How to Mark an Email as Spam in Apple Mail on Mac

Many Mac users rely on the Mail app as their email client of choice, and they often deal with the same problem: spam. Fortunately, the app makes it possible to mark emails as spam with its native features. Its users can also take advantage of third-party inbox cleaners like Clean Email to more efficiently separate junk mail on Mac from legitimate messages and mark it as spam in one go.

Mark Emails as Spam in Apple Mail Using Native Features

The Mail app has a built-in spam filter that pays attention to which messages you manually mark as spam, learning from you to filter similar spam messages automatically in the future.

💡 Important: For the Apple Mail spam filter to do its job, it needs to be enabled. To do so, go to Mail → Settings → Junk Mail. There, select the Enable junk mail filtering option.

To manually mark emails as spam in the Mail app:

  1. Launch the app.
  2. Select the messages you want to mark as junk. Unfortunately, you can only select individual messages and conversations—not entire message groups (such as all messages sent by the same sender).
  3. Click the Move selected messages to Junk button in the toolbar.
Click the Move selected messages to Junk buttonClick the Move selected messages to Junk button

You can also right-click the junk message and select the Move to Junk option from the context menu.

💡 Tip: To junk mail on Mac in bulk using the Mail app, you can hold the Command key while clicking the items you want to select.

Alternatively, the Mail app gives you the option to create a spam rule. This method can be useful if you don’t want to wait for a junk message to arrive so that you can mark it accordingly. Because Apple Mail marks as spam rules don’t depend on the ability of the app’s spam filter to tell apart legitimate messages from junk, its rate of success is 100%.

As you can see, there is more than one way for the users of Apple’s email app to mark as spam, but each method has its limitations:

Luckily, there’s a better way to mark emails as spam in the Mail app: Clean Email.

Mark Messages as Spam Using Clean Email

Clean Email can mark messages as spam more efficiently than the Mail app and its native features thanks to its flexible message grouping features.

With their help, you can see all messages that have something in common (the same sender, the same subject, and so on) as groups that can be selected with one click. What to junk thousands of messages from, let’s say, five different senders? Then you can select them all with just five clicks.

When combined with Clean Email’s message grouping is combined with its bulk management, and automation capabilities, you can quickly and painlessly create Auto Clean rules to mark emails as spam from multiple different senders:

  1. Go to and sign in to the email account associated with your Mail app.
  2. Go to the Inbox section.
  3. Go to the Inbox sectionGo to the Inbox section
  4. Use the Group By dropdown menu to change how messages are grouped.
  5. Click the Group By drop-downClick the Group By drop-down
  6. Click the icon next to each message group you want to select.
  7. You now have two options:
    • Click the Spam button to mark the selected groups as junk in one go.
    • Click the Spam button to mark the selected groupsClick the Spam button to mark the selected groups
    • Or click the Create Rule button to automatically mark emails as spam in Apple Mail by creating Auto Clean rules based on the selected groups.

    If you choose to create Auto Clean rules, then Clean Email will automatically configure the trigger conditions. You simply need to tell it to apply the Mark as Spam action.

💡 Tip: Are spammy and unwanted messages distracting you from messages sent to you by known senders? Then activate Clean Email’s Screener feature to hold all messages from new senders outside your inbox until you either let them in or trash them.

Filter your Inbox from Spam Using Clean Email's Screener FeatureFilter your Inbox from Spam Using Clean Email's Screener Feature

Features like these make Clean Email the perfect tool for Mac users who are tired of Mail junk and would like to finally win the fight against it.


When does Apple Mail delete messages that are marked as spam?

Messages marked as spam are automatically deleted after 30 days.

Can I create filter rules in the native Apple Mail app on my iPhone?

Apple’s native mobile app for email doesn’t make it possible to create filter rules. The good news is that third-party inbox organizers like Clean Email can create them on iPhone & iPad.

How to create Apple Mail rules on my Mac using native features?

Apple’s official guide provides a detailed explanation of how to create rules using native features.

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