Monitor your Junk E- mail

Manage your Junk E-mail folder in Entourage using custom arrangements to sort by account.

I was discussing how to manage multiple accounts in one Entourage Identity with a user that had each account in it’s own Identity so they could find the “good” messages that were caught by the Junk Mail Filter. I’m in a similar situation since I frequently receive mail sent to my public email accounts from users that are not in my Address Book. Identifying “good” mail when you receive hundreds of spam messages isn’t easy especially when you have multiple accounts.

You can achieve the same results of multiple Identities using Preview Pane on Right (3 pane view) and sort by Accounts to manage your Junk Mail Folder. Even if you do not have to worry about receiving mail from unknown users, using the custom arrangement to sort by Accounts will help show you which account is receiving the most spam.

Sort by Account using Custom Arrangements

In Entourage’s 3 pane view, you can sort by custom arrangements. (this option was introduced in Entourage 2004)

Select Edit Custom Arrangements

Select “Account” from the pop up for Group items by and Sort groups by.

You can customize the other choices. If you have many accounts or huge numbers of junk emails, you might want to select “collapsed” and use the number as a guide for monitoring your spam magnet accounts. Here are my selections:

The results in my Junk Mail Folder:


Forward your account to Gmail: If one account is a particular spam magnet, but you do not want to delete this account, you can forward this account to a Gmail account and let the Gmail spam filter work it’s magic. In my Gmail POP account, only 1 spam got through today while the remainder are on Gmail’s server. Gmail will hold your spam up to 30 days so you have time to check it with your web browser. This is spam for the last week that was never downloaded to Entourage.

Use “Nuke Messages” script to delete spam: In Entourage 2008, when you select to delete messages in the Junk Mail folder, you get the warning:

You can bypass this by using the Nuke Messages script with a shortcut. Download Nuke Messages script. If you have “leave on server” selected. Be sure to check “Delete messages from the server after they are deleted from this computer” to nuke them from the server as well.

POP Account Options tab:

If you aren’t familiar with using AppleScripts with Entourage see the series AppleScripting Entourage.

Rule Basics

There are 3 different kind of rules in Entourage:

  • Mailing List Manager (MLM)
  • Junk Mail Filter
  • Rules (custom rules you create)

They run in the order listed above. The custom rules also run in the order they are listed. (top runs first)

To learn the basics, learn how to create custom rules, troubleshoot and see examples, visit Using Rules with Entourage
The key to managing your Junk Mail Filter is keeping an up-to-date Address Book. The Junk Mail Filter never assigns messages from contacts in your Address Book to the Junk category. If junk mail is ending up in another folder, check the Mailing List Manager. It runs before the Junk Mail Filter. It’s very easy to set up a MLM rule by accident, when you are marking a message as ‘not junk’….especially in Entourage 2004. For more help see Dealing with Junk Mail.

Use SpamSieve to sort mail

Training the junk mail filter: Entourage’s Junk Mail Filter does not learn. Occasionally, the filter is updated. If you find that Entourage’s Junk Mail Filter is not working for you, you might want to try out SpamSieve ($30). SpamSieve uses powerful Bayesian spam filtering and has been recommended by Entourage users for many years. See Using SpamSieve with Entourage

For instance, suppose you have a rule that moves all the messages from your Work Account account into a Work folder. You could set up the rule like this: [Note added 8/26: The author of SpamSieve, Michael Tsai is recommending this rule configuration for Entourage 2004 and later. Also applies to POP users who want to use additional Entourage rules to process their good messages.]

Now, messages sent to that account will be moved to the Work folder. Spam messages sent to that account will be moved to the Spam folder.

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1 comment to Monitor your Junk E- mail

  • I also use both gMail filtering and SpamSieve to filter e-mail received from fellow usenet users and get excellent results with the combination.
    gMail does a pretty good job and SpamSieve takes care of the rest.