6 ways to manage emails and control spam in Outlook

Spam lives on, despite all our efforts to snuff it out—but Outlook has some features to help slow it down. Here are some things anyone can do, plus some tips for working within a corporate Outlook system. 

1. Use Block Sender frequently

Use Outlook’s Block Sender feature to add intrusive spam to your Block Sender List, and then move it to the Junk Email folder. This works fine if you receive fewer than a dozen emails a day.

Select the spam email, right-click, choose Junk from the drop menu, and click Block Sender. Or, Select Home > Junk > Block Sender. Outlook marks it and relocates it immediately.

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Use Block Sender frequently to automatically add the senders to Junk Email folder.


2. Set up a Blocked Sender list

If you get a lot of spam from a single ISP or country, or from a phishing group impersonating a legitimate organization, such as Yahoo6.com, epaypal.com, or an email from Wellsfargo with an EarthLink address (hbird80@earthlink.net), you can add these bad actors to your Block Sender list by company, group, country, ISP, or other criteria. Select Home > Junk > Junk Email Options and click the Blocked Senders tab. Click the Add button and enter a country code, a group domain, or a even a fake company (epaypal.com).

As the examples listed in this dialog box show, you don’t need wildcards to block all email from a group or company. Just enter the group name preceded by the @ sign, or the name alone. Click OK > Apply > OK. Task complete.

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Use the Block Sender list to block groups, countries, and fake companies.

If you try these techniques, and you’re still getting spam from some of the companies or individuals you preciously blocked, then using wildcards may be the solution. This technique addresses the challenge that hackers are always inventing new email addresses for spamming you. Instead of entering individual spam email addresses into your Blocked Sender List, just enter this one “all-inclusive” email address: *@*.com into the Blocked Sender’s List. Follow the instructions in the first three paragraphs of section 2 above, and your spam problem should be solved—or will be, that is, until the hackers write another program to get around this solution.

3. Create Rules for sorting, moving and more

Outlook has a feature called “Create Rule” that offers custom email management based on conditions that you define in its virtual rulebook. Like macros, these rules automate repetitive tasks that you perform daily, such as telling Outlook which emails to display in specific windows, move emails to other folders, and/or create alerts with custom sounds.

Select the email you want moved to another folder. Select Home > Rules > Create Rule. In the dialog box, Outlook asks: When I get email with the selected conditions (From, Subject, Sent To) do the following: Display in New Item Alert Window, Play Selected Sound, or Move Item to Folder. Outlook assumes you want to check all three of the top boxes, but feel free to uncheck those that do not apply. In the bottom pane, check the boxes that perform the actions you require, then click OK.

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