Information Services Division


Removing junk email in Outlook Web Access (OWA)

Outlook Web Access provides a facility to filter junk email automatically by moving suspected junk to the Junk E-mail folder. Learn how to control unwanted messages in Outlook Web Access.

New: Improved protection from phishing and malicious files

From December 2018, we have introduced enhanced security features to help protect staff and students from potential phishing attacks and malware, such as scanning web addresses in email messages for known malicious sites and improved real-time malware detection. These features will be enabled in addition to the existing spam and junk email filtering. Visit the Safe Links and Safe Attachments page for more information.

At UCL, we tag suspected junk email with {SPAM?} in the subject line. We recommend to create a mail rule for these messages to move all mail containing {SPAM?} in the subject line to a junk email folder. Learn how to create a message rule using OWA.

In addition, the Outlook Web Access provides a facility to filter junk email automatically by moving suspected junk to the Junk E-mail folder. Any active content within the message, such as links or executable content within the message are disabled.

You can also control unwanted messages in Outlook Web Access. Learn how to do this.


Before you start...

Check your browser compatibility to ensure you meet the minimum requirements for using OWA.


1. In Mail view, click on Settings (also visible as a cog wheel icon) within the top-right corner. Select View all Outlook settings.

2. A Settings window will appear. Select Email. Select Junk email.

3. Beneath Junk email, the following settings will be available:

Blocked senders and domains [External link for more information]Add senders and domains you don't want to receive email messages from. Messages received from any email address or domain in your Blocked senders and domains list are sent directly to your Junk E-Mail folder. 
Safe senders and domains [External link for more information]Add senders you trust and recipients that you don't want to block to this list. Email from these senders or to these recipients will never be treated as junk email. Safe recipients include groups that you're a member of and from which you want to receive email messages. You can also add individual email addresses to your Safe Senders and domain list, or all sender email addresses of a chosen domain. A recipient is the intended destination of a message. A recipient can be a specific person or a group.
Only trust email from addresses in my Safe senders and domains list and Safe mailing listsIn addition to Safe Senders and Blocked Senders, you can use this setting to treat all email as junk unless it comes from someone included in your Safe Senders and Recipients list or from senders in your shared address list. 
Trust emails from my contactsIf you select this check box, email from any address in your Contacts will be treated as safe. 

4. Once the required changes have been specified, select Save to apply.

Related guides and other info:

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