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Filtering Emails in OWA

Outlook for Web offers significant configuration options for handling incoming messages. In this guide, you will find instructions on how to blocking a sender, mark a sender as safe, as well as creating an email filter.

Blocking or Marking a Sender as Safe

If you notice legitimate emails ending in your Junk Email folder in Outlook, you can mark the sender of these emails as safe. Conversely, if spam messages appear in your inbox, you can block the sender or domain. Blocking or marking a sender as safe is a quick and straightforward process, but has more limited configuration options. If you require a more complex rule, please see the section of this guide for Creating an Email Filter.

In addition to blocking or marking a sender as safe, you may follow the steps detailed in this guide to report an email as malicious, or as marked as a false positive or false negative: https://www.uvm.edu/it/kb/article/spam-and-phishing.

Marking a Sender as Safe in Outlook for the Web

  1. In Outlook for Web, select Options under the the gear icon in the top right corner.
  2. Expand the Mail subheading, then expand Accounts and select Block or allow.
  3. Under the section marked Safe Senders and Recipients, enter the sender or domain, then add them by clicking the plus sign (+). You may also elect to:
    • Edit the selected sender or domain by clicking on the pencil.
    • Delete the selected sender or domain by clicking on the trash can.
  4. Click Save to confirm your changes.

Blocking a Sender in Outlook for the Web

  1. In Outlook for Web, select Options under the the gear icon in the top right corner.
  2. Expand the Mail subheading, then expand Accounts and select Block or allow.
  3. Under the section marked Blocked Senders, enter the sender or domain, then add them by clicking the plus sign (+). You may also elect to:
    • Edit the selected sender or domain by clicking on the pencil.
    • Delete the selected sender or domain by clicking on the trash can.
  4. Click Save to confirm your changes.

Enable Automatic filtering of Junk Email

For the instructions above to be effective, automatic filtering of junk email must be enabled.

This option is typically enabled by default

  1. In Outlook for Web, select Options under the the gear icon in the top right corner.
  2. Expand the Mail subheading, then expand Accounts and select Block or allow.
  3. In the section marked Block or allow, select Automatically filter junk email, then click Save.

Creating an Email Filter

Email filters can automatically move mail from your inbox to a selected folder, categorize messages by custom criteria, forward mail to another address, and much more.

Click here if you are looking for specific instructions on how to Forward Email to Another UVM or COM Email address.

Faculty and Staff are prohibited from forwarding UVM email to a non-UVM address. Please read the UVM Information Security Policy.

Creating an Email Filter

  1. In Outlook for Web, select Options under the the gear icon in the top right corner.
  2. Expand the Mail subheading, then expand Automatic processing and select Inbox and Sweep Rules.
  3. Create a new inbox rule by clicking on the plus sign (+). You may also elect to:
    • Edit the selected rule by clicking on the pencil.
    • Delete a rule by clicking on the trash can.
    • Adjust the order that these rules are applied using the arrows.
  4. Once you’ve clicked the plus (+) sign, you will see a similar dialogue box to the one below.
  5. The Name box is used to identify this rule in your list of Inbox rules on the previous page, so should be named something descriptive.
  6. To configure the triggers for this rule, make the proper drop-down selection under the When a message arrives, and it matches all of these conditions option.
    1. Select It was sent or received if you want to filter messages from specific senders, or messages with specific recipients.
    2. Select It includes these words if you want to filter messages that contain specific words or phrases.
    3. Select My name is if you want to filter messages sent to your account, messages where your account is the only recipient, where your account is CC’d, or messages where your account is not the primary account being contacted.
    4. Select It’s marked with if you want to filter messages that have elevated importance or sensitivity based on the message options.
    5. Select It’s if you want to filter messages with attachments, or messages of a specific type, classification, or flag.
    6. Select It’s size is within the specified range if you want to filter messages in a specific size range.
    7. Select It’s received within a specific date span if you want to filter messages based on when they were received.
  7. To configure the effects for this rule, make the proper drop-down selection under the Do all the following option
    • Select Move, copy, or delete if you want the filtered messages to be moved or copied to a specific folder, or deleted.
    • Select Pin the message if you want to pin the filtered message.
    • Select Mark the message if you want the filtered message to be marked as read, marked as junk, marked with a specific level of importance, or marked with a specific category.
    • Select Forward, redirect, or send if you want the filtered message to be forwarded to a specific address, forwarded as an attachment to a specific address, redirected to a specified address, or sent as an SMS text message to another address.
      NOTE:

      When forwarding a message, the rule adds “FW:” to the subject, change some of the message forwarding, and sends the message to the specified account. The recipient sees that the message came from you.
      When redirecting a message, the message is sent, unchanged, the the specified account. To the recipient, the message appears as though it came directly from the original sender. 


  8. To add an exception, click Add Exception under Except if it matches any of these conditions.
  9. After your inbox rule is properly configured, click OK at the top of the screen to create the rule. You should now see the rule with a check mark next to it in the list of Inbox and Sweep Rules.

Removing Client-Side Rules

In Outlook and other email clients, it’s possible to create rules that only affect the client on which they are configured. Client-side rules will not carry over to a new computer, device, alternate email client, or in Outlook for Web. Additionally, it’s difficult to troubleshoot mailbox issues when IT does not have a complete view of the rules impacting your account.

It’s highly recommended to create server-side rules instead.

Outlook for Windows

Instructions Being Developed

Outlook for macOS

  1. Click Outlook in the top right corner, then select Preferences.
  2. Click Rules.
  3. Under the Client Rules section, look in each subsection for rules. Remove selected rules by clicking the minus () sign.
  4. Click Delete when prompted.

Updated on March 3, 2020

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