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Stop Outlook From Sending Important Messages to the Junk Folder

Key Points:

  • Outlook sometimes sends genuine emails into the Junk folder for no apparent reason.
  • The scenario mostly happens when an email has some spam characteristics that make Outlook treat it as junk.
  • Other times, the confusion originates from how you interacted with the previous emails from the sender.
  • Either way, having important messages treated as spam can create miscommunications because you’ll think you haven’t received an email until you discover it later in the Junk folder.
  • The good news is that Outlook has multiple ways to stop important messages from going to the junk folder.

Outlook sometimes treats normal emails as spam and filters important emails into the junk email folder. This can be annoying because you won’t know when you receive an important email unless you browse your junk email folder.

It’s not unusual for people to ignore messages in their spam folders. At the back of your mind, you “believe” the messages in the spam folder were sent there for a reason. However, when a critical and time-conscious email ends up in the junk box, it may cost your business, even if you find it later.

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How to Stop Important Emails from Going Into Your Junk Folder on Outlook

You can use different methods to stop Outlook from sending your emails to the junk inbox. Let’s start with the simplest one.

Method 1: Mark the Email as Not Junk/ Spam

  1. Open the Outlook app, go to your junk emails, and find the message you want to redirect to your inbox.
  2. Right-click on the email to open a small drop-down menu.
  3. Click on the Junk option to open another small menu.
  4. Select the Not Junk.
  5. On the Mark as Not Junk dialog box that pops up, check the “Always trust email from” box, where ( is the sender’s email in the Junk folder.
  6. Click the OK button to move the selected email from the Junk Email folder to the Inbox folder.

Alternatively, you can open the email and select the “It’s not junk” option at the top of the window. After the process, Outlook will no longer consider the sender’s emails as junk.

Method 2: Add The Sender to the Safe Sender List

Another way to stop your important emails from going to the junk folder is to add the sender’s email to the Safe Sender list. Here is a step-by-step procedure to whitelist a sender:

  1. Click the Junk tool button in the toolbar.
  2. Select the email of a sender you want to whitelist.
  3. Go to the Home tab and select Junk.
  4. Select Never Block Sender. A prompt box will remind you that you’ve added the sender to the Safe Sender list.
  5. Click OK to close the dialog box.

From then on, emails from the sender’s address will no longer go to the Junk folder. However, you have to move the message manually to your inbox.

Method 3: Check Your Mailing Rules

Sometimes, the problem might be a rule that forwards emails from a specific sender to your Junk folder. If that’s the case, follow the following procedure to check if you’ve configured the rule.

  1. Hit the Home tab.
  2. Select Rules. A small menu will pop up.
  3. Click on Manage Rules & Alerts from the menu.
  4. Confirm if you have any forwarding rules to your Junk folder. If there are any, delete them.

All incoming emails from addresses under the rule will start coming to your inbox instead of the junk folder. However, you’ll need to manually move the already-existing important messages in the junk folder to your inbox.

Method 4: Create a Filtering Rule That Bypasses the Junk Mail Filter

This method requires you to use the web app.

  1. Go to and sign in to your Outlook account.
  2. Find Settings in the upper right corner and click on it. A drop-down menu will open.
  3. Scroll down and select View all Outlook settings.
  4. Select Email in the new window that opens.
  5. Click on Rules.
  6. Choose the Add a condition option and pick the From option.
  7. Enter the sender’s email.
  8. Go to the Add an action section and select Move to.
  9. Then pick Inbox.
  10. Hit the Save button to create the rule.

Why Do Your Emails Go to Junk Mail in Outlook?

Your emails end in the junk folder because Outlook confuses them with spam. Spam — unsolicited and unwanted junk emails — accounts for more than a quarter of all email traffic. To keep your inbox as spam-free and as secure as possible, Outlook has anti-spam filters.

Before an email enters your inbox, the filters review its legitimacy and any malicious cues. If an email doesn’t pass the filtering process, Outlook directs it into your Junk or quarantine folder if it’s malicious.

Other reasons that make Microsoft Outlook direct a normal email to the junk folder include:

  • Too many attachments
  • Too many images in the email
  • Lack of a physical address on an email
  • The sender has a domain with a poor reputation
  • Other users marked the sender’s email as Spam
  • Presence of Junk trigger words, such as “You Won,” “Biggest discounts,” “Amazing,” “Sales,” and many more

Your interaction with an email can also trigger Outlook to junk an important message. For instance, if you immediately delete a marketing email from a company you’re not interested in, you might stop seeing those emails after a while. The emails don’t just disappear, they’ll still get to you, but Outlook will learn that you don’t want them and place them in the junk folder.

Whichever the case, Outlook has features to stop your important emails from going into the junk folder.

You Can’t Stop Outlook’s Spam Filters, But You Can Improve Email Deliverability

Outlook has an in-built, fixed set of filtering rules to scan emails and identify likely spam. Microsoft regularly updates the filtering rules. Unfortunately, your IT team cannot disable or change the filter. When an email has some features that tip them as junk, Outlook will send them to the junk folder.

The good news is that Outlook has features to prevent emails from going to the junk folder. You can protect emails from a given address or an entire domain from being junked in simple steps depending on your Outlook version.

Thanks to our great friend and Dallas IT services expert Kenny Riley for his help and advice.

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