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A Simple Whitelist

Friday, April 13th, 2007 by | Filed Under: E-Mail Help
 
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Q:
I’ve looked over your tip on creating an e-mail whitelist several times, but I still cannot get it to work. Do you have any other more “simple” instructions or what can I do differently? Please help!

A:
It’s kind of a coincidence that you asked this, because I just had a customer call the other day and they were having the same exact problem. While on the phone with them, I started reading through the tip we have in our archives on making your own e-mail whitelist and after doing so, I have to say, I agree with you wholeheartedly. It is a little confusing and to be honest, there’s no good reason for it.

Creating a whitelist is not very hard at all. The process is really pretty simple. So, I’m going to help all of you out today and give you a much less confusing version of how to do this. At least I’m going to try! Now, before I go any further, I want to make sure everyone understands what a whitelist is. A whitelist is basically a list of e-mail addresses that one would like to accept e-mails from in their Inbox. Creating a whitelist ensures that you’ll always get the e-mails you want to receive. You know, all those important messages from your family members and all the fun forwards from your friends, etc. The whitelist also helps to keep out all the e-mails you don’t want to get, like spam and advertisements.

Alright, so to create your own e-mail whitelist, follow these simple instructions. (Note: This tip is only for Outlook Express users).

1.) Open Outlook Express and go to Tools, Message Rules, Mail. From there, click the New button.

2.) A New Mail Rule box will open up and in the first box, checkmark the option that says “Where the From line contains people.” The people it’s referring to are your friends, family, etc.

3.) In the second box, checkmark the option that says “Move it to the specified folder.” This is what your screen should look like so far:

4.) Now, in the third box, just click on the blue link that says “contains people.”

5.) A new window will open up and from there, click on the Address Book button. This will bring up all of the contacts you already have saved in your address book. Go through your list and find the addresses you want to accept for your whitelist. When you’re ready, highlight an address and hit the From button. That will automatically move that address over to your “accepted” list on the right side. Do the same thing until you have all the addresses you want in that far right box. I found that it’s easier to go through and add them one by one, because that way, you’re sure not to miss anyone or add someone you don’t want. When you’re all finished with that, click OK twice. The addresses you chose will then show up in the new message rule box.

6.) Next, click on the blue link that says “specified.”

7.) Once there, click on the New Folder button. Then give your new folder a name. I chose to name mine “Whitelist,” but you can name it anything you want. For example, “Friends” or “Accepted.” When you’re done, click OK twice more.

8.) Now, in the fourth box, delete the text that reads “New Mail Rule” and type in the name of the new folder you just created. (Again, mine is called “Whitelist”). Click OK again to finish the process. Just to give you an example, your message rule should look something like the image below (that is, before you click OK for the last time).

9.) You will then be taken back to the original Message Rules box and you’ll be able to see your new whitelist included there. Make sure it’s checkmarked as well. If it’s not, it won’t be applied to the e-mail messages you receive. When everything is set the way you want it to be, click OK one more time and you’ll be all ready to use your new whitelist!

10.) Your new folder will also show up on the left side of your Outlook Express window, along with all your other folders (Inbox, Outbox, etc). So, when you check your e-mail again, the messages you receive from the addresses you added will be in that new folder. Just open that folder and you’ll be able to see all the e-mails you actually want to read.

Now, making a whitelist will help filter out the good from the bad when it comes to your e-mails, but you may also want to create other message rules to keep your e-mail filtered out as much as possible. You can read here for some endless message rule possibilities. Also, when you’re creating your whitelist, make sure you add WorldStart to that list (under the address of steve@worldstart.com). That way, you’ll receive our newsletters and e-mails from us with no problems whatsoever. You gotta love that!

I hope this whole whitelist thing comes a little easier to you this time. Good luck and happy whitelisting, my friends!

~ Erin

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