Outlook.com email processing issues.


I have an outlook.com account (descended from an old Hotmail account).

When I saw some of the filtering capability, I decided to use outlook for a lot of my email subscriptions for ads for stuff. In particular the “keep the most recent and delete older emails” is perfect for the kind of advertising email that comes multiple times a week. I want to mostly see the sale offers in case the current special is something I actually want, but if I’m away or busy for a while I don’t want the expired deals clogging up the place. So I diverted every advertising email subscription I get to the outlook.com address.

My problem is the spam filtering. Every week outlook picks a couple of the email subscriptions (that I’ve had for years) and dumps them in the spam bin. I have to go find them among the real spam and mark them as “not spam”. When that happens, all my filtering (including my instructions to put them in category folders) has been erased and I have to do it over again. These are all from established corporations so the origins are not shady, so I imagine some kind of algorithm is running on the content — if so, the algorithm is broken.

The best part: all of the ads for new Microsoft Surface deals have been dumped — by Microsoft software — into my spam folder.

Every few weeks, there is an email from outlook showing me the header of one of my emails and politely asking me if I really want this or if it is spam. Over a couple of years, I have probably received 50+ of these. Not once has this function identified an actual spam email.

When I used the help function, all I got was assistance assuming I needed help installing the software. But that’s not it.

I’d like to get outlook.com working better. Equally useful would be if somebody could point me to another email client that gives me the “keep the newest and erase the rest” capability. (I guess I should note that — even if it hasn’t been labeled spam — sometimes outlook forgets the filtering rule and I have to re-do it.)

Comments (6)

6 responses to “Outlook.com email processing issues.”

  1. seapea

    whew, it is not just me that has frustrating outlook rules issues.

  2. simont

    Outlook.com spam filtering has always been terrible. And they recently had issues where everything got moved to the spam folder. This could be related to that.

  3. Paul Thurrott

    If it helps, Gmail junk filtering is also terrible and next to impossible to manage.

    • txag

      In reply to paul-thurrott:

      Since this account is old (Hotmail originally) it gets a fair amount of spam. My gmail account was started after I got a lot more careful about letting my address go out to dodgy places, so I don't get much there, and the filters more or less work. Same with my apple mail address. My worst one is an ancient earthlink address where I still get a few legit emails because I'm too lazy to make the effort to move them. That one gets so much spam that I long ago had to convert it to a white-list only mode. And every day I get double digit numbers of obvious spam in the review box. That's on top of the hundreds of spam emails every week that are so obvious they don't even ask me to look.

  4. Patrick3D

    1.) Click the gear icon in the top-right corner and then More mail settings

    2.) Select Safe and blocked senders and then Safe Mailing Lists

    3.) Add add the domain of the email list you want to whitelist to the list of Safe Mailing Lists

    • txag

      In reply to Patrick3D:

      I found it under Options; hadn’t realized it was there. The list is already huge, as if every address I have ever used is in the list already. My first chore will be to delete all the useless stuff.

      Thanks for the tip!