How do I disable the anti-spam filter?

I didn’t even know it had been enabled since I use Outlook and not webmail.

Go to the DreamHost panel. Under the Mail section is an Anti-Spam menu item. Click on that to get to the enable/disable option for your domain(s).

I used to be able to turn it off that way, but that seems to have gone away. I opened a ticket and received the following answer (emphasis mine.)

[quote]We’ve received some feedback from DreamHost users letting us know that automatic filtering of promotional and social mail is not something that’s important to them. In response to that feedback, we have disabled our newly-added incoming email categorization feature.

Please note that, despite this change, [color=#FF0000]spam filtering will continue to function, but can not be disabled.[/color] [/quote]
I went through Dreamhost’s Anti-Spam FAQ and found more (again, red emphasis mine.) The problem is, I didn’t enable Anti-Spam on my domains, Dreamhost did, and now it’s irreversible.

[quote]Enabling spam filtering on an existing domain

If you were previously using a domain at DreamHost but did not have spam filtering enabled, DreamHost strongly recommends enabling it.

To enable spam filtering on an existing domain:

Navigate to the (Panel > ‘Mail’ > ‘Anti-Spam’) page.
Click ‘Enable Filter’ next to your domain.

[color=#FF0000]Once you enable spam filtering on a domain, you cannot reverse this action.[/color][/quote]

I also did not enable anti-spam on my domain and yet it has been enabled by dreamhost. It has filtered many emails that are not spam into a folder that is not affected by my rules.

It also seems like the Promotional and Social folders are back and functional despite not being enabled in the panel. I have a bunch of emails that I found in these new folders from today. Checking the panel shows that the filter is turned off for the address but the emails are still being moved.

I also can’t turn off promotional filtering, nor do my whitelists appear to work properly any more. I have neither filter spam nor filter promotions turned on at any level and yet it does both.

The new spam filtering is absolutely terrible, now it puts the stuff in an IMAP folder and so it gets delivered to all your devices, and since it looks like any other folder you get the usual new mail notification and have to stop and see that yes you got more spam. I so wish they would return to the original filtering where spam was NOT delivered to all your devices and inboxes and was held on the server where you could quickly check it every now and again, see the title, sender and spam score, release anything which was a good mail (rare) and quickly delete the rest. Now I’m bothered 20 times a day with ‘TRUTH ABOUT YOUR FUND’ crap showing up as new mail in my mail clients.

As a follow-up to my earlier email, I contacted support via chat about this issue.

The Dreamhost rep told me that, yes, the new spam filtering system was causing these emails to be sorted to these folders even though I had the setting turned off. They tried to convince me that not respecting how I or my users wished to manage or sort emails was actually a benefit to me by protecting me from spammers and other evil doers. I was not given a choice to turn their spam filtering on; now that it is enabled, I cannot turn it off.

I can potentially understand the need to filter what are perceived to be Spam emails. However, I do not think Dreamhost should be deciding to sort other emails. If you have an option for this in the panel, they should respect the choice and allow users to turn off this “feature”.

I have been with Dreamhost for over 12 years. Unfortunately, I think it’s time to find a new host.

What the heck - you can’t even turn spam filtering off any more, that’s ridiculous. The new version is totally broken, doesn’t respect whitelists properly and the promotional filtering is totally unwanted. And yes it seems that despite the options on the site page etc you can turn neither of these things off.

I’ll give them a week to fix this rubbish, then yes it’s time to move.

This is just crazy. The KB says I can turn off spam filtering and I can’t. I opened a ticket and the answer was you will never be able to. I’ve pasted it below.

How is the amount of spam hitting their incoming servers reduced by filtering spam after it arrives? If I throw out all of the junk mail at home, I still get my mailbox stuffed with political postcards and letters every day.

I wish they would have warned us about this new ‘feature’ as I could have had time to move everything. Now I’ve got to scramble around to move to a different host.

I’ve been here more than a decade and they tell me new domains will have spam filtering on. I don’t have a new domain I have old domains I just want their nonsense filtering off. This was not a wise decision on the part of dreamhost.


I apologize for the delay in being able to get back to you regarding this
inquiry and for any inconvenience this may be causing you! In order to
cut down on the amount of incoming spam to our mail servers, spam
filtering is enabled by default for new domains and is unable to be
disabled. :frowning:

It is actually our intention to push all domains that currently do not
use spam filtering, to use spam filtering in the near future. The idea
here is that our new service is set to learn and continue to block spam,
which in turn can keep our mail services more stable and functional as a
whole. We do apologize for any specific changes that are causing you or
your team any discouragement, but hope that over time this new offering
will solidify the stability of our services. Furthermore, we are trying
to cut down the amount of spam that hits our shared mail services as a
whole, which was just not something we were able to do with Spamassassin
any longer. Unfortunately, the old spam filtering service was beginning
to cause more problems than it was solving.

