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2008-08-08 21:06:44

Using The Junk Folder in Your Outlook Program

Are you using the Junk Mail folder (settings) in Outlook?

The last week I got a call from my good friend who asked why a certain piece of eMail would wind up in his Junk Mail Folder in Outlook.
I said, good question, let me go look and I will and find out for you.
Well, although I wanted to find out, it was difficult to pinpoint the problem when looking at it from an end-user perspective. Trying to pinpoint from a server-level is one thing, but determining what happens when it is downloaded into Outlook due to pre-determined filters and rules within the system itself is not as easy as I thought.
At the point of this writing, I am not saying it doesn’t exist, but it seems there is no way to specifically indicate what it is in any particular message that triggers Outlook to send the message to the Junk eMail Folder.
There are some broad categories (in the settings area) that I could find, but nothing really granular or specific to help me answer my friend’s question as to why that message was sent to the Junk eMail folder.
Microsoft: Listen up… It would be really nice if you tagged the header of the message with whatever rule or filter you applied to send the eMail to the Junk eMail Folder in the first instance.
Well, what made matters a little tougher is that I didn’t use my Junk eMail Folder, so I turned on my Junk eMail Folder to see if I could figure it out. After several dozen messages being delivered to my Junk eMail Folder, I am convinced that I still don’t know what is going on.
The Junk eMail section of Outlook does make it easy to white list senders or domains or blacklist the same (including eMail from certain countries) but my suggestion is that you turn off the Junk eMail Folder in Outlook.
The main reason is that Outlook is a “client side” application, which means it runs on your computer, and any rule you set on your computer would also have to be recreated on every other “client” (computer, hand-held device) or whatever device that you use to review eMail.
As many have heard me suggest, I prefer all eMail rules and filters to be applied “server side” (at your eMail host), thereby any rule created will work with all my computing appliances (computer, hand helds…)
You can find a reference to my recent article on “client side” and server-side” in RealTown’s eMail Heaven Community.
For those of you who dare to use the Junk eMail settings, there are several choices available:
In the Tools drop down menu is Options. On the Options Tab is the Junk button. Here are our choices:
Outlook can move messages that appear to be junk eMail into a special June eMail Folder.
Choose the level of junk email protection you want:
No Automatic Filtering. Mail from blocked senders is still moved to the Junk eMail folder.
Low: Move the most obvious junk eMail to the Junk eMail folder.
High: Most junk eMail is caught, but some regular mail may be caught as well. Check your Junk eMail folder often.
Safe Lists Only: Only mail from people or domains on your Safe Senders List or Safe Recipients List will be delivered to your Inbox.
Permanently delete suspected junk eMail instead of moving it to the Junk eMail folder.
Disable links and other Functionality in phishing messages. (Recommended)
Warn me about suspicious domain names in eMail addresses. (Recommended)
When sending eMail, Postmark the message to help eMail clients distinguish regular eMail from Junk eMail
I look forward to hearing your success stories, but I still think that if you use this at all, I suggest you start out ”Low” (and then go lower, none ;-)…, and move all this to your eMail host.
For more on this and other eMail solutions, go to the eMail Heaven Community on
See you online,
Mike Barnett is the CTO and VP Technology of InternetCrusade®. InternetCrusade is the creator and provider of e-PRO (NAR’s only technology certification course) as well as the host of, the oldest and most respected social networking site in real estate.  InternetCrusade also manages tens of thousands of eMail accounts representing millions of pieces of eMail on a daily basis.

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