PSA: Your @Mac.com, @Me.com, or @iCloud.com Emails Sent via Gmail Might Be Marked as Spam Now

MacRumors

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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For the past several years, I have had my Apple-provided @me.com email address set up as an alias in Gmail, and enabled auto-forwarding of my iCloud emails to my Gmail account. This allows me to use Gmail as my one-stop-shop for sending and receiving emails from both my @gmail.com and @me.com addresses.


However, it recently came to my attention that many of my emails sent from my @me.com address via Gmail have automatically ended up in the spam boxes of my recipients--even those I've emailed regularly. This went on for a few weeks, with zero indication on my end, beyond a puzzling lack of replies.

Eventually, one of my recipients alerted me that my email went to spam, and I turned to Google to do some research. As it turns out, there is an industry-wide email authentication, policy, and reporting protocol named DMARC, and it appears Apple upped its DMARC policy to "quarantine" in July.

Essentially, this means that emails sent from an Apple-provided email address, such as @mac.com, @me.com, or @icloud.com, via a third-party email client such as Gmail, are now likely to be automatically marked as spam.

Al Iverson's Spam Resource explains:
If you monitor these things, you might have noticed that Apple's consumer email domains (iCloud domains) -- mac.com, me.com and icloud.com -- have moved to a "p=quarantine" DMARC policy. This means that if you have an email address in these domains, your ability to send outbound mail using an email service provider or other, non-Apple email platform to send mail, deliverability won't look so good. Mail may not be blocked outright (Apple didn't move to "p=reject") but moving to "p=quarantine" means it's much more likely that your mail could end up in the spam folder.
DMARC records on wiseTools confirm that @mac.com, @me.com, and @icloud.com now adhere to a "p=quarantine" policy.

DMARC is designed to combat one of the most common types of phishing attacks, in which the "from" address in an email is faked, so Apple moving to a "quarantine" policy is a good move in terms of security, even if it is an inconvenience for people who use an Apple email via third-party clients.

After learning this, I reached out to Apple for clarification, and while it didn't confirm the new DMARC policy, it did offer a potential solution for Gmail.

Apple told me that I should be able to avoid the marked-as-spam issue by ensuring that emails from my @me.com address are set up to be sent through iCloud SMTP servers: smtp.mail.me.com. Apple has a related support document.


When I opened my Gmail settings, I discovered that my @me.com address was already configured in a similar manner, although the SMTP server domain was smtp.me.com, rather than smtp.mail.me.com. After updating it to the latter, emails from my @me.com address via Gmail began to reach the inboxes of others.

For further testing, I then reverted back to smtp.me.com, thinking that my emails would be marked as spam again. However, all of my emails still landed in the inboxes of others, including contacts I emailed for the first time.

At this point, I'm not entirely sure what has fixed the issue for me, but hopefully tinkering with the SMTP server settings works for others. If not, and you have an important email to send via your @mac.com, @me.com, or @icloud.com address, make sure to send it from Apple's own Mail app or iCloud.com.

Article Link: PSA: Your @Mac.com, @Me.com, or @iCloud.com Emails Sent via Gmail Might Be Marked as Spam Now
 
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Agneev

macrumors member
Mar 11, 2017
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For the past several years, I have had my Apple-provided @me.com email address set up as an alias in Gmail. This allows me to use Gmail as my one-stop-shop for sending emails from both my @gmail.com and @me.com addresses.
How do you view your emails from iCloud then? Surely not from Gmail??
 

G5isAlive

macrumors 6502a
Aug 28, 2003
798
973





However, when I opened my Gmail settings, I discovered that my @me.com address was already configured in this manner, although the SMTP server domain was smtp.me.com, rather than smtp.mail.me.com. After updating it to the latter, emails from my @me.com address via Gmail began to reach the inboxes of others.

Article Link: PSA: Your @Mac.com, @Me.com, or @iCloud.com Emails Sent via Gmail Might Be Marked as Spam Now
So in other words your address was NOT configured in the prescribed manner... (although = but = the opposite, which you then acknowledge).

I did appreciate your article... its amazing how these behind the scenes changes can effect us. Thanks for bringing this to light.
 

coolfactor

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2002
4,295
3,837
Vancouver, BC
How do you view your emails from iCloud then? Surely not from Gmail??
Could be if he's forwarding all messages from iCloud to Gmail. Sounds like he's using Gmail as a general purpose mail client for other domains, possibly to take advantage of the excellent spam filtering that Gmail offers.

Seems to be a setup asking for trouble though, since it adds unnecessary layers of complexity.

At the end of the day, it's the SMTP settings that matter, not the mail client being used.
 

Joe Rossignol

Editor
Staff member
May 12, 2012
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Toronto
How do you view your emails from iCloud then? Surely not from Gmail??
Could be if he's forwarding all messages from iCloud to Gmail. Sounds like he's using Gmail as a general purpose mail client for other domains, possibly to take advantage of the excellent spam filtering that Gmail offers.

Seems to be a setup asking for trouble though, since it adds unnecessary layers of complexity.

