For a while now, likely including and pre-Big Sur, whenever I actually go through my Spam box message-by-message, when I click on one message is initially loads with the spam bar, the off yellow bar that includes "Load Remote Content" and "Move to Inbox", but then the message pane "refreshes" and loads like normal.

I am then reminded of this bug and annoyed, because I inevitably leaked information due to remote content loading.

I have 3 IMAP accounts, two Gmail based and then one third party IMAP that gets no meaningful traffic. If any spam is going to it I'd be surprised, but the significant majority of them are no doubt those coming to the Gmail-based addresses I've had and used for over a decade now. (Insert old man yelling at cloud here.)

Why does this refresh happen? Unless I explicitly remember to click outside of a message and then ⌘a to delete them, or right click them first and use that menu to delete them, is the only way I can manage spam messages, and this means messages I'm on the fence about, but ultimately have to delete, still leak information due to the afore-described behavior.

A screencapture recording the behavior

A few things to call attention to:

Quicktime Mouse Clicks are on, you can see when I click the message in the message list the "circle" that radiates outward from it. When I'm mousing over to the header information there is no click, no circle, just the ~2 seconds later refresh as I've described happening in this post. No keyboard keys were pressed at any time.

My workaround for the meantime is to not automatically load any remote content, but that's a bad solution. I'd rather that ok messages in the inbox automatically load as they're intended to be seen, and only those in junk be restricted as they initially are, before whatever happens for the junk message to "reload as normal". I always right click and junk a message that manages to make it to the inbox.

Lastly, possibly relevant preferences:

Mail Preferences -> Viewing Mail Preferences -> Junk

As I hadn't mentioned them before:

  • Big Sur 11.1 (20C69)
  • Mail.app Version 14.0 (3654.
  • I'm writing this immediately after emptying my junk box and gnashing teeth at it happening again. I'll do my best to remember to get a clip of it happening tomorrow, when there inevitably will be at least one spam message. I wish non-spam would be frequent enough that I could safely click one message, but, alas… Anyone know of a "spam for test purposes" sender I could use to send myself a "safe" spam test message? Jan 19, 2021 at 7:01
  • 1
    I can't reproduce this here, Spam messages stay with "Load Remote Content" when I navigate message-by-message. Did you consider trashing all your mail preferences and settings?
    – nohillside
    Jan 19, 2021 at 7:53
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    Can't reproduce that behaviour either (on Big Sur), but even the possibility of it happening seems to warrant a discussion here.
    – jstarek
    Jan 20, 2021 at 8:54
  • I added a screen recording illustrating the issue. I am suspect about that "Trust junk mail headers in messages" preference. I shouldn't be, it's in the Spam folder for that particular account so there would hopefully be spam headers too, but I admit I've never looked. Jan 25, 2021 at 7:44

1 Answer 1


Unchecking "Trust junk mail headers in messages" solved this issue for me.

  • Welcome to Ask Different and thank you for your answer. :) Unfortunately, short answers such as this don't really provide enough detail or context to help many users. If possible, it'd be good if you could add some more info on how to actually do what you're suggesting? For example, where do you find the option to uncheck "Trust junk mail headers in messages"? Also, you may want to read How to Answer for tips on providing answers here.
    – Monomeeth
    Mar 10, 2021 at 22:55
  • I thought about this. I hoped that Gmail wasn’t moving to something Apple Mail didn’t recognize, or that Apple Mail updated to recognize it. Do you happen to have further researched information about the headers Apple Mail uses? I can easily look up the headers in an actual message. Mar 11, 2021 at 21:26
  • This solution didn’t work for me.
    – tb87
    Feb 2, 2022 at 9:47

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