Viewing and Managing Spam Entries

Would you like to be able to view entries flagged as spam by our anti-spam tools? Reviewing spam entries allows you to check and retrieve entries identified as spam that may be legitimate entries.

This tutorial will show you how to view and manage spam entries in WPForms.

Before you get started, be sure to install and activate WPForms on your WordPress site.

Enabling Spam Entry Storage Option

To view spam entries in your admin dashboard, you’ll first need to enable the spam entry storage option in the form builder.

To get started, create a new form or edit an existing one to access the form builder.

In the form builder, go to Settings » Spam Protection and Security.

Spam protection and security settings

Under the Protection section, toggle the Store spam entries in the database option to the on position.

Store spam entries in database

After enabling this option, the form will allow all submissions (including spam entries) instead of blocking them. However, form notification emails won’t be delivered if an entry is identified as spam. See our FAQ section for more details.

Once done, be sure to save your changes.

Note: If you have multiple forms on your website, you’ll need to enable this option on all the forms you’d like to store spam entries.

Accessing the Spam Entries Page

To access your entries page, go to WPForms » Entries. Here you’ll see a list containing all the forms you’ve created. Go ahead and select the form you’d like to view its entries.

Select the form to view spam entries page

On the Entries page, click the Spam link below the form name to access spam entries for the selected form.

Click spam link

Clicking on this link will filter the entries page to only show submissions identified as spam.

Spam Entries Page

Note: Want to learn how to manage your form entries? Check our form entries tutorial for more details.

Managing Spam Entries

On the Spam Entries page, you’ll see a list of entries marked as spam by WPForms’ anti-spam tools. Here, you’ll be able to perform actions such as viewing, deleting, or marking an entry as not spam.

Under the Actions column, you’ll see 3 options to help you manage each spam entry.

Actions column options

Below, we’ve explained each of the available options:

  • View: Clicking on this link will direct you to the view entry page with additional details about the specific entry.
  • Not Spam: This link lets you move false-positive spam entries back to your entries page.
  • Trash: This option lets you move the specific spam entry to the Trash folder.

Note: The search filter in WPForms allows you to find specific entries that match the keyword you specify. This is handy to quickly find entries that may have been wrongly flagged as spam. For more details, please see our guide on searching and filtering form entries.

Viewing Individual Spam Entry

To see more details about a specific spam entry, click the View link under the Actions column.

View spam entry

On the View Entry page, you’ll see additional details about the entry.

View entry page

Clicking on the Back to All Entries button directs you to the spam entries page.

Click the back to all entries button

You can use the navigation at the top right corner to switch between individual entries.

Entry navigation bar

Below the View Entry header, you’ll see an alert with details of the anti-spam tool that flagged the entry as spam. In our example, the entry was identified by Google reCAPTCHA.

Entry marked as spam by Google reCAPTCHA

Note: The exact alert you’ll see may vary for each entry, depending on the anti-spam tool that identified it as spam.

If you’d like, you can edit the entry just like you would a regular entry. To do so, click the Edit button and update the values of each form field.

Edit spam entry

Note: For a detailed guide, please see our tutorial on editing form entries.

Retrieving Spam Entries

The View Entry page shows additional details about a specific entry. You’ll be able to review each spam entry from here.

If an entry was mistakenly flagged by one of WPForms’ anti-spam tools, you’ll be able to retrieve the entry. To restore an entry, click the Mark as Not Spam link in the alert box.

Mark as not spam

After clicking on this link, you’ll see an alert notifying you that the entry has successfully been unmarked.

Entry successfully unmarked as spam

This would move the unmarked submission to your form entries page. It will also send all form notification emails to the email address(es) you configured.

Note: After marking an entry as not spam, you won’t be able to mark it as a spam entry. See our FAQ section for more details.

You can also unmark an entry as spam from the Entries page by clicking the Not Spam link next to the specific entry.

Mark entry as not spam

Trashing Spam Entries

After reviewing your spam entries and retrieving the legitimate ones, we recommend deleting spam entries to optimize your database storage.

If you’d like to delete spam entries from your site, WPForms provides multiple options. Below we’ll cover the steps for deleting spam entries individually and in bulk.

Individual Spam Entry

If you’re on the spam entries overview page, select the Trash option under the Actions column.

Click delete to remove spam entry

In the confirmation overlay that appears, click OK to trash the spam entry.

Click OK to Continue

Alternatively, you can trash a spam submission from the View Entry page. Simply click the Trash Entry link and follow the prompt.

Delete entry

Bulk Spam Entries

To delete spam entries in bulk, tick the checkbox next to the Name column to select all entries on the page.

Select all entries

Next, click the Bulk Actions dropdown and select Move to Trash from the available options.

Select Delete from the dropdown

Note: Choose the Delete option if you’d like to skip the trash folder and delete your spam entries.

Once selected, click the Apply button to trash the selected spam entries.

Click Apply to Proceed

Note: Using the Bulk Actions option to trash spam entries will only remove entries displayed on the current page due to pagination.

If you want to delete all spam entries for a form, simply click the Empty Spam button.

Click the Empty Spam button

Once done, you’ll see a notification with the number of deleted entries.

Number of deleted entries

Customizing Spam Entries View

You can customize the rows and columns in the spam entries page to show the fields you’d like. It works the same way as customizing the Entries page. To learn more, please see our customizing entries view tutorial.

Frequently Asked Questions

These are answers to some top questions about viewing and managing spam entries in WPForms.

Can I mark an entry as Spam from the Entries page?

No. WPForms automatically mark entries as spam once any of our anti-spam tools detect them. You won’t be able to mark existing entries as spam if our anti-spam tool doesn’t flag them.

If you spot a spam submission not identified by WPForms on your entries page, we recommend deleting it from your site.

Does WPForms mark entries as spam if the country and keyword filter is used?

No. If you enable keyword or country filtering on your form, submissions containing filtered keyword(s) or from blacklisted countries will be blocked and won’t be submitted.

What are the criteria for marking an entry as spam?

Entries blocked by the CAPTCHA method you integrate with your form will be marked as Spam on the Entries page. If you’ve set up Akismet anti-spam protection, entries blocked by Akismet will also be marked as spam.

What happens when an entry is identified as spam?

Entries flagged as spam will be submitted and stored in the Spam section on the Entries page.

Although the form will submit, notification emails won’t go through. Also, if you’re using one of our email marketing addons, actions such as adding a new subscriber to your email list will be blocked.

When you unmark an entry as spam, it’ll move it back to the Entries page. It’ll also trigger actions like sending notification emails or adding a new subscriber to your mailing list.

I have a payment form. Will payment entries be flagged as spam if identified by WPForms anti-spam tools?

No. WPForms payment providers often handle spam and security checks before processing a payment. The form will be submitted if the users’ payment is successful from the provider’s gateway.

Will spam entries be deleted after a while?

No. They aren’t deleted automatically. You’ll have to manually review and delete spam entries from your site. Please refer to the deleting spam entries section of this guide if you need help with it.

That’s it! Now you know how to view and manage spam entries submitted through your WordPress forms.

Next, would you like to learn how to reduce the number of spam submissions you receive? Check our spam prevention tutorial to learn how.