At the end of the day, it's the SMTP settings that matter, not the mail client being used.
Yeah, I have auto-forwarding of iCloud -> Gmail enabled. I've just updated the first paragraph to make this clear.

I primarily use Gmail, so this setup allows me to use my @me.com address fully through Gmail.

Until last month, I actually had zero issues with it. It's been quite a few years.

So in other words your address was NOT configured in the prescribed manner... (although = but = the opposite, which you then acknowledge).

I did appreciate your article... its amazing how these behind the scenes changes can effect us. Thanks for bringing this to light.
True! I just tweaked the sentence to clarify mine was configured in a "similar" manner, not exactly the same!

Do hope it brings awareness of this to some people, even if it's not exactly clear-cut.
 
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cwanja

macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2010
624
280
Texas
I forward all of my iCloud alias emails to Gmail, but no longer use the @Mac or @icloud alias for sending. I definitely do not use the @me :eek:

Interesting change. Wonder why Apple made it.
 

cwanja

macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2010
624
280
Texas
Anyone can elaborate in easier terms? I didn't really get the issue here.
Sending email as @mac.com (or @me.com, @icloud.com) from Gmail (since you can setup 3rd party providers in Gmail's settings) was landing in other providers spam folders due to a DNS change (DMARC in this situation) by Apple.

They then provided an alternative setup that resolved the issue.
[doublepost=1533303677][/doublepost]
It's an anti-SPAM, anti-spoofing thing. One might wonder why they hadn't made the change years ago.
Wonder if it will cut down on the spam being sent to my iCloud email alias'.
 

G5isAlive

macrumors 6502a
Aug 28, 2003
798
973
Anyone can elaborate in easier terms? I didn't really get the issue here.
use apple mail to send apple mail :).

anything else can leave you vulnerable to Apple making behind the scene tweaks that work great with their system, but doesn't play well with others. I know. Who would have thought?
 
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techpr

macrumors 6502a
Sep 9, 2008
510
346
San Juan, PR
I like the @me.com address. It's unique and simple. I have had a ton of issues with gmail with the dot between the first name and last name. I have a firstnamelastname@gmail.com and some guy in Europe has first name.lastname@gmail.com and I get some of his mail. So much for AI in gmail! No such issues with using my @me.com address.
This is the primary reason I don't promote @gmail.com @me.com or any public free email domain that I don't have any control and use my own domain name email address for decades. And on top of that I have been using ProtonMail Plus (with my own domain) for more than a year for encrypted storage and communications even using the Mail.app on MacOS, great service.
 

Primus84

macrumors 6502
Jul 21, 2005
373
21
UK
I like the @me.com address. It's unique and simple. I have had a ton of issues with gmail with the dot between the first name and last name. I have a firstnamelastname@gmail.com and some guy in Europe has first name.lastname@gmail.com and I get some of his mail. So much for AI in gmail! No such issues with using my @me.com address.
If what you're saying is you're johnsmith@gmail.com and he's john.smith@gmail.com then this isn't correct since GMail doesn't care about the dots - https://support.google.com/mail/answer/7436150?hl=en
 

lparsons21

macrumors 6502
Jun 3, 2014
438
186
Southern Illinois
use apple mail to send apple mail :).

anything else can leave you vulnerable to Apple making behind the scene tweaks that work great with their system, but doesn't play well with others. I know. Who would have thought?
I’ve been using .mac and .me since they first came out with no issues that matter. But on iOS apple mail doesn’t work so well with my .live account so I’ve been using Edison mail and like it a lot.

While I have a .gmail account or two I’ve never liked the gmail client
 

Scooz

macrumors 6502
Apr 9, 2012
340
344
I once worked with several mail admins and I know they all have their well maintained (on a daily basis) spam rules.

However, I had also .me and .mac addresses sorted into spam by Gmail accounts some years ago. This was only solveable by the individual Gmail account owner with an extra rule, which I had to tell them about.

I considered this an aggressive competitive effort by Google to have you sign up to Gmail to ensure your mails arriving at your friends with Gmail addresses.

Now, if you do it the other way round, I would wonder if the mail isn‘t already pre-scored as spam by Google upon sending, if that was an actual possibilty, as they‘re a bunch if evil b..beople o_O

Ok, I would actually assume that the mail admins of other domains meanwhile have custom rules in place (might be shared via forums and repositories, too) that whitelist icloud mails over any third party scoring service after serveral users complained. They might do this by having the rule lookat the originating server instead of the sender address as this is much more reliable. Which might explain the wonders mentioned.
 

Primus84

macrumors 6502
Jul 21, 2005
373
21
UK
This may be new because my wife has a dot version of another person (FirstnameLastname@gmail) and has received some emails from the other person in the past.
No it's not new - that wouldn't work but I can find evidence of this going back easily as far as 2008.
 
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Alex3917

macrumors newbie
Oct 23, 2016
15
61
> I reached out to Apple for clarification, and while it didn't confirm the new DMARC policy

DMARC policies are stored as public DNS records so there wouldn’t be anything to confirm. Just look at the TXT records for me.com, or whatever subdomain mail is actually sent from.