The Microsoft Junk Email Filter in Outlook 2010 works silently in the background and does a good job of keeping spammy and unwanted messages out of your Inbox. In this tutorial, lets take a look at the Microsoft Junk Email Filter system and how you can fine tune some features to make it work to your advantage.
How Microsoft Junk Email Filter Works
When an email message arrives in your Inbox, the Microsoft Outlook Junk Email Filter examines the message. It takes into account a number of factors such as the content of the message, the time when the message was sent and so on to determine the genuineness of the message.
The default settings in Outlook’s Junk Mail Filter is usually set to low. This means that only items that are easily obvious as spam are filtered. It also means that sometimes items that are not junk are earmarked as spam. Remember, the Junk Email Filter does not stop spam from being delivered to your Inbox, it only moves items that are suspect to the Junk Email folder. You must periodically check your Junk Email folder for genuine items that may have slipped through.
If you find a message that is not spam, drag the message to the Inbox. To ensure that messages from such sender are not earmarked as spam the next time it is delivered to the Inbox, you can mark the item as not junk.
To mark an email message as not junk:
On the Home tab, in the Delete group, click Junk, and then click Not Junk.
You can also mark certain names, email addresses, or domains as spam or junk so that Outlook can directly move the messages to the junk folder, if they should be delivered to your Inbox.
By default the spam protection levels are set to low to filter only very obvious spam messages. You can tighten spam control in Microsoft Junk Email Filter by changing the level of protection. Here’s how you do it.
How to Tighten Spam Control in Microsoft Junk Email Filter
1. Launch Microsoft Outlook 2010.
2. On the Home tab, in the Delete group, click Junk, and from the drop-down list select Junk E-mail Options.
3. The Junk E-mail Options dialog box is displayed. On the Options tab, choose a level of protection.
- No Automatic Filtering
This option turns off automatic Junk Email filtering but your messages will still be checked according to the options in the Blocked Senders List. To completely turn off Junk Email Filter ( this is obviously not recommended) you will need to remove ant names or email addresses in the Junk Email Filter lists.
This is the default protection level that is set and if you are lucky enough to receive only a few or random junk messages, you can retain this option.
If you get a lot of junk email, you may want to select this option. Just ensure that you have added messages from certain senders on your safe list and periodically check the Junk Email folder if genuine messages have been moved.
- Safe Lists Only
This option is an extremely restrictive one as it ensures that any email message that is not part of the Safe Senders list is moved to the Junk Email folder. What this means is that you now have to check the Junk Email folder often to see if there are other genuine messages that you need to move back to the Inbox.
- Permanently delete suspected junk e-mail
This option will simply remove the suspected junk email message from Outlook. It is better not to use this option as you cannot retrieve the message if it turns out to be a genuine one.
4. Click OK to close the Junk E-mail Options dialog box.
Selecting one of the options described in this tutorial will help you tighten spam control in Outlook 2010. However, no automated process is perfect and you may still need to periodically check and clear your Junk Email folder.
Now that you are familiar with all the features of Microsoft Junk Email Filter, I hope you will be able to better manage your Inbox and fight spam control more effectively.