Turn on or off links in email messages

Phishing is the malicious practice of using email messages to lure you into disclosing personal information, such as your bank account number and account password. Often, phishing messages use untrustworthy links to fake websites that request your personal information. This information can be used by criminals to steal your identity, your money, or both.

Because it can be difficult to distinguish a phishing email message from a legitimate email message, the Outlook Junk Email Filter evaluates each incoming message to see whether it includes suspicious characteristics common to phishing scams. Suspicious message detection is only turned on when junk email filtering is turned on.

When a suspected phishing message arrives, it is processed as follows:

  • If the Junk Email Filter doesn’t consider a message to be spam but does consider it to be phishing, the message is left in the Inbox, but any links in the message are disabled and you can’t use the Reply and Reply All commands. In addition, any attachments in the suspicious message are blocked.

    If you want to enable the links in a message, in the Reading Pane or open message, in the InfoBar at the top of the message, click Enable links and other functionality (not recommended).

  • If the Junk Email Filter considers the message to be both spam and phishing, the message is automatically sent to the Junk Email folder. Any message sent to the Junk Email folder is saved in plain text format and all links are disabled. In addition, the Reply and Reply All commands are disabled and any attachments in the message are blocked.

  • If the Junk Email Filter considers the message to be both spam and phishing, and the sender (someone@example.com) or domain (@example.com) is a member of the Safe Senders List, the message is left in the Inbox. However, the links and attachments in the message are disabled.

Move suspicious messages from the Junk Email folder

You can move a message considered suspicious from the Junk Email folder back to the Inbox. In the Reading Pane or open message, click the InfoBar, and then click Move to Inbox.

  • The original message format is restored but the links the message contains remain disabled. In addition, the Reply and Reply All functionality remains disabled and any attachments in the message remain blocked.

  • If the Junk Email Filter considers the message to be both spam and phishing but you don't agree, open the Junk Email folder, right-click the message, and then click Add Sender to Safe Senders List. The message is moved to your Inbox. Disabled links remain disabled. The original message format is restored.

    Important:  After you add the sender or domain to your Safe Senders List, any new messages from that sender or domain are evaluated by the filter but aren’t moved to the Junk Email folder. We recommend that your Safe Senders List not include banks, credit card companies, or ecommerce senders or domains, because these senders' addresses are the most frequently used by phishers.

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Turn off automatic disabling of links

  1. Click Home.

  2. In the Delete group, click Junk, and then click Junk Email options.

  3. On the Options tab, clear the Disable links and other functionality in phishing messages (recommended) check box.

Note:  If you later turn on this feature, links in previous messages that were evaluated as suspicious by the Junk Email Filter are disabled.

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Turn off warnings about potentially fake email addresses

  1. Click Home.

  2. In the Delete group, click Junk, and then click Junk Email options.

  3. On the Options tab, clear the Warn me about suspicious domain names in email addresses (recommended) check box.

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