IT Connect
Information technology tools and resources at the UW

Spam filtering for Exchange Online

Please note: UW-IT only supports Classic Outlook on the web (aka Classic OWA), not New Outlook on the web (aka New OWA).  These instructions will not work with New OWA.  To revert from New OWA to Classic OWA, login to OWA and click “The new Outlook” toggle switch in the upper right corner.

Turn off junk mail filtering in Outlook

  1. While viewing Mail, on the Home tab, in the Delete group, click Junk, and then click Junk E-mail Options.
    If you are not in Cached mode, Outlook displays a message that the Junk E-mail filter is not available. It is fine that it is not available, because you will not be using it, so click OK to continue.
  2. In the Options tab, select No Automatic Filtering.
  3. In the Safe Senders tab, make sure that the list is empty.
  4. In the Blocked Senders tab, make sure that the list is empty.
  5. In the International tab, click each button, click Clear All, and then click OK.
  6. Click OK.

Turn off junk mail filtering in OWA

  1. Open OWA.
  2. In the upper-right corner of the screen, click the gear icon  Gear icon, and then towards the bottom of the gear menu click on “Mail” under My app settings.
  3. On the left side of the screen, Under MAIL > Accounts, click Block or allow.
  4. Select Don’t move email to my Junk Email folder.
  5. Click SAVE.

Create a filtering rule in OWA

  1. In OWA, on the left side of the screen, under MAIL > Automatic processing, click Inbox and sweep rules.
  2. Click the plus sign (+)
  3. In the New inbox rule dialog box, enter a name for this new rule, such as Spam Filtering.            1 email
  4. From the list under When the message arrives, and click It includes these words, and then click in the message header.
    Include these words
  5. When prompted to Specify words or phrases, enter:
    X-Uwash-Spam: Gauge=XXXXXX
    into the Enter words box. Click the plus sign ( + ), and then click OK.2 email
  6. In the new inbox rule dialog box, from the list under Do the following, click Move, copy or delete, then click Move the message to folder.
    3 email
  7. Then click Junk E-mail as the folder, and then click OK.
    4 email
  8. At the bottom of the New inbox rule page, make sure that the Stop processing more rules box is checked.
  9. Click OK at the top to save. If the following message appears, click OK to continue:

More information about the rule

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • No filter is perfect. Regularly check your Junk mail folder for legitimate mail.

Don’t accidentally re-enable junk email filtering in Outlook

Do not right-click any message and select Junk or any of its options. Doing so re-enables junk email filtering in Outlook.