How to I filter "SPAM" into another folder?

How do I filter SPAM into another folder? or Why does my SPAM arrive in my Inbox and not the Trash or Junk folder?

One of the few shortcomings of cPanel is a lack of server-side mail filtering. There is no option to configure rules or filters that will drop mail with certain characteristics into an a mail folder other than the Inbox automatically when an email arrives at your address. A workaround is to use your email client's rules to handle this for you, although this won't work for mobile devices that do not provide mail filtering options. That said, if you leave your computer on 24/7 then this will mimic the behavior of server-side rules - every time an email comes in with your specified characteristics, your mail application on your computer will filter it to the correct mailbox.

The first thing you want to do is login to cPanel and configure how your server will handle SPAM: 

  1. Login to your Web Savers account and choose "Login to Plesk" for the hosting package your email is hosted with
  2. Select "Mail Accounts" and then choose the account you will be enabling SPAM filtering upon
  3. Choose Spam Filter
  4. If it's not already checked, check the box beside "Switch on SpamAssassin spam filtering"
  5. The lower the score specified, the more SPAM it will catch, but it may also classify legitimate email as spam - creating a false positive. A safe setting for this is typically between 3 and 5. If you find you're getting too much legitimate email from a variety of sources that is marked as spam, then step up this number one at a time until this stops happening. Alternatively you can use the Training tab (on the same page in Plesk) to tell SpamAssassin what is and what isn't email - it will begin to learn from your choices after about 100-300 email classifications. This works *very* well, so please give it a shot!
  6. The next option allows you to prepend the subject line with some text to notify you that the email is considered SPAM. I like to use [SPAM] _SCORE_ for a couple of reasons. I find [SPAM] to be less intrusive than the default ****SPAM**** in my inbox. The _SCORE_ text is replaced by the actual numerical score that the email receives, so you can compare the flagged score to the score you specified as the threshold level in the previous step and make your score tweaks using better information.
  7. It is NOT recommended that you choose the option to delete SPAM upon detection. If you do this and stop receiving some emails, they are permanently deleted and we can't do anything to retrieve them. This option is never enabled by default for this reason.
Once you have enabled SPAM protection with SpamAssassin, you then need to configure your local mail client to recognize the spam and move it to an alternate mailbox.


Mac OS X

In Apple Mail, go to the Mail Preferences and choose the last tab across the top - Rules.


In Windows Live Mail you can follow the guide on this Microsoft resource for configuring rules.

In whichever mail client you have that supports rules or filters, add a new rule specifying that when the Message Subject Contains [SPAM] or ***SPAM*** (depending on how you have Plesk configured to mark you SPAM), it is moved to the Trash or Junk mailbox. Ex:

if [ Subject ] contains [ SPAM ] move message to folder [ Junk ]

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