Outlook spam folder—Location and spam protection measures

Learn to manage the Outlook spam folder. This article is a guide to identifying spam and keeping your inbox clean and secure from unwanted emails.
Outlook users frequently struggle with excessive spam. While the main reason for this problem is typically related to the user’s email behavior, it’s clear that Outlook is among the most commonly targeted providers.The service has a folder dedicated to spam, phishing, and similar emails—provided that Outlook’s spam detection identifies them properly. If you are having trouble finding the folder, this guide will help you locate it on desktop and mobile versions.You’ll also learn about the features of the Outlook spam folder and ways to minimize unwanted mail. If spam has become overwhelming, this article will also provide a secure Outlook alternative worth considering.
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Where is the spam folder in Outlook?

Many people struggle to find Outlook’s spam folder because the provider uses a different name—Junk Email or simply Junk. Whether you’re using the desktop, browser, or mobile version, you’ll find it among other folders (Drafts, Sent Items, Scheduled, etc.).The following image shows the location of the Junk folder in the desktop version:
Source: Outlook screenshotIf you’re using the app, you can open the folder list by tapping your profile icon in the upper-left corner of the screen. You’ll see the Junk folder further down the list, as shown below:
Source: Outlook mobile screenshotWhen you open the folder, you’ll see all the emails that Outlook’s spam detection algorithm sorted automatically. The algorithm isn’t always accurate, though, so spam might sometimes make its way to your main inbox, and legitimate emails might be categorized as spam.Luckily, you can minimize this issue through a few useful Outlook features.

How to improve spam filters in Outlook

While you don’t have complete control over Outlook’s spam detection, you can mitigate errors by:
  1. Blocking malicious senders and whitelisting legitimate ones
  2. Reporting junk and phishing attempts

How to block and whitelist senders in Outlook

If spam emails are flooding your inbox, deleting them might not be enough to fix the issue—you want to ensure the sender can’t message you in the future. You can do this by adding them to the block list through the following steps:
  1. Click the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the screen
  2. Go to Junk Email
  3. Under Blocked senders and domains, click the +Add button
  4. Type in the address you want to block and press Enter
Source: Outlook screenshotIf Outlook mistakenly sends legitimate emails to spam, you can follow the same steps to whitelist a sender by adding their address to the ‘Safe senders and domains’ list, as shown above.You can also block a sender directly from their email, which may be a more convenient option than adding them to a block list. Follow these steps to do so:
  1. Open the spam email
  2. Click the three-dot icon in the upper-right corner of the email
  3. Go to Block > Block [Name]
Source: Outlook screenshotWhile blocked senders can no longer message you, this doesn’t mean you’ll stop receiving spam from them altogether. Junk mail is typically sent using botnets—large networks of devices controlled by an individual or small group of people. They might have many devices and separate addresses from which they send spam, so block each whenever you receive junk mail.

How to report spam emails in Outlook

By reporting spam emails, you’re signaling to Outlook’s spam detection that similar emails shouldn’t be allowed into your main inbox. Doing this improves the detection measures and should result in fewer spam emails reaching you.To report an email, take the following steps:
  1. Open the spam email you want to report
  2. Click the Report button above the email
  3. Confirm the report
Source: Outlook screenshotWhen you click the Report button, Outlook will assume you’re reporting a phishing email by default. If this isn’t the case (e.g., the email is only a spammy ad), you can click the down-facing arrow next to the button and choose Report Junk.This email classification begs an important question—how do you differentiate between phishing and regular spam? Doing so typically isn’t a problem, as phishing has a few tell-tale signs explained in the following table:
Sign of phishing Explanation
Strange/generic greetingsPhishing emails are often sent in bulk and are not personalized, so you may see a greeting such as “Dear Sir/Madam” or “Hi”
Broken EnglishMany phishing emails contain obvious spelling and grammar errors or strange sentence structures you wouldn’t expect from a legitimate source
Random email addressesIn the image above, you can see that the sender’s name is App Store Invoice, but the address is a string of random characters, and this misalignment is common with phishing
Sense of urgencyThe scammer might directly ask you to take action immediately (e.g., logging into an account or providing your bank details) or send a spoof file or link meant to extract your information
Stay on the lookout for these red flags, and report all phishing attempts to improve Outlook’s detection algorithm.

