Get Outlook.com to Only Accept Mail From Known Senders

Make your Outlook.com inbox exclusive and block content from unknown senders

White envelope with a red pencil sitting on it.

 Monfocus/Pixabay

You don't have to wade through email in your Outlook.com Inbox sent from people you don't know. If you use your account only with your best friends and trusted businesses, Outlook.com knows their email addresses. With a small configuration tweak, all mail that isn't from people in your address book or safe senders list goes straight to the Junk Email folder. You can also block attachments, photos, and links from people who are not known to you.

Instructions in this article apply to Outlook Online.

Make Outlook.com Accept Mail Only From Known Senders

To have Outlook.com allow only mail from people you know through to your Inbox:

  1. Select Settings (the cogwheel icon in the top bar).

    Selecting settings in Outlook.com inbox.
  2. Select View all Outlook settings.

    Viewing settings in Outlook.com.
  3. In Settings, select Mail, then Junk email.

    Viewing the junk email settings in Outlook.com.
  4. Under Filters, make sure Only trust email from addresses in my Safe senders and domains list and Safe mailing lists is checked.

    Viewing Filters in Outlook.com.
  5. Click Save.

Block Content From Unknown Senders

Whether or not you choose to set your Exclusive filter, you can block attachments, images, and links from anyone who is not on your Safe Senders list. This is a wise option to prevent acquiring worms or viruses or accidentally clicking on links in emails that may not be safe.

This option is in the same area so that you could check this box at the same time. If you've already navigated away, here is how to get to it:

  1. Select Settings (the cogwheel icon in the top bar).

    Selecting settings in Outlook.com inbox.
  2. Select View all Outlook settings.

    Viewing settings in Outlook.com.
  3. In Settings, select Mail, then Junk email.

    Viewing the junk email settings in Outlook.com.
  4. Under Filters, select Block attachments, pictures, and links from anyone not in my Safe senders and domains list.

    Selecting to block attachments in Outlook.com.
  5. Click Save.

Blocking Senders

You can also block individual senders by email address. This option is in the same area and works much like the Safe senders list.

  1. Select Settings (the cogwheel icon in the top bar).

    Selecting settings in Outlook.com inbox.
  2. Select View all Outlook settings.

    Viewing settings in Outlook.com.
  3. In Settings, select Mail, then Junk email.

    Viewing the junk email settings in Outlook.com.
  4. Under Blocked senders and domains, select Add.

    Viewing blocked sender and domain dialog box in Outlook.com.
  5. Enter in email addresses that you want to block and press Enter on your keyboard.

    Viewing a blocked email address in Outlook.com.
  6. Click Save.

Safe Senders List

Make sure you add all your important senders to your Outlook.com People address book, so they are known senders, or add individual addresses or entire domains to your Safe Senders list.

You can find your Safe Senders list here:

  1. Select Settings (the cogwheel icon in the top bar).

    Selecting settings in Outlook.com inbox.
  2. Select View all Outlook settings.

    Viewing settings in Outlook.com.
  3. In Settings, select Mail, then Junk email.

    Viewing the junk email settings in Outlook.com.
  4. Under Safe senders and domains, select Add.

    Viewing the safe senders dialog box in Outlook.com.
  5. Enter in email addresses that you want to allow and press Enter on your keyboard.

    Viewing an address entered in as a safe sender in Outlook.com.
  6. Click Save.

You can edit your Safe ​senders list at any time to add more addresses or domains, or to delete them from the list.

Adding to Your People Address Book

If you've set your Inbox to only allow trusted emails, will you miss an email from new contacts? The email should go into your Junk Email folder, so you could make a habit of checking there. However, you can add them to your People address book to ensure you get their mail in your Inbox.

You can find your People address book from the main menu, which looks like a couple of simple figures on the left side menu.

Select New contact and fill in as much of the contact information as you wish. Select Save. Now, that email is in your People address book and any email from them will go to your Inbox.