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5 ways to manage emails and control spam in Outlook

JD Sartain | March 13, 2015
Spam lives on, despite all our efforts to snuff it out--but Outlook has some features to help slow it down. Here are some things anyone can do, plus some tips for working within a corporate Outlook system.

Spam lives on, despite all our efforts to snuff it out — but Outlook has some features to help slow it down. Here are some things anyone can do, plus some tips for working within a corporate Outlook system. 

1. Use Block Sender frequently

Use Outlook's Block Sender feature to add intrusive spam to your Block Sender List, and then move it to the Junk Email folder. This works fine if you receive fewer than a dozen emails a day.

Select the spam email, right-click, choose Junk from the drop menu, and click Block Sender. Or, Select Home > Junk > Block Sender. Outlook marks it and relocates it immediately.

2. Set up a Blocked Sender list

If you get a lot of spam from a single ISP or country, or from a phishing group impersonating a legitimate organization, such as Yahoo6.com, epaypal.com, or an email from Wellsfargo with an EarthLink address (hbird80@earthlink.net), you can add these bad actors to your Block Sender list by company, group, country, ISP, or other criteria. Select Home > Junk > Junk Email Options and click the Blocked Senders tab. Click the Add button and enter a country code, a group domain, or a even a fake company (epaypal.com).

As the examples listed in this dialog box show, you don't need wildcards to block all email from a group or company. Just enter the group name preceded by the @ sign, or the name alone. Click OK > Apply > OK. Task complete.

3. Create Rules for sorting, moving and more

Outlook has a feature called "Create Rule" that offers custom email management based on conditions that you define in its virtual rulebook. Like macros, these rules automate repetitive tasks that you perform daily, such as telling Outlook which emails to display in specific windows, move emails to other folders, and/or create alerts with custom sounds.

Select the email you want moved to another folder. Select Home > Rules > Create Rule. In the dialog box, Outlook asks: When I get email with the selected conditions (From, Subject, Sent To) do the following: Display in New Item Alert Window, Play Selected Sound, or Move Item to Folder. Outlook assumes you want to check all three of the top boxes, but feel free to uncheck those that do not apply. In the bottom pane, check the boxes that perform the actions you require, then click OK.

In the following example (see graphic below): In Sample 1, this rule says flag all emails From: Comcast, with the Subject: Your bill is ready, Sent To: xxx@chacha.com; and then do the following> Play Sound: Windows RingIn.wav, and then Move to Folder: Bills Due. For Play Sound, click Browse, navigate to the Windows/Media folder, then choose a sound from the list. For Move to Folder, click the Select Folder button, and choose one from your hard drive's folder list.

 

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