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Outlook email filter

Configuring Your Junk Email Filter in Outlook - The Options Tab

Microsoft Outlook offers several features to help you address junk email that arrives to your Inbox. Four junk email filtering levels are available. The Microsoft default level is Low. To access Junk Email options, from your Outlook tool bar, Click on Tools, Options, and then on Junk E-Mail on the Preferences tab to display the Junk E-Mail Options dialog box shown below.

Junk Email Options

No Automatic Filtering: This option protects only against mail from individuals and domains in your Blocked Senders list (see below), moving it to the Junk Email folder. All other mail is delivered to your Inbox.

Low: This option uses a predefined filter to scan the body and subject of messages to identify likely spam. You can’t specify additional filter criteria for subject or content checking for this junk e-mail filter, although you can create your own custom junk e-mail rules to block messages using additional criteria. This is the default.

High: This level uses the same filtering as the Low level, but it also uses additional scanning to determine whether a message is spam. Outlook scans the message body and message header for indications that the message is spam. You have no control over this scanning, other than to enable it by choosing the High scanning level. If you choose the High option, you should not enable the option to delete junk email messages rather than move them to the Junk Email folder. Although Outlook will catch most spam, it may also block messages that you expect or want. You should review the Junk Email folder periodically to check for valid messages.

Safe Lists Only: This level provides the most extreme message blocking. Only Safe Senders and Safe Recipients lists (see below) are treated as valid messages. All others are treated as junk email. Although this protection level offers the most chance of blocking all of your junk mail, it also offers the most chance of blocking wanted messages. You should allow Outlook to place messages in the Junk Email folder and review the folder regularly for valid messages. When you find a valid message, add the sender to your Safe Senders list.

Junk Email Filter Lists in Outlook: Safe Senders, Safe Recipients, Blocked Senders

The Junk Email Filter feature in Outlook uses the following Junk Email Filter lists:

Safe Senders list: Email addresses and domain names that you add to your Safe Senders List are never treated as junk email, so will not be moved to your Junk Email folder. Email addresses stored in your Contacts or in the campus Global Address list are included by default, and will never be treated as junk email messages.

Safe Senders

Safe Recipients list: As with the Safe Senders list, email addresses and domain names that you add to your Safe Recipients list are not treated as junk mail, and will never be moved to your Junk email folder.

Safe recipients

Blocked Senders list: This list is used to block messages by address or domain. Messages originating from an address or a domain on the list are filtered out. Entering a domain in the Blocked Senders list blocks all messages from that domain, regardless of the sender.

Blocked senders

There are two options for adding entries to each of the three filter lists:

  • Specify an email address - Click on the appropriate tab, and enter email addresses (e.g.
  • Specify a domain - Click on the appropriate tab, and enter domain addresses (e.g. A word of caution: If you specify a domain, Outlook blocks all messages from that domain regardless of sender. If you add a domain ( to a list, all messages from that domain will be filtered accordingly. For example, if you add “” to the Blocked Senders list, all email messages from anyone with a Gmail account will go to your Junk email folder.

Tip: To quickly add a sender to one of these lists, in your Inbox right click on a message from that sender, click on Junk Mail, and select a Junk Mail option.

For additional information, please contact your departmental IT administrator or IT Central, located at Social Science 120, or via phone at 243-HELP (x4357).

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