How to Optimize Your Junk Email Filter

Fight Email Spam How to Optimize Your Junk Email Filter

Your Junk Email Filter Works Better With DoNotPay!

Junk email is everywhere. Your inbox is a constant target of various marketing campaigns that make you think, “How do they have my email address?!” Depending on the email client you use, a lot of that cyber junk ends up filtered out to special spam or junk folders, but sooner or later, some of those emails will end up in your primary inbox and put you in danger. 

If you notice yet another email for a product you don’t want, you will probably roll your eyes, delete it, and move on. Still, some of your spam emails can be downright dangerous. Even though you know better than to click on a link from a suspicious email, due to speed, attention slips, or multitasking, mistakes can be made. It’s a chilling fact that those mistakes can cost Americans more than one billion dollars per year. To avoid such expensive errors, it’s about time to learn how to stop receiving emails that you don’t want or that could endanger you.   

Outlook Junk Email Options

While it’s not as popular as Gmail or Yahoo, Microsoft’s Outlook is an unavoidable part of many workplaces country-wide. It can do a solid job of protecting your email correspondence but it’s not perfect. Whether you use it as a separate program on your computer or its free online version, Outlook comes with a built-in junk email filter. It works automatically, and its efficiency depends on the level of protection you set up. 

Besides junk email filters, several other options let you manually improve your chances of stopping spam emails, and they include:

  • Safe Senders list
  • Safe Recipients list
  • Blocked Senders list
  • Blocked Top-Level Domains list
  • Blocked Encodings list

All options for junk email settings in Outlook 2013 and newer can be accessed from the Home tab where you can find the Junk icon and select Junk Email Options from a drop-down menu. 

Outlook Junk Email Filter Settings and How to Change Them

Microsoft Outlook’s junk email filter is based on algorithms that recognize potential spam and suspicious emails and move them to your Junk Email folder. There are four different levels of protection, and you should know that, unless you change it, your Outlook will work at the lowest intensity by default. In the table below, you can find a brief outline of what each protection level does:

Protection Level

What It Does

No Automatic Filtering

This level doesn’t assess your messages for spam signs, but if you have a Blocked Senders list, it will still affect receiving emails from those addresses 


This level filters out the most conspicuous emails, and it’s recommended for users who don’t receive a lot of spam anyway


This filter catches most junk emails, but some are still destined to go through

Safe Lists Only

This level is the most strict since it only lets through messages from email addresses on your Safe Senders list. Everything else will be labeled as junk

Changing the junk email filter to your preferred level in Outlook is straightforward:

  1. Start Outlook
  2. Click on Junk in the Home tab
  3. Select Junk Email Options when you see the drop-down menu
  4. Click on the desired level of protection that best suits your needs

In the pop-up window for the filter change, you can also select options to disable links in phishing emails and to get notified about dubious domain names in email addresses. All emails labeled as spam either by you or the automatic filter end up in a separate Junk Email folder, but you can select the option to have them permanently deleted by default. You should use this option with caution as, depending on the level of protection you choose, some regular mail can be categorized as spam or junk by mistake. 

Outlook Junk Email Settings Beyond Filters

Your preferred junk email protection level in Outlook can be supplemented or overridden by different lists that let you have more control over what’s considered spam. Here’s some more information about what each list stands for:

  • Safe Senders list—All messages from contacts in this list will be deemed safe, no matter what content is included in their emails. If you use a Microsoft Exchange Server account, all names and addresses in the global address list (GAL) will be treated as safe by default. The number of safe senders is limited to 1,204
  • Safe Recipients list—This list is useful if you belong to a mailing list or a distribution list that you trust. In such cases, you can add the list sender to the safe recipients list, and your emails won’t be treated as junk
  • Blocked Senders list—You can add specific email addresses or domain names, and all messages from them will be automatically moved to the junk folder. The maximum capacity of this list is 500
  • Blocked Top-Level Domains list—This list allows you to block messages from different regions or countries by checking the box next to their names
  • Blocked Encodings list—This list filters out messages written in different alphabets or character sets you don’t recognize

DoNotPay Can Help You Clean Up Outlook Junk Emails

All these Outlook options sound peachy, but they don’t guarantee 100% protection. You can try to get rid of annoying ads by unsubscribing from emails, but scams and phishing attempts won’t include that Unsubscribe button. Your best bet is to use DoNotPay.  

It’s simple, and it doesn’t take a lot of time:

  1. Start by creating your profile in a web browser
  2. Choose Spam Collector from the dashboard
  3. Provide your email address
  4. Send new spam emails to

As soon as DoNotPay receives that irritating or suspicious email, we will block the sender instead of you. When you forward us an email, the app will notify you if there is an ongoing investigation or a class action against that sender. If there is, you can add your name to the lawsuit and get compensated when the sender is charged guilty! 

Junk Email Filters Won’t Protect Your Physical Mailbox, but DoNotPay Can!

You know by now that reporting spam emails or learning how to block them on your Android phone or iPhone with DoNotPay works in cyberspace. What about your physical mailbox, though? No need to worry! While advertisers and scammers may still use snail mail, DoNotPay works beyond computer and smartphone screens! 

If you want to declutter your mailbox permanently or protect yourself from scams that come in real envelopes, follow these steps:

  1. Open your DoNotPay app or website and log in
  2. Select DoNotMail
  3. Click on Enroll Now
  4. Upload photos of mail you want to get rid of

Fighting spam and reducing paper waste at the same time? Don’t mind if we do!

DoNotPay Keeps Your Outlook Junk Email Folder Uncluttered and so Much More!

DoNotPay is the world’s first robot lawyer created to fight for your consumer rights and provide easy professional help. Eliminating unsolicited messages from your inbox and reporting email abuse make up just a fraction of what our app can do. 

Helping with chargebacks, harassing phone calls from your ex and cyberstalking, requesting refunds for plane tickets or for that Airbnb that didn’t live up to your expectations—DoNotPay has it all and more!

Save yourself some time and energy because, with DoNotPay, you no longer need to research policies and regulations. You can handle a bunch of legal and bureaucratic problems from one place. Open DoNotPay in a web browser and explore our vast portfolio:

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