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Extension Technology and
Computer Services


University of Missouri-Columbia   Extension Technology and Computer Services—ETCS

  July 2002
Vol. 19, No. 3

A Technology Newsletter for Extension Specialists



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Filtering Your Email
By Jill Dourty

Are you tired of the inappropriate and obnoxious emails from random email addresses? Would you like to know how to fix your email so that you don't see those messages any more? In Outlook 2000, you have a few options on how to set up your account so that these unsolicited emails are properly disposed of—keep reading to find out how.

Option #1: Set up a "Client Only" rule

A client only rule is a rule that is set up on a machine that only applies when you check your email from that machine. If you set up the rule at work, and then access your University email at home or elsewhere, (through Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora, Internet Explorer, etc.), this rule will not apply.

How to set up this rule:

  1. Click on Tools.
  2. Select Rules Wizard. Click on New on the right hand side of the Rules Wizard dialog box.
  3. Choose "Move message based on content" by putting a check in the box.
  4. Down below, under Rule Description, click on "specific words".
    1. (will bring up a dialog box).
    2. Enter words commonly found in the inappropriate emails you have received. For example, if you receive a large number of emails about how to get out of debt, include the words "debt" and "consolidation".
    3. After each word, click ok to add them to the list.
    4. When done, click ok
  5. Now click on "specified" folder
  6. Select the folder (i.e. Deleted Items) or click on "New" to create a new folder for "Junk Mail" - click on OK to get back to the Rules Wizard dialog box.
  7. Click "Next".
  8. If there is an email address from which you continue to receive unsolicited email, scroll down the list under "Which conditions do you want to check?" and select "with specific words in sender's address" When you put a check in the box, that detail will show up in the Rules Description box below.
    1. Click on "specified words" to specify just the sender's email "handle" _ the part before "@".
    2. Again, after each word, hit add.
    3. When done, click ok.
  9. At this point, you can finish out the rule or click "next". If you click on "next" and are certain no legitimate email will ever match the rule details you defined, you can opt to "permanently delete it". You will not be able to retrieve these emails from your Deleted Items folder! When you put a check in the box in front of this option, you will instantly receive a warning message from Outlook reminding you that this is permanent. Click ok.
  10. Click Finish.
  11. A message will pop up saying "This is a client only rule and will process only when Outlook is running" Click "Ok".

You may rename this rule if you would like. Click on "Rename", type the new rule name, click "Ok" and then click ok again. All incoming email will be checked as long as you have Outlook open. Remember this rule will only be processed when you have your Outlook open on that particular machine.

Option #2: Organize your Inbox (Server-side)

Using the Organize "Junk Mail" feature in Outlook 2000 allows you to set up a rule that sends your incoming junk mail directly to a folder on the server (like the Deleted Items folder). (If you set up the junk mail to be moved to a personal folder, it becomes a "client only" rule and will only apply on the computer on which you set this feature up.)

  1. Go to Tools.
  2. Select "Organize".
  3. Click on "Junk E-Mail".
  4. You can either have junk email and/or adult content messages moved or colored.
    1. If you color messages, select the color and click on "Turn On".
    2. If you move messages, select the folder and click on "Turn On".
  5. If you want to edit, add, or remove a particular sender to your junk or adult content sender list, click on "Click here" for more options.
  6. If you get an inappropriate email from, right click on her email message in your inbox, go down to "Junk Mail" and add her email address to the appropriate list. You can add it to both if you wish.
    1. Now, whenever you get email from, it will go directly to the folder or it will be the color you specified for Junk Mail.
    2. Keep in mind, if you send this junk mail to a personal folder, then you will make this organization only apply to the machine on which you set it up.

ETCS wishes there was a reliable and easy way to eliminate unsolicited emails to University email accounts. Unfortunately, there isn't. However, with this information, you can now clean up your incoming mail on your own. You can edit the junk mail filters or the rules as many times as you wish to incorporate new email addresses or key content words. You can also set up as many rules as you would like as well.

Please note: Just because there is an option to unsubscribe included in the unwelcome email, does NOT mean it will work! Do NOT attempt to unsubscribe simply because it validates your email address to the sender and gives "those people" a legitimate email address to sell to other bothersome email abusers.

If you have any questions or concerns about unsolicited email, please contact ETCS at or call her at 573/882-7260. For severe email abuse, please contact before you delete the improper email.