Resolving Outlook's junk mail misdirection
I owe Microsoft an apology. I have long complained about how poorly Outlook (from Office for Mac 2011) filters my junk mail. In particular, mail from some of the lists to which I subscribe would keep getting sent to junk mail despite my efforts to prevent this.
It didn't matter if I selected "Mark as Not Junk" for a particular message. The next email from the same domain went to junk mail again. It didn't matter if I added the email address to my Contacts list. Nor did it matter if I added the address's domain to Outlook's Safe Domains list. The messages still wound up in my Junk E-mail folder.
As it turns out, I only had myself to blame for this confusion.
One clue was that these emails were typically labelled as "Uncertain Junk." This led me to consider whether I might have created a rule that was behind the mishandling.
Sure enough, after selecting the Rules command from Outlook's Tools menu, I located a rule that I had set up long long ago, designed to catch mail that I did not want to go directly to my Inbox. I had set the rule to detect certain words in a sender's email address that often indicate the mail was spam. I further set the rule so that such messages were marked as...you guessed it..."Uncertain Junk." That way, I could still detect and attend to them if desired.
One of the words in this rule list was "mailer." As it turned out, this word was also in the addresses of the emails that were unintentionally going to junk mail. Understandably, rules you create override all other settings to the contrary. As a result, these messages were being misdirected to junk mail. Deleting the "mailer" item from the rule list resolved the matter. Lesson learned.
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