Outlook.com, Live Mail, Hotmail - Disable the junk filter

November 04, 2014 | 0 Comments | 3 min read

I have just started using the new Google Inbox anddecided that it was time to move all of my current emails to fully take advantage of the new offering.

To do this I needed to move all of my emails from Outlook.com to Gmail. Simple, you might think - and on the face of it, it is quite simple. I decided to go the POP3 route. That is to say that I connected Gmail to my Outlook.com account via POP3, so that it would download all of my emails.

The Problem

The question then arose, ‘Do I want to leave the emails that Outlook.com has moved to my junk folder?’ Do I trust Microsoft that much? The answer to this question is no. No, I do not!

So I decided to disable the Outlook.com junk filter to keep all of my emails in the inbox, so that Gmail would retrieve them via POP3. It turned out that this is not a feature that Outlook.com provides, but while searching for answers, I did stumble across a thread on answers.microsoft.com, which got me some of the way there.

The best solution at the time of writing this seemed to be to add the rule:

where the senders address contains "@" move it to the inbox

Perfect! And it would be, if Outlook.com would allow you to add this rule. Instead it throws back an error:

We can 't save this rule because one or more of your free text inputs is invalid. Hint: Make sure any text with a quotation mark has a pair.

Oulook Junk Filter Error

Simply meaning that you can’t use the @ symbol on its own.

The Solution

The best solution I could come up with is to create 2 rules. One that catches all emails that have an attachment and another to catch all emails that don’t have an attachment. Creating these 2 rules should catch any email sent and move it to your inbox. What was strange was that even a rule where you match your email address did not work; surely any email you receive must have been sent to your email address?

You should end up with 2 rules that look like the following.

Oulook Junk Filter Error

At this point all incoming email will match one of the above rules and end up in your inbox, effectively disabling the junk filter.

© 2021, Chris Child