What to do if Outlook spam emails are overwhelming

If you’re struggling to keep your inbox organized and free of unwanted messages, it may indicate that your email address has been added to multiple spammers’ databases. In this case, you should consider wiping the slate clean by changing your email address.Doing so can be an opportunity to reassess your use of Outlook altogether. Spam emails are not only frustrating but potentially dangerous, and to avoid them, you need an email provider that implements proper security measures to keep your data safe.Unfortunately, Outlook hasn’t proven itself particularly reliable in this regard. Microsoft has fallen victim to numerous data breaches, exposing users’ sensitive information to significant risks.To keep your correspondence safe, choose a privacy-first email service that doesn’t leave room for such risks and lets you stay in control of your data. While some security features can make this happen, end-to-end encryption (E2EE) is the most effective measure.Several factors make E2EE the only truly secure email encryption method:
  • Emails are turned into unreadable ciphertext before leaving your device
  • The encryption key is in your possession only, and you store it on the device
  • The only person who can decrypt the message is the recipient holding the key
  • If a hacker intercepted your email, they’d only see strings of random characters
Outlook doesn’t offer such protection by default—the platform uses a weaker encryption protocol and owns your encryption keys, compromising your privacy. To ensure your correspondence remains confidential, consider using Skiff Mail.
Enhance your email security with Skiff MailSkiff Mail's advanced end-to-end encryption and robust spam protection keep your inbox secure and clutter-free
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Skiff Mail—Privacy for everyone

Skiff Mail is a secure email service that combines end-to-end encryption with various additional measures to keep your emails safe and private. Its E2EE protocol involves the use of two separate keys:
  • Public key—Used for encryption and shared with the recipient
  • Private key—Used for decryption and safely stored on the recipient’s device
As the decryption key never leaves the recipient’s device, nobody but them can read your emails—including attackers, third parties, and even Skiff.Your account and personal information are further safeguarded with the following features:
Security featureWhat it does
Zero-knowledge loginLets you sign up for Skiff Mail without leaving any identifiers, such as your name or phone number
Secure Remote PasswordEncrypts critical account information like login credentials and other encryption keys
Two-factor authentication (2FA)Creates a one-time passcode you must enter after logging in to verify your identity and prevent account takeovers
Tracker BlockingRemoves trackers used to monitor your email behavior and finetune commercial spam and phishing attempts

Free plan, premium features

Skiff Mail is free to use, so anyone can enjoy peace of mind knowing their emails are safe from threats. The rich free plan encompasses everything an average user needs for a pleasant emailing experience, most notably:
  • 10 GB of end-to-end encrypted storage
  • Lightning-fast email and text search
  • Folders, labels, and filters
  • Schedule and undo-send
  • Skiff.com aliases and custom signatures
  • One custom domain
If you’re a crypto enthusiast or investor, you can leverage Skiff Mail’s integration with numerous wallets, including the following:
Source: SkiffSkiff intuitively integrates all the above features into a clean, minimalistic interface. You can find more about it in this whitepaper or Skiff’s GitHub community. Skiff likewise values transparency, so the platform is open source, and the codebase is publicly available.

Collaborate in a secure environment

When you create a Skiff Mail account, you get free access to three additional end-to-end encrypted platforms:
  1. Skiff Pages—Lets you create unlimited documents and keeps their contents and key metadata end-to-end encrypted
  2. Skiff Drive—Supports files of all types and offers optional integration with the InterPlanetary File System (IPFS)
  3. Skiff Calendar—Automatically syncs with Skiff Mail and features a built-in video conferencing tool
You can access the Skiff suite on iOS, macOS, Android, Windows, and browsers, so your data stays protected wherever you are.

Sign up for free, upgrade as needed

If you want to leverage Skiff’s many features and advanced security, you can get started in three quick steps:
  1. Visit the signup page
  2. Choose your username and password
  3. Explore Skiff’s E2EE product suite
The free plan is robust enough for an average user, but if you need more storage and additional features, you can upgrade to one of Skiff’s paid plans, starting at only $3 per month.As a bonus, you don’t need to lose important correspondence from your current Outlook account—you can transfer it effortlessly with Skiff’s one-click migration. Skiff won’t store unencrypted copies of messages, so you can rest assured your data is protected immediately.

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