Using Outlook's Spam Filter

Microsoft Outlook has several built in ways to help filter spam out of your inbox. This article will explore some of these options.

If an email in your inbox is spam, right click on the email, select Junk E-Mail to get to the following options.

  1. Add Sender to Blocked Senders List – The email address on the spam email will be blocked.
  2. Add Sender to Safe Senders List – Some emails may get classified as spam erroneously. Adding the sender’s email address to the list will bypass Outlook’s spam filter.
  3. Add Sender’s Domain ( to Safe Senders List – Sometimes, emails from other parts of will be classified as spam due to the content. Adding @USC.EDU to this list ensures that anyone with an’s email address will bypass Outlook’s spam filter.
  4. Add Recipient to Safe Recipients List – An example for this is that your email address may belong to a mailing list. The mailing list email address will be the recipient email address instead of yours.

Click on Junk E-Mail Options to get to the following.

Under the Options tab, you could set the level of junk e-mail protection. Please read the description for each option carefully before choosing one.

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Once filtered, spam emails end up in your Junk Emails folder unless you set it to delete in the Junk Email Options.

The email addresses or domain names in the Safe Senders list will bypass any Microsoft Outlook spam filters and automatically go to your inbox.


Email addresses or domains on this Safe Recipients list will also bypass Microsoft Outlook’s spam filter.

Safe Recipients list could consist of listservs or distribution lists that you have subscribed to.


The Blocked Senders tab is a list of email addresses that you would like to block from your inbox. Any email address or domain on this list will automatically get filtered out.


If you know that you won’t be getting any emails from specific countries or in specific languages, you could click on the International tab and filter out those emails automatically. Many scam emails originate outside of the United States.


Published on September 22nd, 2017

Last updated on November 30th, 2022