So, for the future with spam filtering enabled, if you are noticing mail
going to your “spam” folder that should not be, please make sure to mark
it as “Not Spam” using the button within atmail. You may also want to
whitelist any email addresses that should never be marked as spam to
ensure they are delivered to your inbox instead! Have a peek at this
guide for more information on how to blacklist/whitelist specific mail
within your atmail client:

If you have any further questions or concerns for us, please let us know!


This answer presumes that one is using atmail to get email and not a real email client. At this time, none of my users are using atmail and instead use iOS Mail, Outlook, Apple Mail or other mail clients.

How is the system supposed to learn if not using atmail?

You’re presuming this was thought through, it wasn’t. Hardly anyone uses atmail, most people use an IMAP client, so spam filtering just became a way to send spam mail to all your devices tagged into a different folder.

I haven’t experimented (I’m at work right now), but what happens if you go to the Filter Settings for the domain and uncheck the Spam box? The Social (Promotions?) box is already unchecked. My users Spam are unchecked so they’re using my domain setting.

Presumably, the headers will remain, but mail won’t get routed to a Spam folder.

No that’s kind of the point - those checkboxes do nothing - they are all turned off at every level on my domains and they are completely ignored.

I never selected the Spam filtering. Dreamhost decided to turn it on without my consent. Once it’s turned on, it cannot be turned off.

As rols indicated, the Social and Promotion filter was filtering mail even though the options were not selected either at the domain or account level. Chat support told me that this was functioning as intended.

yesterday, emails were being funneled into the social and promotion folders; today they don’t appear to be. However, I’ve had a ton of good emails be filtered into the Spam folder.

Hi eimeria,
We apologize for any inconvenience the recent change in our spam filtering has caused you. Vade is a learning system and as such it can be trained to recognize spam and filter it accordingly. If you are finding that stuff is being moved to the spam folder that should not be there you can mark it as not spam or whitelist the domain from your DreamHost panel. The more you use it the more accurate it should become.

In regards to the ‘social/promotions’ folders, they were briefly enabled yesterday but since have been turned off. All incoming mail should be directed to your inbox or spam folders.

This presumes that users are viewing their email on the ATmail web interface. How are users supposed to mark the message as not spam if they are accessing their accounts on iOS, outlook, Mac Mail, etc?

Emails coming from whitelisted accounts and domains are still being caught in the spam filter. We don’t use webmail, so this is a nightmare.

I’ve been with dreamhost for just shy of 10 years. This is my final straw.

I have quite a few email users, and I don’t have the time to maintain their whitelists and blacklists for them myself. Who in the world thought that having the account administrator manage all users’ individual whitelists and blacklists was a good idea? What were they smoking when they came up with that bright idea???

It’s been horrific. First all my email was delayed 5+ days. Mail from my own domain was being routed to the spam folders which do not appear in the iMap login. I have to log in to the webmail on several accounts and drag messages to the inbox. Whitelists are being totally ignored.

Please turn off spam filtering.

I went through the gymnastics of logging into my email via the ATmail interface for one of my accounts to “train” messages as not spam. Unfortunately mail from the same exact sender continues to be identified as spam and filtered to a spam folder.

Users on my domain use other email clients to access their email not ATmail. I haven’t gotten a response from support about how to train the filters if one is not using ATmail.

To add another level to this discussion…
This morning all our users on our domain started missing a pile of random emails, as well as multiple delayed emails (from within my own domain btw) so I checked the dreamhost panel and discovered that my domain now has spam filtering “enabled”. It was not enabled before. I did not enable it. Now I cannot disable it.
Anyway since I can’t disable spam filtering, I made sure to add my own domain to the whitelist. But I’m still missing emails.
So I checked the spam folder hoping to find them there and maybe mark them as “not spam”. But the spam folders for all our email addresses are empty. Nothing there.
I can’t say for certain that spam filtering is causing my issues, but it’s awfully coincidental that the spam filtering is suddenly ‘enabled’ on my domain the same day that I discovered missing random emails. I might even be more accepting if I could find the missing emails in spam folder, but there’s nothing there. Anybody else experience this?