Blocking Spam in Outlook

At the UW, the best way to block spam effectively is to:

  1. Turn OFF all Junk E-mail handling in Outlook.
  2. Use a filtering "rule" set via OWA. (Similar steps should be taken for Entourage to turn junk mail handling off.)
  3. Don't accidentally re-enable Outlook's Junk E-Mail handling.

Turn Off Junk Mail in Outlook

  1. In Outook's Home tab, in the Delete box, click on the drop-down menu for Junk. (If you are not in Cached mode, you will next get a message about working on-line; click OK to continue.)
  2. Choose "Junk E-mail Options".
  3. Options tab: Click button for "No Automatic Filtering".
  4. Safe Senders tab: make sure list is empty.
  5. Blocked Senders tab: make sure list is empty.
  6. International tab: click each button and then Clear All.

Create Filtering Rule in OWA

  1. Open OWA at and turn off Junk E-mail filtering:
    • Select Options, then Block or Allow
    • Select Don't move e-mail to my Junk E-Mail folder
  2. Still in Outlook Web Access, create the rule:

       a.  From Options, choose Organize E-Mail; Inbox Rules will be highlighted. (If you are starting fresh, click on Options and then on Create an inbox rule.)

       b.  Click on New for create a New Rule

       c.   Click on the More Options button.

       d.  Click on the drop-down list under When the message arrives and highlight it includes these words, then click on in the message header.


e.  In the resulting box, paste

X-Uwash-Spam: Gauge=XXXXXX
click the green plus sign, and click OK.


f. Click on the drop-down list under Do the following and then highlight move, copy or delete and then click on move the message to folder.


g.  Select your junk email folder from the list and click OK.

h.  Make sure the box is checked to stop processing more rules.

i.  In the Name of Rule box, type something that makes sense to you, then click Save.


j.  You may see the following:

k.  If you do, Click on Yes.


More information about the rule

  1. The rule will apply a threshold of "60" for spam rejection, messages scoring 60 or more will be moved to Junk. To change the threshold, add or subtract "X"s from the string.
  2. The higher the threshold the less likely you are to move messages to Junk that you might really want, and, conversely, the more likely you are to see "junk" messages in your Inbox.
  3. No filter is perfect. Regularly check your Junk mail folder for legitimate mail.

Don't Accidentally Re-enable Outlook's Junk E-Mail Handling

  • Do not right-click on any message and select Junk or any of its options.
  • Doing so will re-enable Outlook's Junk E-Mail handling.

Last modified: April 4, 2014