Microsoft Outlook’s junk folder is quite effective and can be further optimized with user input. It automatically relocates irrelevant emails to the junk folder, thus saving users’ time. There are also multiple filtering options that allow users to customize how they want their inbox organized by specifying which emails should appear in their inbox and which should be directed to the spam folder.
However, at times, legitimate emails are mistakenly identified as spam and moved to the junk folder in Outlook. Consequently, users may overlook these emails if they don’t regularly check their spam folder. This might cause problems, particularly if the email is of importance or requires urgent attention.
This misplacement can result from either the server flagging emails as spam or your filtering settings being too stringent.
One solution is to disable the junk email filter entirely, allowing all emails into your inbox. However, proceed with caution as this will also permit more spam and potentially hazardous emails to enter. It’s usually better to fine-tune filter settings to strike a balance between convenience and security.
Additionally, Outlook allows you to add trusted senders whose emails you do not want to be sent to the spam folder. With that said, the following three methods will ensure that emails reach your inbox instead of the spam or junk folder.
1. Mark Spam Mail in the Junk Folder as ‘Not Junk/Spam’
To quickly stop Outlook from sending legitimate emails to the junk folder, you can mark them as ‘Not Junk.’ This action adds the sender’s address to the trusted sender list.
Note: Be mindful when marking emails as ‘Not Junk.’ It’s important to confirm the sender’s trustworthiness to prevent whitelisting potentially dangerous senders.
- Access the Junk Email folder.
- Select the email that you wish to mark as Not Junk.
- Go to the Home tab, click Junk, and choose Not Junk from the dropdown menu.
- Alternatively, after selecting the email, right-click on it, navigate to Junk, and then select “Not Junk”.
- Upon clicking Not Junk, a Mark as Not Junk dialog box will appear.
- Select the Always Trust email from “firstname.lastname@example.org” checkbox, and then click OK.
After these steps, the email will be moved to the inbox, and future messages from this sender will not be filtered into spam.
2. Add a Sender’s Email to the Trusted/Safe Senders List
To stop an email from being sent to the junk folder, you can add the sender’s address to the Safe Senders list.
- Select the email in the junk folder from the sender you wish to trust.
- Right-click it, then choose Junk > Never Block Sender.
- A prompt will confirm that the sender has been added to the Safe Senders list.
- Click OK, and from now on, emails from this address will bypass the junk folder.
You can also manually add a trusted sender by navigating to Junk Email Options from the Home tab’s Junk menu.
3. Turn Off the Automatic Filter
Disabling the automatic filter ensures that all emails are initially received in the inbox, allowing you to subsequently decide whether to keep them or move them to the junk folder.
- Select Junk > Junk E-mail Options from the Delete group on the Home tab.
- In the Junk E-mail Options dialog box, switch to the Options tab.
- Select the No Automatic Filtering option. Note that email from blocked senders will still go to the Junk E-mail folder.
- Click OK.
Following this modification, most emails will arrive in your inbox; however, it’s important to remember that emails from any sender on your blocked list will continue to be sent to the Junk E-mail folder.
To clear the blocked sender’s list, execute the following:
- After step 2 above, select the ‘Blocked Senders’ tab.
- Select all the email addresses in the list box (or just the ones you wish to remove) and click the Remove button.
- Click OK.
With this, Outlook will no longer filter your emails, and all messages received will be listed in your Inbox folder by default.