Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Managing junk mail in Outlook/Thunderbird

Today I will continue with the topic of managing your Inbox and fighting spam. I am going to describe a strategy similar to what I discussed in yesterday’s post, but aimed at those of you who use an application to access your Inbox(es) — Outlook, Outlook Express, and Thunderbird.

Tip of the day: Put your spam filters to work for you and stop the junk mail. I’ll start with the steps for Outlook, as I’m discovering that there are quite a few of you who use this for accessing all your various Inboxes. First access the spam control settings. These can be found under the Actions menu (yes, Actions; I think that’s odd too).

And then click on (select) “Junk E-mail” and then “Junk E-mail options”.

We’ll make a couple of quick adjustments to this tab, and the Safe Senders (the “whitelist”) tab. The Blocked Senders tab (the “blacklist”) is where you go to block senders on a case-by-case basis… like the annoying newsletter in yesterday’s article.
Change the radio button from “Low” to “High”. This action will tell the learning algorithm to be more proactive and sensitive. Early on, you will need to check the Junk folder to see if it has taken action on a sender that you really do want to see — when it does, click on “Mark as safe”, which will whitelist that sender for the duration.
To make sure that none of your regular correspondents get “junked”, click on the Safe Senders tab and verify that there is a check in the checkbox (down toward the bottom) labeled “Also trust e-mail from my Contacts”. This whitelists those folks in your address book so they will always be allowed… even when they forward you “jokes”.

Outlook Express is a less capable program, but you can blacklist spammers using the Blocked Senders option. This is located under the Tools menu.

Thunderbird is a very capable email organizer brought to you by the same folks who developed Firefox. It is a direct competitor with Outlook, and I think it has better spam fighting abilities (see Today’s free link, below). The methodology you will employ, whitelisting and blacklisting is the same.


In this program, you’ll find the spam filtering settings under Accounts, and you will need to make these changes for each mail account (address) that you use… if you use more than one. Also, please note that there are two “Junk settings”, and in the picture above, I am looking at a sub-category; folders. The main setting is above that, in the Account tree of menus.

By reading yesterday’s and today’s articles, it is my hope that you should have a very good idea of how to use the built-in tools available and get them started on “learning” how to keep the crud out of your Inbox. I want you to know that these filters get better with time, and require less hand-holding.

Today’s free link: Thunderbird 2 email client from Mozilla. Seek out and destroy spam. From site: “Mozilla’s Thunderbird 2 email application is more powerful than ever. It’s now even easier to organize, secure and customize your mail.”

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Copyright © 2007 Tech Paul. All rights reserved.

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August 27, 2007 - Posted by | advice, computers, how to, PC, spam and junk mail, tech, Vista, Windows, XP

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