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Internet Family Fun

Your Family's Guide to Email Using Outlook Express

Organizing your Email, Dealing with Spam and More

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Internet Family Fun Home > Internet Help > Guide to Outlook Express > Organizing your Email, Dealing with Spam and More

One of the best things about the Internet is email and one of the hardest things to deal with is email. Keeping your email organized where you can find a previous message is a huge task when you have get piles of spam. Spam filters don't seem to work and just when you think you found a program or your ISP has added a spam filter, the spammers email gets though to your inbox and the email from your friend is trashed. What to do? It is time to get a handle on your email!

Filtering Your Email Using Outlook Express
You can filter your email into folders and even filter spam directly to the trash! You can set up rules to automatically send email from someone or with certain words in the subject or body of the message to a specified folder.

About Message Rules
You can add message rules to Outlook Express that will automatically look at the email and based on the rules it will either move it to a folder, delete it or even block a sender from sending you email. This is a great feature for families because families often have more than one email address and you can delete dangerous messages before your kids can see them. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when thinking about message rules:

  • They match words or email addresses and then do the requested action.
  • Rules are hard to set up because you have to think so far ahead because spammers change their messages to try and bypass filtering. Also if you have a spam rule to delete anything with the word "mortgage" and then apply for a mortgage online, your email will be sent to the garbage although you really want it.
  • Rules are processed in an order that you set up. When an email is downloaded it will continue to process rules on that message until it reaches the end unless you tell it to stop processing more rules if it meets one of the requirements. In other words if you set up two rules:
    1. Send an email sent to to the mom folder
    2. Send anything with the subject "mortgage" directly to the trash
    If you receive an email addressed to with the subject "Mortgage rates never lower" it will process the first rule but if it matches the second rule it will send it to the trash although it is addressed to If you added "stop processing more rules" to the first rule, it would then stop processing the rule and deliver it to the mom folder.
  • Setting up rules is time consuming.
  • You should check all folders regularly to make sure your filters aren't deleting important messages.
  • When you set up a new rule be sure to test by sending yourself an email message with the rules to see how it works (if it is possible to send a test message).
  • If you set up rules that are very complex it will be very difficult to go back and edit them as needed.
  • Messages that are deleted are just sent to the deleted messages folder. They can be retrieved.
  • If you set a rule to automatically delete messages from the server, they are permanently deleted and you can't retrieve them.
  • If you set a rule to leave messages on the server, they will stay there forever and your ISP may limit the size of your mailbox and it could cause new messages to bounce or an additional charge from your ISP.

In the rest of this article we will set up rules so that your email that is addressed to you will go into your own folder, your email from friends that you communicate with regularly goes into a folder with their name on it so you can retrieve it easily later and it will automatically delete emails that contain certain words.

Are ready to take control of your email using Outlook Express?

NEXT... Filter for Multiple Email Addresses
Page 1 - Introduction
Page 2 - Filter for Multiple Email Addresses
Page 3 - Filter to Folders
Page 4 - More Rules
Page 5 - Delete Spam
Page 6 - Block Senders
Page 7 - Email Safety

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