Office 2003 Tweaks - Outlook 2003 Junk Mail filter

New to Outlook 2003: Junk Email handling. Junk email removes spam from your mailbox using built-in filtering capabilities. The junk mail feature is highly accurate when set on High and you can add specific addresses or domains to the Safe Senders, Safe Recipients, and Blocked Senders lists. To view the options, open Tools, Options, Junk Email settings.

Since the official release of Office 2003 we’re seeing a lot of queries in the Microsoft newsgroups (news:// where people are creating rules to delete spam and adding hundreds, if not thousands, of domains to the Blocked senders list. It’s an awful lot of work to create rules that do what Outlook 2003’s junk filter already does very well.

Best practices for Outlook’s Junk email filter include:

  • Setting it on High and moving mail to the Junk Email folder.
  • Disable the option to “Trust mail from my Contacts” on the Safe Senders tab - if you have a contact for yourself any spam sent with your address in the from field will be trusted.
  • If mailing lists are caught by the junk filter, add their address to the Safe Recipients list.
  • You shouldn’t need too many addresses on the Blocked Senders lists and won’t need to import a huge list immediately. My blocked sender list contains one address - the address of a person who likes to forward me a lot of junk.

Every few days, take a few moments to scan the junk mail folder for false positives - something you can do while waiting on hold while making phone calls. Once scanned, right click on it and choose Empty Junk Email. After you add newsletter addresses to the Safe senders list, you’ll find few false positives, but I’m still uncomfortable setting it to delete messages immediately.

Junk Mail update for Outlook 2003 released December 16, 2003. See KB832333



Lex van der Horst

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