Find and release quarantined messages as a user in Office 365

As an Office 365 user, you can manage messages that were sent to quarantine instead of sent to you in one of two ways: by responding to spam notifications sent to you directly (if your admin has set this up), or by using the Security & Compliance Center.

Note: If you're an admin, you can manage quarantined messages for other people in your organization.

View messages that were sent to quarantine instead of to you

  1. Sign in to Office 365 and go to the Security and Compliance Center using your work or school account.

  2. On the left, under Threat Management, choose Quarantine.

By default, messages are sorted from newest to oldest based on the Date the message was received. Sender, Subject, and Quarantine reason values are also listed for each message. You can sort on a field by clicking a header; click a column header a second time to reverse the sort order.

You can view a list of all quarantined messages, or you can search for specific messages by filtering. You can only do bulk operations on up to 100 items, so filtering can also help reduce your result set if you have more than that. You can quickly filter messages for a single quarantine reason by choosing an option from the drop-down list. Options include:

  • Mail identified as spam

  • Mail identified as bulk mail

  • Mail identified as phishing mail

In addition, as an admin, you can choose to filter all messages for your organization or only messages sent to you.

You can also use Search for more filtering options (see the next section in this article).

After you find a specific quarantined message, double-click the message to view details about it, and take actions, like releasing the message to your inbox.

Note: You must have admin permissions in Office 365 to work with quarantined messages that were sent to other users.

Use search to filter and find quarantined messages

If you have a lot of quarantined items, you can reduce the number to a manageable set by filtering them with search.

  1. On the Quarantine page, choose Search.

  2. Choose any combination of conditions by selecting the check boxes next to them (you can't use wildcards at this time). There are several conditions you can choose, including the following:

    • Message ID Use this to select a specific message when you know the message ID.

      For example, if a specific message is sent by, or intended for, a user in your organization, but it never reached its destination, you can search for the message by using a message trace (see Run a Message trace and View Results). If you discover that the message was sent to quarantine, perhaps because it matched a mail flow rule or was identified as spam, you can then easily find this message in quarantine by specifying its Message ID. Be sure to include the full Message ID string. This might include angle brackets (<>), for example:

      <79239079-d95a-483a-aacf-e954f592a0f6@XYZPR00BM0200.contoso.com>

    • Sender email address Choose to filter by a single sender email address.

    • Recipient email address Choose to filter by a single recipient email address.

    • Subject Enter the subject of an email address you want to find.

    • Received You can select messages that were sent to quarantine within the past 24 hours (Today), within the past 48 hours (Last 2 days), within the past week (Last 7 days), or you can select a custom time interval.

    • Expires You can select messages that will be deleted from quarantine within the next 24 hours (Today), within the next 48 hours (Last 2 days), within the next week (Last 7 days), or you can select a custom time interval.

      Important: By default, spam, bulk, and phishing messages are kept in quarantine for 15 days. When Office 365 deletes a message from quarantine, you can't get it back.

    • Type Choose this condition to search for quarantined messages that have been identified as Spam, Bulk, or as phishing email (Phish).

  3. Choose Search to start the search. To see all the messages in quarantine again, choose Clear search.

View details for a specific message

After you select a message or group of messages, you'll see a summary of the message properties in a pane on the right side of the page.

  • Message ID The unique identifier for the message.

  • Sender Address Who sent the message.

  • Received The intended recipient of the message.

  • Subject The text of the Subject line for the message.

  • Type Shows if a message has been identified as Spam, Bulk, or as phishing mail (Phish).

  • Expires The date when the message will be deleted from quarantine.

  • Released to All email addresses (if any) to which the message has been released.

  • Not yet released to All email addresses (if any) to which the message has not been released. You can choose Release to if you want to release the message (more about releasing messages in the next section).

You can also get even more details about the message by choosing one of the following options:

  • Preview message Lets you see raw or HTML versions of the message body text. In the HTML view, links are disabled.

  • View message header Choose this link to see the message header text. To analyze the header in depth, copy the message header text to your clipboard, and then choose Microsoft Message Header Analyzer to go to the Remote Connectivity Analyzer (right-click and choose Open in a new tab if you don't want to leave Office 365 to complete this task). Paste the message header onto the page in the Message Header Analyzer section, and choose Analyze headers.

Manage your quarantined messages

After you select a message or group of messages you have several options for managing messages in quarantine.

  • Do nothing. If you choose to do nothing, the message will be deleted by Office 365 automatically upon expiration. By default, spam, bulk, and phishing messages are kept in quarantine for 15 days. A quarantined message that matches a mail flow rule is kept in quarantine for 7 days (you can't customize this). When Office 365 deletes a message from quarantine, you can't get it back.

  • Release Release a quarantined message (or set of messages) so that the message is sent to you.

  • Release and report Release a quarantined message (or set of messages) and report the mail as a false positive to Microsoft.

When you're releasing messages, be aware of the following:

  • After you release a message, choose Refresh to refresh your data, and then double-click the message. You should see that the message has been released.

  • When you choose to report false positives, if the message or messages you release were quarantined as spam, bulk, or as a phishing message, the message will also be reported to the Microsoft Spam Analysis Team. The team will evaluate and analyze the message, and, depending on the results of the analysis, the service-wide spam content filter rules may be adjusted to allow the message through.

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