How to Set Outlook to Accept Only Mail From Known Senders

Customize Outlook's junk email options

You can set Outlook to display mail only from people you email and from the ones you designate as safe senders. Outlook's junk email filter automatically considers your contacts to be safe senders, and anything that is not from one of those senders is sent to the junk email folder. The filter can be customized to suit your preferences.

Instructions in this article apply to Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, and 2007.

Add Safe Senders in Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, and 2010

To add people to the Outlook Safe Senders list:

  1. Go to the Home tab.

    Outlook 2016 Home tab selected
  2. In the Delete group, select Junk.

    Outlook 2016 Junk button in the Delete ribbon menu
  3. Select Junk E-mail Options from the drop-down menu.

    Outlook 2016 Junk E-mail Options menu item selected
  4. In the Junk Email Options dialog box, select the Safe Senders tab.

    Outlook 2016 Safe Senders tab selected
  5. Place a check mark in the box next to Automatically add people I email to the Safe Senders List.

    Outlook 2016 checkbox selected to automatically add people you email to the safe senders list
  6. Select OK to save the changes.

Note that the screenshots are from Outlook 2016, and although some versions, such as Outlook 2010, may look somewhat different, the steps are the same.

Add Safe Senders in Outlook 2007

To activate the Safe Senders list in older versions of Outlook, follow these steps:

  1. Open your Outlook Inbox.

  2. Select Actions > Junk E-mail > Junk E-mail Options.

    Outlook 2003 Actions menu, with Junk E-mail and Options selected
  3. In the Junk E-mail Options dialog box, select the Options tab.

  4. Select Safe Lists Only: Only mail from people or domains on your Safe Senders List or Safe Recipients List will be delivered to your Inbox.

    Outlook 2003 Junk E-mail Options window
  5. Switch to the Safe Senders tab of the Junk E-mail Options window.

  6. Select the Automatically add people I e-mail to the Safe Senders List check box.

    Outlook 2003 Safe Senders tab with "Automatically add people I e-mail" checkbox selected
  7. Click OK to save the changes.

In addition to treating all your contacts as safe senders, Outlook gives you the option to add individual senders or domains to the safe list.

It is prudent to check the Junk E-mail folder for valid mail from time to time, in case one of your contacts uses a new email address.