Outlook Spam Filter Not Working? Here’s What You Need to Know

  • January 10, 2023
  • Written by:
  • James
  • Reading Time: 8 minutes

Outlook spam filter is a valuable tool for preventing unwanted and malicious emails from cluttering your inbox. However, even with the best spam filter enabled, some spam messages might still make their way through. When this happens, it can be frustrating and time-consuming to sort through the junk emails and find the important ones. In this article, we will explore some common issues with Outlook’s spam filter and provide tips for troubleshooting and managing your spam folder.

What is Outlook Spam Filter?

Outlook spam filter is a built-in feature that uses various criteria to determine if an incoming email is spam or not. The filter scans emails for suspicious content, such as certain keywords or phrases, and checks if the sender’s email address is on a blacklist. The spam filter can also learn from your actions, such as marking emails as spam or not spam, to improve its accuracy over time.

How to Enable the Spam Filter?

By default, Outlook’s spam filter is enabled, but it might not be set to the level of protection you want. To enable or adjust the spam filter settings, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the “Junk” button in the Home tab.
  2. Choose “Junk Email Options.”
  3. Choose the level of protection you want, such as “Low,” “High,” or “Safe Lists Only.”
  4. Click “OK” to save the changes.

Troubleshooting Outlook Spam Filter Issues

If you’re experiencing issues with Outlook spam filter not working, here are some troubleshooting steps you can take:

  1. Check your spam filter settings to make sure they are set correctly.
  2. Update your Outlook software to the latest version, which might have bug fixes and improvements for the spam filter.
  3. Scan your computer for malware, as some malware can disable the spam filter or make it less effective.
  4. Verify that your email account is properly set up in Outlook, as issues with the account can affect the spam filter’s performance.

How to Manage Your Spam Folder in Outlook?

If some spam messages are still making it to your inbox or if Outlook is marking legitimate emails as spam, you can manage your spam folder to improve the filter’s accuracy. Here are some tips for managing your spam folder:

  1. Regularly check your spam folder for false positives, which are legitimate emails that were marked as spam by mistake. If you find any, mark them as “not spam” so that Outlook can learn from its mistake.
  2. Review the messages in your spam folder to see if any patterns or trends emerge, such as specific senders or keywords. This information can help you adjust your spam filter settings.
  3. If you receive a lot of spam from a particular sender, you can block the sender’s email address or domain by right-clicking on the email and choosing “Junk > Block Sender.”
  4. Consider creating custom rules to filter out specific types of spam or to move emails from certain senders to a separate folder.

Tips on Avoiding Email Spam

While Outlook spam filter is effective, there are also some steps you can take to avoid receiving spam emails in the first place. Here are some tips:

  1. Be cautious about giving out your email address, especially to unknown or untrustworthy sources.
  2. Avoid clicking on suspicious links or downloading attachments from unknown senders.
  3. Use a secondary email address for online shopping or sign-ups to avoid cluttering your primary inbox with spam.
  4. Consider using a third-party spam filter or anti-virus software for additional protection.

Alternatives to Outlook Spam Filtering

If Outlook spam filter not working or if you prefer an alternative solution, there are several third-party spam filters available. Some popular options include Spamfighter, Mailwasher, and Spam Assassin. These tools use advanced algorithms and heuristics to identify and block spam emails, and some of them also offer additional features such as phishing protection, email encryption, and customizable rules. Keep in mind, however, that using a third-party spam filter might require additional setup and configuration, and could potentially conflict with Outlook’s native spam filter.


Outlook spam filter is a powerful tool for keeping your inbox clean and organized, but it’s not foolproof. By following the tips and troubleshooting steps outlined in this article, you can improve the accuracy of the spam filter and better manage your spam folder. Remember to also take proactive measures to avoid spam emails, such as being cautious with your email address and using additional spam filtering software if necessary. With the right approach, you can enjoy a more streamlined and secure email experience.

Written By

  • James
  • My name is David Wayne, and I work as a technical support specialist for the online industry. In the last 7 years, I have fixed a variety of email issues, such as Outlook server errors, Outlook send receive errors, Outlook working offline problems and etc. So if you are facing these types of problems, please do not hesitate to contact us without any hesitation.

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