View Full Version : New Blog: Mail, Thunderbird, and other email clients

MF Blog Bot
04-07-2016, 07:30 PM
Mail, Thunderbird, and other email clients (http://www.mac-forums.com/blog/mail-thunderbird-and-other-email-clients/)

For some time now, the amount of junk mail clogging up my inbox has been ruinous, both in time and missed important communications. There are many methods and tricks for cutting down the junk mail load — the most extreme being setting up a new email address and closing down… Read More (http://www.mac-forums.com/blog/mail-thunderbird-and-other-email-clients/)
The post Mail, Thunderbird, and other email clients (http://www.mac-forums.com/blog/mail-thunderbird-and-other-email-clients/) appeared first on Mac-Forums Blog (http://www.mac-forums.com/blog).

Read more at the Mac-Forums Blog (http://www.mac-forums.com/blog/mail-thunderbird-and-other-email-clients/)

04-07-2016, 08:11 PM
I haven't been impressed with Thunderbird as an email client, however, don't overlook the fact that the app is also an excellent news reader for sites that employ NNTP type discussion forums. Many modern BBS operators still have discussion forums on their boards - FIDO forums are still popular as an example.

Rod Sprague
04-08-2016, 02:34 AM
It has been my experience that if you use your primary email address as ID to subscribe to web sites, be they reputable or not, then your details will be passed on to the mailing lists of affiliated web sites and companies. No matter what email client you use you mailbox will, over time, be filled up with unwanted "junk" emails from sites you've never heard of.
Google's web mail site is the best I have seen for filtering mail into classification tabs, Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates and Forums but I have yet to see an email client capable of doing this.
So no matter what filtering settings you have or might try nothing actually beats having a dedicated email address just for subscriptions. Even if you go to a site from a link in a personal email you can still subscribe using your dedicated subscription address.
Just go through the junk you have now, unsubscribe and they will slowly disappear over time.

04-08-2016, 08:41 AM
Just go through the junk you have now, unsubscribe and they will slowly disappear over time.

I wish it were this easy Rod.:) But many spammers/scammers use the "unsubscribe" ability to detect activity on the user end. With true spammers…if someone uses the "unsubscribe" feature to try to unsubscribe from the junk/spam emails…this action informs the spammer that there is a live person on the other end…and the spam will certainly keep coming…and may even increase!:(

Of course unsubscribe usually does work for legit websites. But with the spammers…the problem is the junk email may increase…and I mean BIG TIME. Somehow my gmail account got into some spammers hands…and now I'm getting 50-70 spam emails/day on that account. This happened almost overnight…which is why I think that it may be the same spammer.

Not sure exactly how this happened. Could have been as you described above (a legit website passing on my info to mailing lists)…or maybe I tried unsubscribing from some emails…and maybe one of the them was really a spammer. All I can do now is ignore & delete all these spam emails as best as possible…and hopefully my inactivity will eventually get me off the list (I don't even open the emails).

By the way…there is one other "trick" that emailers use to get feedback on the emails they send. It's called a "Feedback Loop". Give this a read for more info:


But basically it is a way legitimate or illegitimate emailers can get feedback on the email they send.

It's really really hard to eliminate spam!!!:(

- Nick

04-21-2016, 06:47 PM
So far, I've been relatively happy with Thunderbird. One important note: you don't want to have Mail and Thunderbird open at the same time. They tend to conflict with each other and either duplicate messages or disappear them. Leaning Thunderbird's filtering system is taking a bit of time.

04-21-2016, 08:39 PM
When you point your browser here (or any site where you log in) and log in, you create a 'cookie' that gets stored on the client computer. Pieces of information about you are stored inside of the cookie, and the site can ask your browser for it when you come back as a way of validating that it's you.

If the site uses older style cookie handling, they may store a cookie on your computer that contains your email address. Less-than-reputable sites on the Internet, especially those that do a TON of advertising, will try and retrieve any cookies from your browser that they can in an attempt to understand how to send you SPAM. Sometimes it works and you end up with a ton of junk in your inbox that wasn't there before.

I use Gmail for my mail accounts, and I keep separate accounts for different kinds of things. I also make HEAVY use of Gmail's filters to sort mail into folders so that I'm not bombarded constantly on my phone with "new mail from:" messages. Their SPAM handling is better that Hotmail or Yahoo! by a mile, but sometimes it fails to catch certain messages. Gmail offers no Feedback Loops, and items in the SPAM folder are prevented from loading content not directly included in the message (this is another way they validate your identity - when you open the message, it loads content from their web site using a URL that's specific to the message they sent you).

