Sophos Email Appliance: How do I set the appliance to full mode or pilot mode?

  • Article ID: 39817
  • Updated: 30 Sep 2015

How Do I set the Sophos Email Appliance to Full Mode / Pilot Mode?

Applies to the following Sophos product(s) and version(s)
Sophos Email Appliance


Further Information

During installation it is possible to set the appliance to three different modes.  Depending on the chosen mode, the anti-spam rules will be configured accordingly:

  • Full Mode
    The appliance will quarantine all inbound messages determined as spam.  This happens for all users
  • Pilot Mode
    The appliance will quarantine inbound messages determined as spam ONLY for users in the Pilot Mode group (configured within the appliance)
  • Passthrough Mode
    The appliance will quarantine a copy of the message, but still deliver the original to the end users.

Pilot Mode and Passthrough mode are designed for testing purposes.

It is not possible to go back to this option once the appliance is installed.  However, you can easily change the behavior by manually changing the Anti-Spam rules as desired.


What to Do

To determine what will happen to spam messages, open the following policy rule:
Configuration --> Policy --> Anti-Spam > Inbound

Check the 'Main Action' for each spam rule:

  1. Click on a spam rule to edit it.  (Eg. High Spam to All)
  2. Click on "Main action" tab within the wizard.
  3. To block spam messages, the action should be set to either 'Quarantine' or 'Discard'.
  4. If this is set to anything other than Quarantine or Discard then spam will not be blocked by the appliance.  NOTE - If the action is set to "Quarantine, tag subject and continue" then the appliance was originally configured in passthrough mode.
  5. Set the rule to "Quarantine" or "Discard"

Next, check that the spam rules apply to all users:

  1. In the same wizard, click on the "Select Users" tab
  2. Check the "Include Recipient" settings
  3. If "selected groups" has a custom group included (such as "Pilot users") then spam will only be stopped for the users in that group.  This indicates the appliance was originally configured in pilot mode.
  4. Set this to "All Users"



A production e-mail appliance should have both High and Medium spam rules set as follows:

  • Main Action set to "Quarantine" or "Discard"
  • Select Users set to "All Users"


If you need more information or guidance, then please contact technical support.

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