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I have my Gmail set up in OS X Mail as IMAP so that my GMail archive is mapped to the trash folder. This has the nice benefit that deleting messages in Mail is the same as archiving them in Gmail.

However, as my Gmail is set up as IMAP, I have a regular folder labelled "Spam", where 99.9% of my spam nicely goes. But when I search for mail either in Mail's own search or in OS X spotlight, it shows me results that folder too. The only exclusions that seem possible in Mail is to exclude "Junk" (which this isn't), "Trash" or "Encrypted Messages". For Spotlight, I can only exclude certain directories on the operating system.

In summary: Is there a way for me to exclude certain IMAP folders in OS X Mail from being indexed for search and Spotlight?

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This doesn't allow you to ignore an arbitrary mailbox, but if you select your spam folder in IMAP and go to Mailbox > Use This Mailbox For, you can tell Mail to use that folder as the Junk folder. This will exclude it from spotlight searches.

Alternatively, if you log into the webmail and add the "Advanced IMAP controls" in the Labs section of settings, you can exclude certain folders from showing up in IMAP entirely.

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Advanced IMAP controls in Labs was exactly what I was looking for - thank you very much. No more viagra for me. –  Noel M Aug 22 '10 at 22:48

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