Adding an Email Address to Outlook's Safe Senders List

Outlook allows you to designate specified email addresses as "safe senders", i.e. ones from which email will not be subjected to the junk e-mail check, which could lead to the email being placed in the junk e-mail folder. To designate someone as a "safe sender" in Outlook 2003, take the following steps:
  1. Click on Tools.
  2. Click on Options.
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    Outlook 2003 options

  3. Click on the Junk E-mail button.

    Outlook junk email options

  4. Click on the Safe Senders tab.
  5. Click on the Add button.
  6. Place the email address in the field provided in the Add address or domain window.

    Add address domain

  7. Click on OK.
  8. Click on OK again at the Junk E-mail Options window.
  9. Click on OK at the Options window.

Note, if you have Outlook rules to move messages to various folders, one of those could still move the message to the Junk E-mail folder or delete it. For instance, if you have a rule to move email with the word "mortgage" in the subject to the Junk E-mail folder and you place John Smith's email address in the "safe senders" list, but email arrives from him with that word in the subject, then it still will get moved to the Junk E-mail folder.

You can check your Outlook rules, if you have created any, by clicking on Tools then Rules and Alerts. Let's suppose your email passes through an antispam application running on your email server, such as SpamAssassin, before Outlook receives it. If SpamAssassin thinks a message is spam, it may change the subject to include the word "Spam" as part of the subject.

Let's also suppose you have a "Spam" rule in Outlook that automatically moves any email with that word in the subject to the Junk E-mail folder. But you've added John Smith's email address to your safe senders list and don't want his email to go in the Junk E-mail folder, even if SpamAssassin has tagged it by adding the word "Spam" to the subject line. You will need to take the following steps in Outlook 2003 to prevent that from happening.

  1. Click on Tools.
  2. Click on Rules and Alerts.
  3. Click on the Spam rule to select it.
  4. Click on Change Rule.
  5. Select Edit Rule Settings.

    Edit rule settings

  6. In this case you will have "with specific words in the subject" checked and be looking for the word "Spam" in the subject. You can leave this as is and click on Next.
  7. You can also leave "move it to the specified folder" checked with the Junk E-mail folder selected, so just click on Next again.
  8. Now you want to check "except if from people or distribution list". You will see "except if from people or distribution list appear at the bottom of the window in the "Step 2" section where the rule is listed.

    Rules wizard except

  9. The "except if from people or distribution list" phrase in the "Step 2" section is clickable. Click on it.
  10. A window will open where you can specify the sender's email address in the "from" field of the window. Type the address into that field and click on OK Let's suppose the sender was You will now see the rule listed in the "Step 2" section as shown below:

    Apply this rule after the message arrives
    with SPAM in the subject
    move it to the Junk E-mail
    except if from

  11. Click on Next.

    Outlook rules wizard finish

  12. Click on Finish.
  13. Click on OK at the Rules and Alerts window.

Now, even if you had a rule configured in Outlook to move messages with "Spam" in the subject to the Junk E-mail folder, email from won't be placed there due to that rule. And Outlook's own junk email filter should not place it there either.

Note, if you have more than one address that you want to add to the exceptions list, separate the addresses with a semicolon, e.g. ";;".


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