How To Block Spam Emails Outlook

Cindy Ellis - January 29, 2024

finger interacting with email menu

When trying to find important emails from valuable clients, co-workers, or family members, it is incredibly frustrating to sift through countless spam messages. While most electronic mail hosts have cut down on this issue by categorizing inboxes with junk mail tabs, quite a few spam notifications still sneak through the filters.

What most people don’t realize, particularly those who rely on Outlook, is that it has several notable filter options that help reduce the likelihood of spam.

While we may never fully remove all spam from our inboxes, we can tighten security to lessen its frequency. In this article, we will detail how to block spam emails in Outlook.

How To Reduce Spam Email

While there are several different routes a person can go when it comes to blocking common spam addresses and phishing attempts, it is best to start with preventative measures. The truth is that there are several unlikely ways that spam email can begin to pile on and add up for a person that they may have never considered.

Remove Yourself From Newsletters and Promotions

Anyone with regular internet access has inevitably signed up for a newsletter they never requested. In the digital world, marketing and advertising are so absurdly common it is almost impossible to avoid the countless promotions that litter the internet nowadays.

It is essential to know which sites want to sell you on future offers and which are trying to acquire personal information. When browsing the web, ensure you are familiar with scamming websites and how they target their victims.

If you regularly see the same products, brands, and companies appearing in your Outlook account, it may be time to do some digital spring cleaning. Go through your inbox and scroll to the bottom of the varying newsletters and promotional offers. At the end of the email, in suspiciously small text, is the “Unsubscribe” option.

Go through your inbox and hit the unsubscribe option on every newsletter you do not want; there may be quite a few. These advertising emails stack up very quickly. The agreement to get promotional offers is typically next to small checkboxes that most folks skip over without knowing what they agreed to.

Try To Keep Personal Emails Confidential

Asking someone to keep their email to themselves in today’s online world feels like an impossible task, considering how many websites demand that you enter your email. To put it bluntly, if you want to access the majority of the internet, you will have to give up your email address fairly regularly.

So, how do you keep your personal email from becoming a go-to for scammers, spammers, and shady businesses? Create a separate email used exclusively for online registrations, signups, and more. This second email is becoming increasingly common for folks with a business email that they want to keep exclusive to clients and important contacts.

If you are already experiencing a heavy influx of spam and promotional mail in your personal email account, it may be time to make a more drastic decision.

Never Respond to Spam Emails

While the temptation to politely inform a spammer that they should not send you messages may be hard to resist, it is detrimental to your inbox going forward. Responding to spam emails or opening their very sketchy attachments can wreak havoc on your email and personal computer. Several spam emails have virus-infested attachments that need to be left alone.

Outlook has a reliable spam filter, but it is not bulletproof, and several scammers are capable of getting past it. Just because an email is in your main inbox does not mean it can be trusted. Check for dubious email addresses, spelling errors, or claims that cannot be verified.

Any or all of these are signs that you are dealing with a scammer looking to infect your computer or acquire personal information. Unfortunately, email addresses do not come with a person’s full criminal history, so due diligence is necessary before responding to or accepting unfamiliar emails.

Create a New Personal Email

Sometimes, it is better to start fresh. If your email is already getting hundreds of spam emails a day from dozens of different sources, it may be time to cut your losses and start anew. The downside to creating a new email is that you will have to transfer over your contact list and request that all correspondents move messages to a new email.

The upside is that you have a fresh slate that hasn’t been smudged over the years by email registries, promotional signups, and spam messages that have received responses.

If your personal email is beyond saving, it may be time to consider trying again. Creating a new email is relatively painless and has the added benefit of not having to search through a laundry list of unimportant spam.

If you are still determining whether or not your email has crossed the Rubicon, consider the options below to see if it can still be salvaged and learn how to block spam emails Outlook now.

How To Block Spam Emails in Outlook

spam covering a phone screen

Despite the efforts of several very intelligent people, spam is a perpetual digital weed that has yet to be entirely uprooted. Thankfully, there are several methods of cutting it down, so it is infrequent and no longer a noticeable concern. Considering nearly half of all emails are considered spam, this is a massive accomplishment.

Routinely Identify Junk and Spam Email

The best method for reducing the spam email that enters your primary inbox is blocking emails as spam the second they come in. If you regularly receive the same email congratulating you on inheriting a sizable sum from a distant relative, block the sender.

  1. Select the Home tab at the top.
  2. Click on the Junk button in the Dropdown
  3. The very first option will be Block Sender; tap it.

If you make a habit of this once a day, you will start to notice a steep decline in spam emails. It may seem like a needless addition to your daily routine, but it takes little time and will make your morning emails much quicker in the long run.

Create Block Lists

If you notice identifiable patterns or locations in your spam folder, it may be time to use block lists. Block lists allow you to start mass blocking by country of origin, business name, or email groups. The process is fairly simple and can eliminate large spam networks with a few choice suggestions.

  1. Navigate to the Home tab at the top of your Outlook Email.
  2. Select the Junk option from the dropdown menu.
  3. Click on Junk Email Options.
  4. From here, choose the Blocked Senders bookmark at the top.
  5. Add common spam groups or countries to your junk mail.

Because of the prevalence of bot accounts, it can be hard to make an impact if your email is hit with hundreds of junk emails from various suspicious addresses. You can sincerely cut down on spam by using a block list filled with countries, businesses, and internet domains regularly featured in your junk mail.

Adjust Junk Mail Protection

Many people are unaware of how customizable Outlook has become. While it may seem like your email has been predetermined for you, the user has an impressive amount of choice in what email they receive. If you are not being adequately protected from the various spam that hits your inbox, try adjusting the email protection level in Outlook.

To increase the spam security in your Outlook, follow these steps:

  1. Hit the Home tab on the top of your Outlook menu.
  2. Click on the Junk option, then double-tap Junk Email Options…
  3. There will be five tabs at the top of the pop-up menu, select Options,
  4. You can select four different options: No Automatic Filtering, Low, High, and Safe Lists Only.
  5. Choose your desired level.

The results will not be immediate, and it may take a few days to see if the spam has lessened to a point where you don’t have to worry. If you still see a noticeable amount of spam or junk email, try adjusting to a higher protection level. Be wary of the Safe Lists Only feature, as you may miss important emails from prospective connections.

Block Spam Emails in Outlook Today

The prevalence of spam primarily comes down to how much a person puts their email out there, though a certain element of spam is luck. The best way to avoid spam is to lessen the visibility of personal emails and ensure you have a separate email to sign up for various websites and domains.

If the problem becomes too severe, it is always a good idea to simply get a new email and transfer over your essential contacts. Before you make that substantial leap, however, it is worth trying some of Outlook’s better features to prevent spam.

When spam enters your inbox, block the sender’s email and move on. Even better, create a block list with all the usual suspects, countries, and businesses filtered from your main inbox. You can also turn up Outlook’s junk protection filter, though this may need to be adjusted over a week or two until a comfortable middle ground is found.

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