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Stopping wanted emails from going to Outlook 2003's Junk folder requires a quick change to your "safe" list and visits to Office Update for updates.


How do I stop *wanted* email from going to my Junk folder?

I'm assuming that this question is about Outlook 2003's Junk Mail handling.

There are two important steps you should take:

  • When you find email in your junk mail that is not junk, right click on it's line in the list, select Junk E-mail, and Mark as Not Junk. You'll then have the opportunity to add the sender or the address they sent to to a "safe" list so that they'll not be marked as junk in the future.

  • Visit Office Update regularly. One of the things they update is the junk mail filter, and I've seen it improve in accuracy over time.

Article C2017 - June 11, 2004 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

June 16, 2005 7:49 AM

I am a memeber of a website thhaaoschatsite and all my mail from them and my family is going to the junk.These emails are not junk how can I correct this without having to transfer them individually?

February 13, 2006 10:12 PM

I m facing a problem with hotmail. Emails send to hotmail account from my system (web application using Send Mail) go to its junk mail folder, which should not happen. It should actually go to Inbox. The default setting in my hotmail account of "Junk EMail Filter" is "Enhanced". If i change it to "Low" the mail will go to inbox as it only traps obvious junk emails n not others. But we can't tell the users to change this setting. So pls help me a way out in this ASAP...

Ronald Russell
May 28, 2006 11:42 AM

How do I access my junk folder to see if something I have actually bought has gone into it please?

October 2, 2006 10:22 PM

Hi guys,
In general it's not secret that built-in to Outlook 2003 anti-spam solution from MS is very simple and even stupid. There are a lot of articles in internet about how to avoid this junk mail filter. Keeping in mind how long guys from MS do updates for their product the best way is to buy (or find free) anti-spam product from independent companies - usually they are more flexible and faster.
I would recommend to use Spam Reader Also you can look at Spam Bully and Inboxer.

Good Luck!

December 6, 2006 12:09 PM

I have the same problem of 'wanted' mail going to junk folder. The problem is, it is an email to all employees. Some people are getting it in the inbox, others in junk mail. All have the same settings for junk mail (level low). Why some and not others???

Leo Notenboom
December 7, 2006 6:10 PM

It depends on the email program, but most "learn" from the email that people recieve. Since not everyone receives the same email, the filters will be slightly different for each user.

December 18, 2006 1:29 PM

Can anyone give a correct way to stop all my good mail goint into the Junk folder. This has just occurred over the past week and Ive trie everthing I know -but to no avail. Its not a problem on my other system!!

February 18, 2007 3:25 AM

It would be great if the filter -- or if the outlook application would tell WHY any particular piece of mail was sent to the junk mail filter -- then it would be easier to troubleshoot junkmail filter problems -- is this possible with outlook?
The filter already must be deciding upon what condition in the email caused it to be rejected so why can't the filter tell us what that is so we can write an appropriate rule to fix the problem?

nobert machinjike
May 21, 2007 3:08 AM

nice communicating with leo giving advice on junk folders

July 4, 2007 8:54 AM

As Ted points out. It'd be nice to know WHY the junk email filter has picked a piece of email as junk.
We have the settings at LOW but a simple SMTP email with a subject and 1 sentence in the body is being sent to the junk email folder after the last round of automatic updates.
It caused a production outage as people were waiting for the email but I can't figure out why it was trapped. I'm also not in a position to go to everyone's machine and get them to choose 'accept from this sender'. The sender can change over time. *sighs*
Is there any tool to analyse an email item and show what rule is catching it?

December 10, 2007 8:24 PM

I am facing the same problem as Chris. I cannot go to every users system to make it able to choose 'accept from this sender'. Could anyone suggest me a solution in this regard.

January 15, 2008 3:52 PM

i have noticed that HTML mail sent from Outlook express or Thunderbird, always ends up in outlook 2003 sp2 Junk Folder, it appears that the only way around this is to send the mail as plain text.

