A fox in the snow

Hywel Thomas /

August 23, 2021

Using Outlook Rules to Reduce Spam

Beyond Outlook's spam settings

Outlook’s own spam filter is a start, but not that great at stopping all the nonsense that ends up in your mailbox. Check out this simple solution to radically reduce the number of spam emails you receive.

  • Go through your spam and write down the words that commonly appear, here’s a few I found: click here, order your, check now, learn more, order now, watch now, check out.
  • Pop along to Files/Rules and Alerts and create a new rule called Spam. (Making sure you click the relevant email address at the top.)
  • Click on the section Start from a Blank Rule - “Apply rule on messages I receive”. Click Next
  • Click the box next to “with specific words in the body”
  • Under Step 2, click “specific words”
  • Add all the common words you have found, one by one, into the search list.
  • Add the word “Unsubscribe”. Press OK
  • Click “Next”
  • Click the box next to “move it to a specific folder”.
  • In Step 2 click the highlighted word “specified”.
  • Select your Spam or Junk folder.
  • Click “Next”
  • In the “Are there any exceptions”, click the box next to “except if the subject contains specific words”.
  • In Step 2 click the highlighted word “specific words” and add the expression: “Re:”. (This will not apply the rule to any messages that are part of an email conversation you are having.)
  • Press Finish.
  • In the main rules box, click on the rule you have just made and click the little up arrow to move it to the top of the rules list. (This will make sure the spam is moved before any of your other rules are applied.)

Over the coming days, check on your spam folder regularly to see if any non-spam emails are getting in, or any other common words are appearing and adjust the rule accordingly. I use the above rule along with a great anti-spam system called Spam Reader, but because Outlook’s rules run before Spam Reader, I find this adjustment helps a lot.

Hywel Thomas web designer

Author: Hywel Thomas
Web Design and Google Ads person
Email: hi@zigger.co.uk
Tel: 07875 096483