Filters and reporting for junk email

You can choose to report spam, phishing, and malware back to Microsoft automatically and whether to allow Microsoft to share those reports with other companies who fight spam. In order to protect your privacy, personal information such as name, email address, credit card, and so on, is never shared and is never used for marketing purposes.

Information provided here applies to Outlook.com and Outlook on the web (the Office 365 email client formerly known as OWA).

Outlook.com

Outlook.com offers two levels of filtering for junk email: Standard and Exclusive.

  • Standard    does the typical amount of email filtering. Any message that the filter determines is junk is sent to your Junk Email folder.

  • Exclusive    is very restrictive. It only trusts new messages that come from members of your list of Safe Senders, your Safe mailing list, and Contacts. It also trusts alerts that you have signed up for and service announcements. All other messages are put in the Junk Email folder.

When you move a message to the Junk Email folder, or unsubscribe from a sender, Outlook.com learns from that action to understand what users consider to be junk. If you choose the option Ask the sender to remove me from mailing lists and automatically block spammers, Microsoft will share these findings with other companies who fight junk email.

These two options determine how attachments, pictures, and links from unknown senders are treated when you initially open an email message.

Outlook on the web (Office 365)

When you tag a piece of email with Mark as junk, you can report the message to Microsoft to help improve the accuracy of the junk email filter. To set junk email reporting options, select Settings icon > Mail > Mail > Automatic processing > Junk email reporting.

The decision to report senders of junk email is up to you. Outlook on the web offers three different reporting options for email you mark as junk:

  • Ask me before sending a report     will ask you to confirm that you want to send a copy of the email to Microsoft for research and improvement of email protection technologies. The email goes through an automated process that removes all personal information.

  • Automatically send reports    sends a copy to Microsoft of every email you mark as junk.

  • Never send reports    will not send a report to Microsoft when you mark an email as junk.

With your permission, Microsoft can share your junk mail reports with third-party companies who fight junk mail.

  • To grant permission, select Share reports with other companies that fight junk email.

  • To prevent reports from being shared, select Don't share reports with other companies that fight junk email.

See Also

Safe senders, blocked senders, and other junk email options

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