Some things that I do to manage SPAM:

- If I suspect for one hot second that a message is SPAM because of the sender or subject, I mark it SPAM without opening it. I will then switch to the SPAM folder and open it to see if maybe I was wrong.
- If I can get unwanted junk to regularly filter to the SPAM folder after marking a couple of messages as SPAM, I will leave it for a little while. If it just keeps coming, I'll try the Unsubscribe. Can't hurt... They aren't giving up anyway.
- Heavy use of filters to keep me from opening messages that I really shouldn't be. It isn't quite "whitelisting", but it's a step in that direction.
- If there's any question about the possible integrity of a web site, I use a browser that I normally don't run and completely clear out the cache and content / history of every time I use it.

04-22-2016, 01:16 PM
Many thanks for this. I shall follow your advice from now on. Also, I have noticed that Gmail has started telling me that they cannot verify the senders of a lot of my mail. At the same time, I seem to be getting a lot more junk mail. Are these two related, do you think?

04-22-2016, 01:28 PM
Use Gmail. Gmail has the best Spam protection I have ever used and it's simple and free. A gmail account allows you to forward all your email addresses (including domain email addresses) through your gmail account. And if an email that isn't spam goes to spam then click the Not Spam button and gmail will learn to not Spam it next time. (Same goes for spam that goes in your Inbox.)

04-22-2016, 01:29 PM
I wish it were this easy Rod.:)

By the way…there is one other "trick" that emailers use to get feedback on the emails they send. It's called a "Feedback Loop". Give this a read for more info:


But basically it is a way legitimate or illegitimate emailers can get feedback on the email they send.

It's really really hard to eliminate spam!!!:(

- Nick

I'm with Rod. With a little organization and some extra gmail addresses, gmail does a great job at keeping my spam to near zero. I have probably ten active email addresses. Each one has a purpose. If I doubt the sanity behind subscribing to a particular site but still want to do it anyway, I create an email address for that site. I have one wise and grizzled Catch-all email address. I can count on it to deliver me nothing but fluff. But: If I'm giving out an email address for a new business relationship where email correspondence is critical (banks, card processors, utility companies, mortgage companies...) then I create an email address for that relationship. Adding a new account to an email client is easy as pie. I don't need them all on my phone, but I have 5 or 6 on there I'm sure. I might see 20 new emails in my box in a given time period, but a quick glance at the "mail" sidebar tells me exactly what I need to examine first. If a particular site (like Microsoft Windows) makes it too difficult to unsubscribe, then I can simply delete the address from my account list. Let them email me till the cows come home. I'll never know. And if a particular site irritates me, I can always access the email through gmail on the web, where google makes it easy to mark a sender as "spam", and that's that. It might not be perfect, but it IS pretty easy. Maybe it's time for retiring your cluttered email address then CAREFULLY reconnecting a new one to the ones who matter.
Hope this helps!

04-22-2016, 01:41 PM
Use Gmail. Gmail has the best Spam protection I have ever used and it's simple and free. A gmail account allows you to forward all your email addresses (including domain email addresses) through your gmail account. And if an email that isn't spam goes to spam then click the Not Spam button and gmail will learn to not Spam it next time. (Same goes for spam that goes in your Inbox.)

While I agree that Gmail has the best anti-SPAM system of any of the mail providers that I've used, the system is NOT always quick to learn when you flag something as either SPAM (that is junk) or NOT SPAM (that was accidentally flagged as junk). Getting it to treat something as junk often takes a couple of iterations while getting to understand that something is NOT junk sometimes takes a LOT of tries.

One of the things that I like about Gmail's system is that you can flag a reasonably legit mailing as SPAM and Gmail will ask if you want to Unsubscribe or just mark it as junk. :)

Collin Bl
04-22-2016, 06:36 PM
My @mac address has been 'out there' for over 10 years and of course is being on sold to spammers in general.

Came up with this system a few years ago to easily sort thru incoming.

First set up a rule in Mail/Preferences/Junk/Advanced

If all following are met;
Sender is not in my contacts
Sender is not in my previous recipients

Move Message to Trash

The effect of that is a number of unread in my Trash - today it is 140 - and i have a sticky note on desktop with yesterdays total so i know if new ones have arrived, so i just need to have a glimpse at some stage in case there is a new one i should check out out.