November 17, 2008 9:33 AM

I am getting spam that says it's from my email address. As a result, Outlook 2003 sends it to the junk folder. I have marked my address as a Safe Sender, but to no avail. Outlook sees the word Viagra and sends it to junk. Can this be fixed somehow? I occasionally need these emails from myself.

December 22, 2008 5:03 AM

my all mail going to my junk folder i can not recive mails in my inbox

February 16, 2009 1:01 PM

I have the proper settings in junk mail, actually that I have a spam service so I turned the junk mail settings to off. Despite having marked several email addresses as not junk and safe senders, I am still receiving emails in my junk mail box from parties I want to receive mail from. Any suggestions

April 16, 2009 11:24 PM

I am facing the same problem. I cannot go to every users system to make it able to choose 'accept from this sender'. Could anyone suggest me a solution in this regard.

April 17, 2009 9:11 AM

A particular email keep going to junk and have added the user as a safer sender list but the rules is not working for it, what can i do?

May 7, 2009 4:22 PM

I am facing this trouble and i have done everything : mark as not junk, add sender to safe list, etc, and still all e-mails are going to junk folder.

December 1, 2009 3:42 PM

Ok what if you have updated and all your incomming emails are still going to the Junk email folder. I even tried turning off the junk email filter. Everything still goes to junk email.

Bryan Bittiker
December 2, 2009 10:41 AM

If you are looking for the plain truth - here it is. The use of an HTML editor to produce emails will give an opportunity to have your emails sent directly to junk mail. If you have expertise in HTML then you can avoid the trappings but for most people who are using the HTML editors you will have to cross your fingers and hope that you have not produced an emails that filters will send to junk mail. The only way to gurantee your emails make it to the inbox of all your receipients is to use plain text emails and follow the word useage rules to not fall into the filter trap.

April 15, 2010 3:40 PM

I changed my outlook email from HTML to rich text and that seemed to fix my problem.

April 26, 2010 1:51 PM

Hi have the same issue since 2 day's. Nothing helps, tried everything. I do not find a rule or something. I have put HTML back to rich text. Nothing helps. Do you have any other suggestions? Thanks a lot for any help. Kind regards Ueli

May 22, 2010 3:34 AM

"Visit Office Update regularly. One of the things they update is the junk mail filter, and I've seen it improve in accuracy over time."

I have to say its exactly the opposite. I get the junk in my inbox and the good emails in the junk. Like seriously whats with that?

The problem is that people have become too paranoid when it comes to security. Its a never ending battle, so why fight it (just write better code: the first time, its simple)? I should have that choice, not m$.

And that Microsofts assumption is that all users are stupid and know nothing about computers.

Anne N
June 16, 2010 11:33 PM

I had the same problem, I checked my Outlook rules (and even deleted them all) and no matter how mudh I marked emails as not junk, they all went to the junk folder. This went on for a good two weeks, until we re-installed Norton Anti-spam. we found that it somewhat went back to normal once the anti-spam was working.

September 17, 2011 7:59 AM

HI! i have two newsletter software, acajoom and mailing list pro, and using acajoom all mail goes to inbox (html mail), but sending the same mail using, goes to spam folder. I do not understand it. IT IS THE SAME MAIL!

There's much much more than just the email itself that goes into detemining whether it goes into spam or not. Things like the headers you don't see, the IP address and reputation of the sender and more.

Garry Hurley
February 14, 2012 7:51 AM

I have three suggestions for fixes:
Eudora Lite
Eudora Pro

Using any of them will fix the problem with Outlook trying to copy GMail's SPAM filter (badly of course).

March 30, 2012 2:06 PM

Most of our company's mass emails go to junk despite the domain and the specific address of the sender being on the safe lists. I wouldn't mind if you could adjust the lists but Outlook seems to completely ignore user feed back.

David Kropelnicki
June 7, 2012 11:14 AM

I have a similar problem with Outlook. When I receive an email, it is deposited in the inbox. At the same time I will find 11 of the same email in the junk folder! This happens with each new email that arrives. How do I stop this from happening?

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