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SpamAssassin is flagging my e-mails as

HTML_20_30 - 'Message is 20% to 30% HTML'

What exactly does this message mean and how can I make it go away?

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migrated from Aug 20 '10 at 18:18

This question came from our site for computer enthusiasts and power users.

It means 20-30% of your email is comprised of HTML. Seriously, it's just one of many metrics that are used in determining the spamminess of the mail. – Will A Aug 20 '10 at 17:56
Why is everything considered spam these days? What a crock – Joe Philllips Aug 20 '10 at 17:59
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I just sent myself a simple test message and SA flags it will all of these:


SA has hundreds of test that each e-mail goes through, some stick, most don't. Each test has an associated score; some tests are good (like the SPF_PASS above); some are bad (like the EXTRA_MPART_TYPE), and others are neutral (like HTML_20_30).

SA uses the score to determine if it's spam or ham. Just because a test comes back positive doesn't make the e-mail automatically spam. My personal server is set so that scores at or above 4.5 are spam. Most businesses set theirs up around 7 to 10. If an ISP was to use SA, they'd probably put it up even higher.

To directly answer your question: HTML_20_30 means that SA's test for 20 to 30% HTML came back positive, most likely because there are HTML markup tags in your e-mail (which is very common).

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Wait - I'm seeing e-mails with scores less than 2 get redirected to Junk E-mail by Outlook. Is that normal? – Jim G. Aug 20 '10 at 18:49
Outlook's Junk e-mail filter is completely separate from SpamAssassin; it uses different techniques, different scores, and there's almost no way to adjust any of the settings. They just kind of tossed the feature in there because so many other mail clients already had it. – Chris S Aug 20 '10 at 20:17

It means 20-30% of your email is comprised of HTML.

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Chris has already answered the question of what the message means.

If you want to make it go away, you need to remove the related test from SpamAssassin. This is only possible if you have direct access to the server that does the spam filtering. Under Debian, the rule definition files live by default in /var/lib/spamassassin/ (and subfolders). Grep for the output message or the header (HTML_20_30) to find the file, then comment out the rule (or adjust it).

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Of course changing anything in that directory is highly recommended again by the SA team. The "proper" way to disable a rule is to set it's score to 0 in the local configuration. If you change rules, the next rule update will erase your changes. The local configuration file is never overwritten by SA's installation or update scripts. – Chris S Aug 25 '10 at 2:24

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