The second part of my strategy is to have a number of mailboxes on my Mac with oft used/important emails ( i have a rule to move all my internet bills etc. to a Comms Mailbox which means an unread in that folder is a bill to pay fairly shortly but i don't have to read it until i am ready.

All the Health related items, which build quickly, 3 or 4 feeds, i go thru that folder when i have a spare hour or so on the weekend.

Not totally foolproof but with the right folders it gives much more control.


Collin Bl
04-22-2016, 06:40 PM
Meant to mention - have trash set to empty after a week so those unread progressively disappear unopened and no effort on my part.

Randy B. Singer
04-22-2016, 08:54 PM
The very best way to deal with spam?

SpamSieve (the best $30 you will ever have spent on your computer)

SpamSieve is adaptive. You tell it what you consider to be spam and what isn't. Train it for a week or two (extremely easy to do), and from then on you mostly just forget about it. All of your spam automatically goes into the Spam folder, where you can check it for the very rare false positive, or just delete it wholesale.

If a spam message slips through into your InBox, no problem, just quickly designate it as spam and SpamSieve will never make that mistake with that sort of spam again. If a non-spam message somehow gets into your Spam box, just quickly designate it as non-spam and SpamSieve will never make that mistake again.

In a short time you will find that you almost never have to do any additional training.

You never miss an e-mail message from anyone, for any reason. The program works almost like magic.

Right now SpamSieve reports that I'm receiving an average of 65 spam messages a day, that 24% of the e-mail that I've received since installing it years ago (in 2009) has been spam, and that it's current accuracy is 99.8%.


Randy B. Singer
04-22-2016, 08:57 PM
Apple's Mail program is by far the most popular e-mail program for the Macintosh. I personally really like Apple's Mail. However, for those who don't, there are a number of fairly new e-mail programs on the market that have attempted to change the common e-mail paradigm. They have each developed a very devoted following:

Popular alternatives to Apple's Mail:

AirMail ($10)
AirMail will connect to an Exchange server!

MailMate ($50)
(IMAP only)

Postbox ($15)

Mail Pilot ($20)
(IMAP only)

Inky (free/$5 per month)

Unibox ($20)

Randy B. Singer
04-22-2016, 11:16 PM
I should note that, if you only check out one of the above e-mail programs, it should probably be Postbox. Postbox is the most popular of these Apple Mail alternatives.

04-23-2016, 09:15 AM
I know little about E-Mail & sort of slug my way through, so this thread is very interesting to read and quite helpful. Lots of people must appreciate all that everyone has posted.
There are some items mentioned above that I have 'Dopey Boy' experiences with. I hope you all don't mind me passing them along:

Back in Post #4, Nick mentioned that clicking "Unsubscribe" can increase junk mail. That has been my experience in a Big Way!

I learned that by clicking in e-mails from legitimate senders.
I once clicked the "Unsubscribe" button on an On-Star marketing e-mail. Holy Cow! That sent their marketing department into overdrive. I got e-mails for On-Star insurance discounts, extra features, new cars with On Star, phone minutes to use with On Star, warranties and more. Dozens & dozens. Also I immediately started receiving e-mails from other companies, all of which said something about "Because you are an On Star subscriber...." (When we first subscribed, we did "Opt Out" of sharing. So much for that.)

Usually it's no big deal, but On Star and many of its affiliates are more than happy to include your entire account number, car description, city of residence and complete VIN number in the e-mails. A few even had my complete credit card information. You also have the pleasure of receiving these e-mails to multiple e-mail addresses. I have no idea where they got the other addresses and where else these messages go.
Calling On Star more than once didn't help. I was so crabby about my personal data being sent through e-mail to so many addresses & by their affiliates that I cancelled my subscription- yet the marketing continues. Nifty company, huh?

My bank and health insurer did almost the same thing- but without the personal data. Clicking "unsubscribe" must mean "Send me more, more, more" and " Please sell my address" Again, so much for opting out of sharing.

I'd hate to find out what would happen if I were to click "unsubscribe" from an unknown e-mail.

I also don't click the web page links in e-mails, with very few exceptions. If I want to see an article, I'll find it manually by going to the sender's site.

