Change the level of protection in the Junk Email Filter

Change the level of protection in the Junk Email Filter

Junk e-mail messages, also known as spam, can be a nuisance in your Inbox. The Junk E-mail Filter in Outlook identifies messages that are likely junk and moves them to the Junk E-mail folder. You can easily change the level of junk email protection or automatically delete junk email.

Change the level of junk email protection

By default, the Junk Email Filter protection level is set to No Automatic Filtering. You can make the filter more aggressive so that it catches more junk messages. The higher you set the protection level, the greater the risk of some legitimate messages being identified as junk and moved to the Junk E-mail folder.

  1. Click Home > Junk > Junk E-mail Options.

  2. Choose the level of protection you want.

    • No Automatic Filtering     Although this turns off the automatic Junk Email Filter, messages are still evaluated by using the domain names and email addresses in your Blocked Senders List.

      Note:  If you want to turn off the Junk Email Filter, you must also remove names from the Junk Email Filter lists.

    • Low     If you don't receive many junk messages, or want to filter only the messages that are the most obvious junk, select this option.

    • High     If you receive lots of junk messages, but don’t want to restrict messages from senders on your safe lists, select this option. We recommend you occasionally check the Junk E-mail folder to make sure that a message you wanted isn’t moved in error.

    • Safe Lists Only     This is the most restrictive option. Any message that isn't from someone on your Safe Senders List or isn't to a mailing list on your Safe Recipients List, is classified as junk.

Just delete them!

You can tell Outlook to delete all suspected junk messages instead of moving them to the Junk E-mail folder. This takes away your ability to review messages for possible false positives, so consider the risks of using this option.

  1. In Mail, click Home > Junk > Junk E-mail Options.

  2. On the Options tab, check the Permanently delete suspected junk email instead of moving it to the Junk E-mail folder box.

Change the level of junk email protection

By default, the Junk Email Filter is turned on, and the protection level is set to Low, the setting designed to catch the most obvious spam. You can adjust the sensitivity of the Junk Email Filter. Messages detected by the Junk Email Filter are moved to the Junk E-mail folder. You can change any of these Junk Email Filter options for the kind of protection that you want.

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options to open the Options dialog box.

  2. On the Preferences tab of the Options dialog box, under E-mail, click Junk E-mail to open the Junk E-mail Options dialog box.

  3. Select the level of protection that you want:

    • No Automatic Filtering     Although this turns off the automatic Junk Email Filter, Outlook continues to evaluate messages by using the domain names and email addresses in your Blocked Senders List, and also continues to move messages from blocked senders to the Junk E-mail folder.

      Note: If you want to fully disable the Junk Email Filter, you must also remove entries in the Junk Email Filter Lists.

    • Low     If you don't receive many junk email messages, or want to filter out only the messages that are most obviously junk, select this option.

    • High     If you receive lots of junk email messages, but do not want to restrict the messages that you see to those from senders on your safe lists, select this option. However, you should periodically review messages moved to the Junk Email folder, because some legitimate messages might also end up there.

    • Safe Lists Only     If you receive lots of email messages, you can select this option. Any email message that isn't from someone on your Safe Senders List or isn't to a mailing list on your Safe Recipients List, will be treated as junk.

Note: Changing the level of protection affects only those mail accounts that deliver and save email messages on your computer. This includes all email accounts that use a Personal Folders file (.pst), including POP3 and IMAP, and Microsoft Exchange accounts that are configured to use Cached Exchange Mode, which use an Offline Folders file (.ost).

Delete messages instead of moving them to the Junk Email folder

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options to open the Options dialog box.

  2. On the Preferences tab of the Options dialog box, under E-mail, click Junk E-mail to open the Junk E-mail Options dialog box.

  3. Select the Permanently delete suspected junk e-mail instead of moving it to the Junk E-mail folder check box.

Note: When you permanently delete suspected junk email messages, the messages are immediately deleted and are not moved into the Deleted Items folder.

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