I keep my inbox pretty clean, and Gmail does an excellent job at prevent spam from even reaching it. That’s why I was stunned about a half-hour ago to discover that suddenly, Outlook was downloading over 1,000 new messages that fortunately were then being routed to my spam folder.
What was going on? I did a quick search and discovered that today’s malware incident that hit Google web search also impacted Gmail accounts (including, I’d assume, those using Gmail through Google Apps, like me).
Google says that by mistake, some legit messages might have gone into your spam folder, so to look closely and make sure nothing important is there. They added that an automated fix was being rolled out.
I suspect what just hit me was that Google took everything that was in my spam folder (typically I might have 2,000 messages or more here accumulate in a few days), rolled it into my inbox and then planned to reprocess my inbox according to the new spam filter. Just guesswork here. But it resulted in spam that normally I’d never download starting to flow into Outlook.
My quick solution was to filter my Gmail inbox to find unread messages, since it was pretty much only spam that wasn’t previously read. Then I deleted all those, refiltered by unread, deleted and kept rinsing and repeating. Eventually, after about 20 cycles of this, I caught back up to only “read” mail — which matches probably the last time I used the “Delete all spam messages now” option.
Hard to say what’s best. Personally, I’d say review your spam folder right now, make sure there’s no spam in it, then use the “Delete all” option to clear it out and avoid Google perhaps moving all that spam into your inbox, assuming this is indeed something that they’re rolling across accounts.