One notable exception is this user forum. When I get an e-mail about a reply to a thread I am subscribed to, or when I get the weekly newsletter, I have no reservations about clicking the links. Actually, clicking the link tells the forum that you've read the subscribed thread reply & to send notification about the next one.
Hobby Machinist and All About Circuits are other safe forums. They never give away your address.
For vendors, Grainger & OWC are a couple that I believe are very good about protecting your address if you click a link.

For shopping sites we have a dedicated e-mail address.
On that particular dedicated mail account, I do daily mass deletions without opening any messages. Then I empty the trash.
eBay has its own mail account to fill up because we sell stuff there. Actually, they are pretty good about not overloading you, but you do get fair bit of advertising stuff.

Other vendors are not so respectful. If one of us goes to Sears, for example, to buy on line; a bunch of marketing e-mails for similar products flood in for months. Home Depot is another culprit, and your telephone number gets spread around, too.

Sometimes a vendor with whom we have done business ends up in my address book. How rude is that?
I have no idea how that happens. It happens quite often when I buy something from a large seller on eBay. It even happens when buying from some brick-and-mortar stores. If a vendor thinks that is a good way to get my business, they are very mistaken.
One of my Mail Rules highlights anyone in my address book in blue, so those entries are quite prominent and easily deleted.

Those are just some experiences I've had that I wanted to share and how I managed them (sometimes not so successfully).

Be Sure To Enjoy Today!

04-23-2016, 09:47 AM
One practice that really irritates me is when sellers from eBay and Amazon email me directly after a purchase to promote a warranty, add-on purchase, or some other ridiculous nonsense. I've written back to these companies on more than one occasion threatening legal action for unauthorized solicitation. It doesn't happen "a lot", but it really irks me when it does.

04-23-2016, 06:35 PM
Here is what solved 90% of the problem for me. Go to the Apple Extensions site on the web and download three Extensions. Since downloading an extension called "Ghostery" on my Mac it blocks the sites that track my online activity when I visit. One of the settings allows me to see the identity and number of sites that are tracking me. Of course, trackers are probably the ones who distribute my information. It also blocks websites from depositing cookies onto my computer. Just go to "Ghostery.com" to download the freeware. Since I began using Ghostery I have been amazed at the number of sites that have been tracking me which are now blocked.

Also for better privacy download a browser from Apple called Duck Duck Go - an unusual name but the browser is very effective at maintaining your browsing privacy. DuckDuckGo.com - both are available for OS X and iOS.

Next download Adblock Plus for Apple. What a difference - it does exactly what it's name implies.
These three steps will save time and block nuisance ads and SPAM in your browsing experience. All were recommended in one of the issues of Mac World magazine.

Anyone of these sites may cause occasional blocking of a window you want to open to see on the web. I would suggest loading DuckDuckGo first.
Use the DuckDuckGo URL address bar when you do a search and make DuckDuckGo you Home page in the Safari settings.
After becoming confident in DuckDuckGo, download AdBlockPlus and set it up. Then download Ghostery and change the settings to your preferences. I have mine set to block everything that it identifies as a tracker. If a page that you are looking for is blocked take a look at the Ghostery icon and the AdBlockPlus icon that are set in your search bar. Click on either of these icons to change the settings.

Randy B. Singer
04-23-2016, 09:06 PM
Also for better privacy download a browser from Apple called Duck Duck Go - an unusual name but the browser is very effective at maintaining your browsing privacy. DuckDuckGo.com - both are available for OS X and iOS.

isn't a browser, it is a search engine. Nothing needs to be downloaded to use it with your browser from your Macintosh, you just go to their Web page. There are DuckDuckGo apps for iOS, but you can simply go to the DuckDuckGo Web page in Safari in iOS instead.

If you want a browser that emphasizes security, obviating the need for all of the plug-ins you mentioned, this one is extremely nice:

Epic Privacy Browser (free)
Basically Epic is Chrome with all of Google's tracking stuff stripped out and some really nice security features added.

If you are running OS X 10.6, 10.7 or 10.8, you should download a copy of Epic ASAP. They are about to drop support for those versions of OS X in the next version of Epic.

Note that Google is doing its best to choke Epic out of existence, because Google is in the business of tracking folks, and Epic doesn't allow that:

04-25-2016, 12:12 AM
Thanks for mentioning Ghostery, Geismeister. I've used it for months and it sure blocks tons of tracking sites. They're good about issuing updates, too.
But, read the sites listed in Safari's Local Storage and you can see tons of stuff that still sneaked in. (Even after clearing history & emptying the cache). The only thing I remember noticing Ghostery causing (minor) problems with is blocking customer comments on items in some store web pages. An example is Home Depot web site. But, they are tracker crazy anyway.

