Find out How to Make Outlook Accept Only Mail From Known Senders

How to customize the junk email options

I need to empty my inbox
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All that filtering and tinkering with spam may be an interesting challenge for programmers -- but not for you. You want a simple solution that works, which specifies in advance who is allowed to email you, and all the rest of the email is simply trashed.

Fortunately, you can do this by telling Outlook to display mail only from people you email and from sources you've identified as Safe Senders. Your Contacts are automatically considered safe senders by the Junk E-Mail filter, although you can change this setting. Anything else goes into your Junk E-Mail folder sight unseen.

Make Outlook Accept Only Mail From Safe Senders

To add people you email to your Safe Senders list in Outlook 2010, 2013 and 2016:

  1. Open Mail in Outlook.

  2. Make sure the Home tab shows on the ribbon.

  3. Click Junk in the Delete section.

  4. Select Junk E-Mail Options in the menu that opens.

  5. Click the Safe Senders tab.

  6. Check Automatically add people I e-mail to the Safe Senders List.

Identify Safe Senders in Older Outlook Versions

To activate the Safe List in older versions of Outlook: 

  1. Open your Outlook Inbox.

  2. Select Actions | Junk E-Mail | Junk E-Mail Options... from the menu.

  3. Go to the Options tab.

  4. Make sure Safe Lists Only: Only mail from people or domains on your Safe Senders List or Safe Recipients List will be delivered to your Inbox is selected under Choose the level of junk e-mail protection you want.

To make sure all the people you send email to are automatically allowed:

  1. Go to the Safe Senders tab.

  2. Check Automatically add people I e-mail to the Safe Senders List is checked.

  3. Click OK.

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

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