - still getting “.me” emails going to junk.

Might this fix the issue where a folder is shown as empty even though there are messages in it? Some people have mentioned this issue after a macOS upgrade.

I don’t know as I haven’t had that. I would guess that rebuilding the mailbox would work better for that.

The fix for that is to turn off Mail filters, as mentioned here:

Thank you. Tried that multiple times (doing the same thing and expecting different results).

Thank you. This is the first time I have heard anyone suggest that Mail filters caused the problem that a small percentage of users had with Mail after updating macOS, and I suspect that I failed to communicate the root issue. (My search skills are not good, but Is It Safe to Upgrade to macOS 11 Big Sur? mentions this, if you want to read more.) As far as I could tell, the cited Apple support page was just general information and did not address the recurring problem. Nonetheless, I plan to verify that filters are off on the problematic iMac tomorrow.

Lacking further details about he problem you are experiencing, I probably should have said, “a possible fix for that” (instead of “the fix”).

Tried this without success. They’re weren’t visible in Safe mode either.

When I had that issue I was told that if that did not work, to look for Finder Extensions that were incompatible. Rather go through the old -style extension conflict process, I re-installed macOS and solved he problem.

Did you intentionally not mention you’re the SpamSieve developer? :wink: And EagleFiler? Indispensable awesome software. Thanks for your dedication Michael.


I’m not sure why a Finder extension would cause an issue with Mail but I haven’t installed any in the past month and it was working fine a fortnight ago.

Whilst it’s a little annoying, for me it doesn’t warrant a system reinstall. Hopefully the new dot update may fix it.

Tonight I updated to 13.3, still not working.

I have endured this anomaly for years. I have tried ALL the “fixes” to no avail.

All accounts are served by iCloud still inbound stuff from my wife (a few yards away in our home) and my brother - all iCloud mail users - have the same issue. All are in all the others’ Contacts. I have given up as there appears to be NO fix. Sorry. :rage:


My guess based on prior experience is that your wife (inadvertently, of course) hit “spam” for one of your emails instead of just “delete” or “archive” and the system decided “oh she doesn’t want these but can’t unsubscribe.”

To reverse the “training”, if she goes into junk and finds an email from you and consistently clicks on “not spam” then the system can be “retrained”. It does not happen as fast going that direction as it likely did in the other.

I have never had to tinker deep in the works for such a problem.

I do acknowledge that odd experiences like this are surprisingly common, but often have different mechanisms.


We tried that - and a reset. I think it may be working.