Overview of the Junk Email Filter

The Microsoft Outlook 2010 Junk Email Filter helps reduce unwanted email messages in your Inbox. Junk email, also known as spam, is moved by the filter away to the Junk E-mail folder.

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How the Junk Email Filter works

The Junk Email Filter evaluates each incoming message to assess whether it might be spam, based on several factors. These can include the time when the message was sent and the content of the message. By default, the Junk Email Filter is turned on and the protection level is set to Low. This level catches only the most obvious spam. You can make the filter more aggressive by changing the level of protection that it provides.

 Note    The Outlook Junk Email Filter doesn’t stop delivery of junk email messages, but moves suspected spam to the Junk E-mail folder.

You can adjust the Junk Email Filter settings in the Junk E-mail Options dialog box.

  • On the Home tab, in the Delete group, click Junk, and then click Junk E-mail Options.

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Junk E-mail folder

Any message that is suspected to be junk is moved to the Junk E-mail folder. We recommend that you periodically review the messages in the Junk E-mail folder to check for legitimate messages that were incorrectly classified as junk. If you find a message that isn’t junk, drag them back to the Inbox or to any folder. You can also mark the item as not junk by doing the following:

  • On the Home tab, in the Delete group, click Junk, and then click Not Junk.

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Junk Email Filter Lists

While the Junk Email Filter checks your incoming messages automatically, the Junk Email Filter Lists give you more control over what is considered spam. You can add names, email addresses and domains to these lists so the Filter allows for messages from sources that you trust, or blocks messages that arrive from specific email addresses and domains that you don't know or trust.

Safe Senders List     Email addresses and domain names in the Safe Senders List are never treated as junk email, regardless of the content of the message. You can add your Contacts and other correspondents to this list. If you use a Microsoft Exchange Server account, all names and addresses in the global address list (GAL) are automatically considered safe.

Safe Recipients List     If you belong to a mailing list or a distribution list, you can add the list sender to the Safe Recipients List. Messages sent to these email addresses or domain names are never treated as junk, regardless of the content of the message.

Blocked Senders List     You can easily block messages from particular senders by adding their email addresses or domain names to the Blocked Senders List. When you add a name or email address to this list, Outlook moves any incoming message from that source to the Junk E-mail folder. Messages from people or domain names that appear in this list are always classified as junk, regardless of the content of the message.

Blocked Top-Level Domains List     To block unwanted email messages that come from another country/region, you can add country/region codes to the Blocked Top-Level Domains List. For example, selecting the CA [Canada], US [United States], and MX [Mexico] check boxes in the list would block messages from email addresses that end in .ca, .us, and .mx.

Blocked Encodings List     To block unwanted email messages that appear in another character set or alphabet, you can add encodings to the Blocked Encodings List.

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Email account types supported by the Junk Email Filter

The Junk Email Filter can be used with the following kinds of email accounts:

If you want to change your profile, export a copy of the Junk Email Lists before you make the changes, and then import the information into Outlook. This makes sure that you won’t have to re-create the Junk Email Filter Lists.

ShowJunk Email Filter differences when Cached Exchange Mode is turned on or off

If you use an Exchange account, you have access to another layer of capabilities and tools to combat junk email.

  • If you use Cached Exchange Mode or download to an Outlook Data File (.pst)     The Junk Email Filter Lists are saved on the server and are available from any computer. The filter lists are also used by the server to evaluate messages. This means that if a sender appears in your Blocked Senders List, then messages from that sender are moved to the Junk E-mail folder on the server, and they aren’t evaluated by Outlook.
  • If you work online     The Junk Email Filter Lists are saved on the server. They are available from any computer, but only if you have the Junk Email feature enabled in Outlook Web Access or Outlook Web App. The filter lists are also used by the server to evaluate messages. This means that if a sender appears in your Blocked Senders List, then messages from that sender are moved to the Junk E-mail folder on the server, and they aren’t evaluated by Outlook.

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Applies to:
Outlook 2010