The Best Mac Spam Filters to Use

Tired of all that unsolicited commercial email?

Robot blocking spam from getting to a laptop

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If your email provider doesn't already filter spam at the source — and most large commercial providers do — you'll benefit from having an anti-spam solution installed on your Mac. Several vendors offer a mix of paid and free software solutions that can help you tame the beast of unsolicited commercial email.

Information in this article applies to macOS Catalina (10.15) to OS X Panther (10.3.9), as indicated.

Anti-spam tools that run on your Mac can be useful, but if you have the chance, use the anti-spam features offered by your email provider. Not only does server-based filtering prove less taxing to your computer's resources, but the anti-spam settings persist when you check your email on a different computer or mobile device.

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SpamSieve

SpamSieve spam blocker for Mac

SpamSieve v2.9.39 adds superior Bayesian spam filtering to email clients on Macs. It's just as easy to use as Apple Mail's junk-mail filters and can give you statistics you may find informative. It works with any email provider on your Mac.

SpamSieve features include:

  • Offers customizable whitelist and blocklist
  • Works with IMAP, Exchange, and POP mail accounts
  • Color coding indicates how spammy each message is
  • Runs on your Mac and keeps spam off your iPhone and iPad
  • Integrates with macOS Contacts app
  • Notifies you only when you receive non-spam emails

A free trial is available. The paid version is $30.

Spam Sieve v2.9.39 is compatible with OS X Lion (10.7) through macOS Catalina (10.15).

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POPFile

POPFile anti spam for Mac

POPFile is a powerful and flexible email classification tool that you can use to filter spam efficiently and categorize good mail automatically. It scans all email as it arrives and classifies it based on the training you give it. After you train it, the process is simple and effective.

POPFile v1.1.3f is a free download that is compatible with OS X Yosemite (10.10) through macOS Sierra (10.12).

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SpamSweep

SpamSweep anti spam on the Mac

SpamSweep successfully combines high-precision spam filtering with a simple and easy-to-use interface for early versions of the Mac operating system.

With SpamSweep, you can configure how often your accounts are filtered and set up a notification schedule. It supports IMAP accounts and has features for whitelisting and customizing filtering rules.

SpamSweep is a free download that is compatible with OS X Panther (10.3) through Mac OS X Snow Leopard (10.6).

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Spamfire

Spamfire on Mac

Spamfire combines efficient Bayesian filtering and ease of use to form a useful anti-spam tool. As for performance, it could be a bit snappier overall. It contains the return of the Last Mail Check status report — one of the features most requested by users.

Spamfire is a free download that is compatible with OS X Tiger (10.4) and OS X Leopard (10.5).