Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Greetings. I want to be able to have a view of just the unread messages in the Junk folder. Thunderbird has a nice way to do this (essentially, "show only unread" while in the folder view), but I don't see anything similar in Further, when I try to make a Smart Mailbox whose two rules are "Message is unread" and "Message is in Mailbox - Junk", it never finds anything, even when knows there is unread messages there because it shows a count.

Any clues would be greatly appreciated.

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

For some reason or another, Apple has made it impossible to access junk messages from a Smart Mailbox.

If you are able to set Message is in Mailbox to Junk, you must be setting it to a special 'Junk' mailbox that you have created (or that was created automatically by whatever email service you connect to). So, messages in Mail's built-in Junk folder won't appear in your mailbox.

However, you can get around this without too much trouble. To do this, make a Mail rule that automatically moves junk mail to your special Junk mailbox. Here's how:
Go to Mail-> Preferences-> Rules. Click Add Rule. Set the description to something like Move to special Junk. Set the popup in the first box to Message is Junk Mail. Set the first popup in the second box to Move message, and use the second popup to select your special junk box.

Now, any incoming messages that Mail thinks are junk will go to your special junk mailbox. You can use this one in a Smart Mailbox.

Hope this helps!

share|improve this answer
Excellent, that gets me nearly what I want. (After I scan the messages, I still need to move them out of the special junk folder to somewhere else, but this is a different problem.) – Paul Hoffman Mar 17 '11 at 15:42

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.