Junk Mail filtering not needed
January 9, 2009 11:46 AM   Subscribe

Is there a way to completely disable junk mail filtering in Outlook 2003?

I'm finding real mail that's ending up in the Junk Mail folder, and I get very little actual junk mail. So having to check the junk mail folder is just a nuisance. I want to stop Outlook from filtering, altogether. I want every message to go into my Inbox and stay there.

It's Outlook 2003. Current Junk Mail settings are:
--No automatic filtering
--Don't turn on links in messages, etc.
--Safe Senders: Trust email from my Contacts, & Automatically add people I email to the safe senders list.
--Safe Recipients: none listed
--Blocked Senders: none listed
--International/Blocked Top Level Domains: none checked
--International/Blocked encodings list: none checked

Any suggestions appreciated.
posted by beagle to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
My experience is that McAfee sends more mail to this folder than Outlook does. If you have McAfee installed look in the email configuration and turn off one of the features that does this filtering.
posted by boulder20something at 12:08 PM on January 9, 2009

Response by poster: I don't have McAfee installed, but I'll check my TrendMicro settings.
posted by beagle at 12:44 PM on January 9, 2009

Also, log into webaccess if you have that, and disable it there also. I've seen it completely disabled in Outlook clients but enabled in OWA.
Are you in a corporate environment? If you are, and the network admin has it enabled, those settings will override your client settings.
posted by 8dot3 at 1:27 PM on January 9, 2009

If you're using exchange there's a number of on-the-server spam filters that will put things in the junk mail folder. In that case talk to whoever is maintaining that server.
posted by aubilenon at 1:27 PM on January 9, 2009

Response by poster: 8dot3: no, this is not in a corporate network, it's in a home office, standalone desktop.
posted by beagle at 1:34 PM on January 9, 2009

If I remember correctly, adding your email address as a Safe Recipient does the trick.
posted by stovenator at 5:08 PM on January 9, 2009

this is not in a corporate network, it's in a home office, standalone desktop

Then why on earth stick with Outlook? I'm genuinely curious here: I've only ever met one person who actually likes Outlook. Most Outlook users seem to have it imposed on them as a Requirement from Above.
posted by flabdablet at 6:46 PM on January 9, 2009

Response by poster: So, flabdablet, recommend something, willya?
posted by beagle at 5:51 AM on January 10, 2009

When I need a local email client I will generally reach for Thunderbird, because it's free, cross-platform, open source, has very few annoying little habits, and there's heaps of info online to help you work around those it does have.

But I don't actually use a local email client much any more. Because I find myself working on lots of different computers, I've drifted toward using the Gmail web interface everywhere I go.

It actually makes good sense to use a Gmail account as a sort of central clearing-house for all your email accounts, even if you do prefer using a local mail client. You can make a Gmail account pull mails from other accounts using POP3, the same way a local mail client would do, and label them on the way in so you know which accounts they're from. You can also tell your Gmail account to use your other accounts' From: address when it sends mail, so there's no need to expose your @gmail.com address if you don't want to.

If you still prefer to use a local email client, configuration is easier since all you have to do is connect it to one Gmail account using IMAP, and your local email client will show you a bunch of folders synced to the labels in the Gmail account. You can two-way sync the Thunderbird address book with the Gmail address book by installing the Zindus extension. Gmail's spam filter also works extremely well (better than Thunderbird's, which by the way you can easily disable per mail account) and it won't mark mail from addresses within your My Contacts list as spam.

If you hook Thunderbird to a Gmail account via IMAP and tell it to make the mail available offline and never delete it, you can also stop worrying about backing up your emails - if either the Gmail account or your local computer goes belly-up, the other will probably not, and with over 7GB available at Gmail's end you're unlikely to run out of room.

Gmail also integrates nicely with Google Calendar, which is another kick in the head for Outlook.
posted by flabdablet at 4:28 PM on January 10, 2009

By the way, you can turn spam filtering off entirely in a Gmail account as well, though the method is not immediately obvious. Set up a filter, make it search for Has the words: "" so it matches everything, and check the Never send it to Spam box.
posted by flabdablet at 4:49 PM on January 10, 2009

Bollocks. I have just tried out my own recipe for turning off Gmail's spam filter, and the spam is still going to my Spam folder and not my Inbox. Will try harder.

Meanwhile, here's something that I know works, because I just this minute tested it: I have Thunderbird connected to my Gmail account via IMAP. I've chosen Edit->Find->Search Messages.

In the resulting "Search Messages" window, I've picked "Inbox on flabdablet+hp2@gmail.com" for "Search messages in:", and clicked "Save as Search Folder".

In the resulting "New Saved Search Folder" window, I've typed "Incoming" in the "Name:" box, and clicked "Choose...".

In the resulting "Select Folder(s)" window, I've added a checkmark next to the Spam folder (there was already one next to the Inbox) and clicked OK.

Back in the "New Saved Search Folder" window, I've checked "Search Online" and "Match All messages" and clicked OK.

Back in the "Search Messages" window, I've clicked the [X] (Close) control.

I now have a "folder" called "Incoming" right under my Inbox in Thunderbird's folder tree, and when I open it I see everything that's in my Inbox together with everything that's in my Spam folder, all sorted by date.

There's a hell of a lot of spam there, by the way. Gmail's spam filter works well enough that occasionally posting my email address in plaintext on Metafilter causes me no grief whatsoever, just makes my Spam folder run hot for a few months.
posted by flabdablet at 4:01 AM on January 11, 2009

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