Spam and Outlook

Microsoft Outlook - @SeniorDBA

Many people don’t understand how a spam filter works, especially with the email software from Microsoft called Outlook. In my experience, people are confused about how emails are blocked, or how emails are filtered into the Junk Email folder inside Outlook.

Generally speaking, your email server is usually used to block common unwanted emails, known as spam. This means the email server has the ability built into the server software to detect and filter (block) emails from being delivered to your email interface, or there is some additional software installed and configured to perform that filtering process. This means less unwanted email is delivered to your inbox.

There is an additional feature built into Outlook that looks at the emails delivered to your Outlook client to determine if it should block the email and redirect it into your “Junk E-mail” folder.

Junk E-Mail - @SeniorDBA

Any email forwarded from your email server (usually Exchange, but could be Gmail, Yahoo, etc.) but identified as spam by our Outlook client will be automatically moved to your “Junk E-mail” folder. Depending on your spam filter settings inside the Outlook Options, you may find you missing emails in this folder. You may disable the filter, but that doesn’t mean all your emails will now be delivered to your Outlook inbox.

As we discussed already, the spam filter on the email server could have blocked the email, Outlook may move the email to Junk E-mail, or even your anti-virus software might have blocked the email. If you work with your team in you IT department, they have tools available that can tell them if the server ever received the email, if it was forwarded to our computer, if it was intercepted by your anti-virus software, etc. They will need to know the address of the person sending you the email, when it was sent, and the subject line (when known).

How can I disable the Outlook spam filter?

How can I mark emails detected as spam by Outlook as “not spam”?

Respond to an Email Message With a Meeting Request

It isn’t that uncommon that you get an email in your Outlook email application and want to create a meeting request. It can be helpful if you get an email asking if you have some time for a meeting. Instead of replying with an email saying you will create a meeting request, but reply with a meeting request.  It may not be obvious how to reply to an email with a meeting request.

From Reading Pane View

The Reading Pane is the window in Microsoft Outlook where you can preview a message without opening it. To display the message in the reading pane, simply click on the message and view the contents of the email in the reading pane. When the message is in the reading pane, open the Home tab, and in the Respond group click Meeting.

From Navigation Pane View

The Navigation Pane is a column that provides access to folders used to organize your information. Click a folder to show the items it contains, similar to the standard Windows Explorer interface. It also includes the Favorite Folders section and buttons to switch between Mail, Calendar, Tasks and other views. In the Reading Pane, click the message that you would like to create a meeting reply to, then drag the email to the Calendar tab.

From an Opened Message

In an open (usually by double-clicking the email) message, open the Message tab, and in the Respond group click Meeting. Enter the location and start and end times as you do in any meeting request. You can also add or remove attendees, use Scheduling Assistant to find the best meeting time or add attachments.

When you respond to a message with Meeting Reply, a meeting request is created with everyone who was on the “To” line in the original message invited as “Required Attendees”, and everyone on the “cc” line is invited as an “optional attendee”.