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Outlook's built-in junk email filter blocks messages using two methods: the Junk E-Mail Lists and a new feature that determines whether an email is junk based on the message structure and other properties. This new filter is enabled by default.

To view and modify junk email settings:

  1. Choose Tools > Options, and click the Junk E-mail button.

  2. The Junk E-mail Options dialog box appears.

  3. Click the Options tab. Select the level of protection desired, or turn it off completely by choosing No Protection (Figure 6.57).

  4. Figure 6.57Figure 6.57 The Junk E-mail Options dialog box.

  5. Click the Safe Senders tab. Click the Add button and type the email address or domain name of the senders whose messages you do not want to be filtered as junk email.

  6. You can also remove a selection from the Safe Senders list by selecting an entry and clicking Remove (Figure 6.58).

    Figure 6.58Figure 6.58 Configuring the Trusted Senders list.

  7. Click the Safe Recipients tab. Click the Add button and type the target email address or domain for messages you do not want to be filtered as junk email.

  8. In other words, the Safe Recipients tab lets you identify acceptable messages based on the address or domain to which they are sent. You can also remove a selection from the Safe Recipients list by choosing Remove.

  9. Click the Blocked Senders tab and click Add to add individual addresses or domains whose messages you want to explicitly block.

  10. Click OK to close the Junk E-Mail Options dialog box.

TIP

Although advanced, the Junk E-Mail filter is not 100% effective. Periodically check the messages that are filtered to ensure that the filter is working properly.

The Safe Senders list serves as a whitelist that identifies messages that should not be treated as junk, based on the address or domain of the sender. Use this list to allow incoming messages from known senders or domains, regardless of the message content. If you specify a domain, Outlook accepts all messages from that domain regardless of the sender.

The Safe Recipients list serves as a whitelist that identifies messages that should not be treated as junk, based on the address to which the message is sent (or the domain of the address to which it is sent). Use this list to allow incoming messages that are not addressed specifically to you, such as messages sent to a discussion list in which you participate.

The Blocked Senders list is a blacklist that explicitly identifies individual senders or domains whose messages you want Outlook to block.

You can import or export a standard text file into the Safe Senders, Safe Recipients, or Blocked Senders list to share the list with other users or move it to another computer. To export a list, click Export to File in the Junk E-mail Options dialog box, specify the file path and name, and click Save. To import a list, click Import from File in the Junk E-mail Options dialog box. You see the Import Blocked Senders dialog box (Figure 6.59). Browse to the text file location, select it, and click Open. Outlook will import it into the list (Figure 6.60).

Figure 6.59Figure 6.59 Importing addresses in the Blocked Senders list.

Figure 6.60Figure 6.60 Configuring the Blocked Senders list.

When Outlook receives a message it identifies as junk mail, it displays a warning message (Figure 6.61). Click Open Junk E-mail folder to view the junk email contents or Junk E-mail Options to view the filter configuration settings. Click Close to close the dialog box without taking any action.

Figure 6.61Figure 6.61 Outlook warning about a junk message.

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