For fun, get Lightbeam extension and turn off all the tracking stoppers and extensions and see how you are sent to a zillion sites when you went directly to one. Even with Ghostery on there are still side trips. I cleared Lightbeam history and the browser history and cache, then came to this site. There were 2 sites shown. (eloqua.com and d3quo5ensc2knu.cloudfront.net) Then I went to eBay and did not leave the first page. There were 16 sites shown in Lightbeam, just that quickly. Glad I don't have to pay per mile.

Randy B. Singer
04-25-2016, 10:18 PM
I haven't been impressed with Thunderbird as an email client...

Thunderbird is usually updated to remain compatible with new versions of the Mac OS, and maybe to squash any major bugs, but its development is moribund:


Which is probably fine if you like it as it is. However, if you are hoping that Thunderbird will grow and evolve...it won't.

04-25-2016, 10:27 PM
Where would I look to see the "local storage" you mention?

04-27-2016, 09:39 AM
Where would I look to see the "local storage" you mention?

In 10.6.8 the folder is in Users / User Name / Library / Safari / LocalStorage (Each user has her or his own) After resetting Safari and clearing the history & cache, more often than not many files remain behind. I don't know if those are what are called "ever cookies" or something else entirely. Even if you set Safari to Private Browsing" files will appear there and stay behind. (At least in Safari 5.1.0)

It Is NOT a 100% Guaranty-
Clear Safari history and cache. Choose to Reset Safari (if your version still has it). Manually empty the Local Storage & empty the trash. Re-Open Safari with a blank page (mine is set to open blank in Preferences) & don't go to any sites. Look in Local Storage. Some of the files you just deleted are back. Crazy ain't it?

Easy Access-
I put a link in the Finder sidebar to get to the folder easily. Then, I'll use Command-A to select all the files and then Command-Delete to send the files to the trash. There is a database file in there. I remove that one too. If a site that has my "money stuff", such as my bank, leaves a file in Local Storage I will then empty the trash.

El Capitan-
In 10.11.4, I don't remember if I found where Safari keeps local storage. I apologize that the computer with 10.11.4 is not here right now so I can't check to see if I found it or where it is.
I haven't used Safari much in 10.11 yet because I'm still learning 10.11 and clinging to 10.6.8 for work stuff until I'm comfortable enough with 10.11 to update totally. (I'm a really slow learner)

In 10.11.4 there is a folder in Users / User Name / Library / WebKit / com.Apple.Safari / LocalStorage and there are a few other LocalStorage folders for items like Finder. I don't know what these are for, so I won't mess with them until I learn more.

These May Help-
An application called "Easy Find" will locate all the localstorage folders for you, even if they are hidden. And, Onyx has a tab for Internet cache cleaning. Both of those are very useful applications to me for many tasks. They are worth every penny of the donations.

I very much like the idea Randy posted about the Epic Privacy Browser. I plan to check it out when I can. It may be useful for on line banking & my work related account stuff.

Why my paranoia about files staying behind? I often have to take my computer to projects and it is subject to theft much more readily than if at home. So why chance leaving anything that could have "please break into my bank account" stuff behind? I have had my identity stolen thanks to a big box hardware store using unsecured wifi to transmit credit card purchases from the register to their local server. And it took several years to get back to only semi-normal, not to mention $$$ gone forever.

Other Browsers-
I never did figure out where Firefox or others keep their local storage files and if they actually get cleared when clearing cache & history.

I hope this helps you out. If you do figure out where Safari keeps local storage, please post back. It would be interesting to see if clearing history in Safari empties the local storage in Safari while using 10.11.

Take Time To Enjoy Today!

04-28-2016, 03:14 AM
Is there a web based third party spam filtering service that can
handle multiple email accounts, and is trainable, for 30 to 50 dollars a year?

04-28-2016, 07:35 PM
Google these terms for a list "spam filtering service reviews"

Randy B. Singer
04-30-2016, 05:01 AM
Is there a web based third party spam filtering service that can
handle multiple email accounts, and is trainable, for 30 to 50 dollars a year?

It's not Web-based, but SpamSieve is a one-time fee of only $30, it will work with as many e-mail accounts as you have your e-mail client set up for, it is adaptive (trainable), and it is the gold standard:


Review by Macworld magazine: