How to Turn off the Junk E-mail Filter in Outlook 2010

I recently switched over to Outlook 2010 from Outlook 2007 (I’m slow). I always disable the Junk E-mail filter in Outlook because I use something better: Popfile. But I was having trouble doing that in Outlook 2010. I selected the radio box for no filtering, but messages were still being directed to the Junk E-mail folder.

I took to the internet to search for an answer, and discovered that I was having this problem because I have multiple accounts, and Outlook 2010 handles junk mail filtering on a per-account basis. But there was mass confusion on how to access the settings for each account. There is no global setting area in the interface.

Even Microsoft MVPs on Microsoft sites were giving misinformation. Many were suggesting that people disable Junk E-mail in the registry. That didn’t sound right to me, and I didn’t want to do it. I do use some pieces of the Junk E-mail feature – the disabling of links and the safe/blocked sender lists. Plus, judging from peoples’ complaints, it seemed like the suggested registry tweak just disabled the interface and not the functionality!

The Solution

After some frustration, I finally found the solution. You don’t have to send email to yourself from each account (I found that erroneous advice online), and it’s not related to whether your accounts all write to the same folder or to different folders (that misinformation came from a Microsoft MVP).

All that matters is what you have set as the default account. One by one, select each account in your account list as the default. Then go to the Outlook Home page (or right click on any message) and set your Junk E-mail Options to “No automatic filtering”. Each time you switch to a different account, you’ll see that the setting is still set to “Low” until you change it to “No automatic filtering”. When you have made each account the default just long enough to change the Junk E-mail setting, you can go back into your account list and change the default back to the account you actually want to use as the default.

I hope the interface has been improved in Outlook 2013. I haven’t seen it. Has it?

9 thoughts on “How to Turn off the Junk E-mail Filter in Outlook 2010

  1. Plus, if you’re wondering why your Junk E-mail Safe and Blocked lists don’t seem to be populating, here is the explanation:

    This, too, is by account. Look at the title bar. It’s displaying only the list for the default account. You have to change to each other account you have to see the lists for that account.

    Such a poorly designed interface…

  2. Wow, thank you. I just installed Office 2013 and nothing was getting filtered into Junk email folder. I’ve been trying to figure out why and your solution tells me exactly. And no, it hasn’t improved for Office 2013, still have to change each email account to default to change the junk email settings. Thanks for you help.

  3. Thank you, not only for finding this, but for leaving it up for some of us to find months later. This has been driving me nuts (admittedly a short trip) for some time now; Outlook just seemed to be acting senile with respect to my switching off “junk e-mail” filtering. (“Just keep filtering, just keep filtering, just keep filtering, naaarf.”)

    It never occurred to me that it’d store these “junk e-mail” settings per email account. (I have Outlook set up to pull from five.) Walking through each account as you described does seem to have finally solved it. Thanks!

  4. You’re welcome! Glad I could help.

    Outlook pulls from about 10 accounts, in my case, so I feel your pain. It drove me crazy until I found the solution.

  5. Here we are, a year plus since you posted this, and you’re still helping! I pulled what little of my hair that is left out trying to figure this out. I tried the registry hack. It worked, but it disabled images and links in ALL emails! Argh.

    Your solution worked like a charm – on all 6 of my email accounts. Thanks for solving this tricky problem for me!

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