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Because no spam filter is fool-proof, you might want to skim through the messages in your Junk Email folder from time to time to make sure that Outlook didn't mistake something really important for a piece of junk mail. If a message is legitimate, you can move it back to the Inbox or any other folder, and mark it as Not Junk. So one of my tip off that I have that new e-mail has been caught by my Spam filter is that when I look over at the Junk Email folder, I notice that there is a number in parentheses. That means that there are five new pieces that have automatically come into Outlook, and have been sent to the Junk Email folder without me having a chance to really take a look at them.
So I am going to go from time to time and go into my Junk Email folder and see if something was caught by mistake. Now once again, I like to warn you to turn off the Reading Pane, because if the Reading Pane is open, and you have selected a message, that might be sending a message back to a spammer that you are indeed alive and well, and that you have read their e-mail, which is going to open the floodgates to receive more spam e-mail. So I go up to the View tab and click the Reading Pane item and turn off my Reading Pane.
Now, when I take a look at the contents of my Junk Email folder, I see something from my friend Ken Snyder, and I am pretty sure it's not junk mail, but I want to take a look at it first, because sometimes spammers will actually figure out who you are sending e-mails to, and disguise spam as if they were coming in from that person. So I open up Ken's message and because it's in the Junk Mail folder, I see this message up at the top that says, Links and other functionality have been disabled.
That means, again, Outlook is trying to help me, and even though there's a link here, because this message is residing in the Junk Email folder, I won't be able to get to it. So I'd really like to get to that link, and as much as I try, I can't because it's in the Junk Mail folder. So in that case, I can close the message if I want, right-click the message, go down to my Junk option and actually tell Outlook never to block the sender. What that will do is add Ken's name to my list of Safe Sender's, so I will receive all future e-mail that comes from Ken; however, I am still faced with the problem that Ken's mail is still sitting in my Junk Email folder.
So at that juncture, I can take the message and manually drag it to my Inbox, and once the message arrives in my Inbox, now I am safe to go out to that particular Web site. Now, there's another way that you can untrap trapped junk mail, and I do that by going to the Junk Email folder, and this time I am looking at the message from Sharon, and since I work with her, I am fairly certain that this is not junk e-mail, but once again, I'd like to double check.
So I open it up, and sure enough this message has been disabled, and this is from my coworker Sharon, although she used a different address that Outlook might not have been familiar with. So this time rather than closing my e- mail message, I am going to head up to the Junk icon on the Message tab, give it a click, and I am going to determine that this is not junk. Now watch what happens. First off, the message will automatically be moved back to my Inbox, and secondly, I can automatically trust e-mail from Sharon in the future, because her name will be added to the Safe Sender's list.
In addition, because this mail went out to a couple of other folks, I can also tell Outlook that anything that I get from either of these people is also safe, as well. So I click OK, the message reappeared in my Inbox and all those names have been added to my Safe Sender's list. And I can check that by right-clicking at her message, going to Junk, going to my Junk Email options and taking a look at that Safe Sender's list. Normally, Microsoft uses a secret formula that determines what get sent to the Junk Email folder, and mistakes get made.
It's not uncommon for the messages from one of our business associates, or even a family member, to end up marked as spam. Although sometimes I have to admit that my family's messages don't contain anything really earth-shattering, I still want to have a chance to read them.
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