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Filtering Your E-Mail

Monday, November 15th, 2004 by | Filed Under: E-Mail Help

Filtering Your E-Mail

So, you want to filter the “bad stuff” out of your e-mail huh? I don’t blame you!

You can set up ” message rules ” or “message filters” in most e-mail clients. These can grab an incoming message and make it history before you ever lay eyes on it. You can have the message rules set up to check for certain subject lines, e-mail addresses, or even words.

I’ll show you how to do this using Outlook Express . Please note that most e-mail clients work in a similar way (in Netscape Mail , you set this up as mentioned above—same goes for web-based ).

Here are the steps—it’s not at bad as it looks:

1. Click the Tools menu, Message Rules, Mail .


2. On the screen that pops up, click the New button (for newer versions of Outlook Express, you don’t have to hit the New button – the screen you need pops up automatically).

3. At this point, there should be a screen that lets you set up your rules. Check the options you want to filter. As soon as you check them, you’ll get a new item under the Rules Description section. Click the underlined area to set the actual stuff you’re filtering for.


For instance, if you’re trying to filter out porn e-mail, click the checkbox in the first section, ” Where the message body contains specific words “.

Now, click the link in the Rules Description box for ” Contains specific words ” (this looks just like a regular web page link).

On the window that opens, type in the words you want to filter. I’ll leave the selection of those words to you since this is a G-rated newsletter :-)


A word of caution though. Pick your words very carefully. If you choose a word like “naked”, you’ll never get an e-mail that contains that word, even if it was used in a harmless way like “the naked baby streaked through the yard” or something similar.

A few clicks of the OK button and you should be back to the message rules screen.

4. Now, you’ll need to decide what you want done to the message once it gets filtered. This is done in the second section of the screen, ” Select the actions you want to rule .”

In this case, you’re probably best to scroll down to the Delete From Server checkbox. That should prevent it from downloading. Or you can just send it to the Deleted Items folder, that works too.


That should help you keep the porn spam out of your inbox, but keep in mind that you can also use message filters to send stuff to specific folders you create. For example, if you have 3 e-mail accounts, you can set up a filter that sends each address to a different folder.

The possibilities are endless.

~ Steve

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