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Junk Email issues with Exchange

DragonByte asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-05-18
I have an issue that some emails received are being flagged as Junk Email at the server level.

I have some mailboxes that employees open to process and aren't seeing all of the emails because some of them have been moved to the Junk Email folder.  With the kind of business that we are in we can't even deal with the possibility of one false positive so I'd prefer that there is absolutely no spam filtering.

How do I stop Exchange from flagging these emails as Junk?
Watch Question

You do this in one of two places and it depend on if your clients are using exchange cached mode or not.

In outlook you go to the tools menu and then to the options menu.  From the preferences tab you click on the Junk E-Mail button at the top of the window.  If it gives you an error about working online you will need to complete the next step in addition to this one.  On the next screen you will select no automatic filtering to send all mail to the users inbox.  As it says on that screen if a users selects to block a sender it will still send those messages to the junk mail folder but in no other cases.

If you are in online mode you will also need to login via outlook web access and click on the preferences button on the bottom left of the screen.  On the next page scroll down untill you find the junk mail settings.  Turn them off to prevent junk mail filtering at the server.

This will have to be completed for each user that you don't want to have junk filtering.
G'day mate

Unless you have installed third party Spam control software you would be looking at IMF


It's Microsofts own anti Spam solution.  

You can  have a read of the Operations Guide but you should be able to remove using add remove programs


Does this help?


Assuming the server is 2003 with IMF installed, and assuming that that is what is flagging the junk at the server level, you can simply uninstall it from the server:

Uninstalling Intelligent Message Filter
To uninstall Intelligent Message Filter, use Add or Remove Programs in Control Panel. The account that was used to install Intelligent Message Filter must also be used to uninstall the filter. No other accounts will see Intelligent Message Filter in Add or Remove Programs.

Removing Intelligent Message Filter does not remove Active Directory objects that were created during the first installation of the filter.

Note that by default the Outlook Junk Mail Filter is enabled as well so you should make sure it is disabled on the clients as well.
G'day mate

I thought you said it was being marked as SPAM at the server level but if it is at the client level you could follow Bull instructions.  They are good.  the only thing I would say is try and use GPO to enforce the settings (Group Policy).  In a domain environment you can enforce settings to many users by using a template rather than visting each user (users must be avoided :-)

Outlk11.adm is the outlook policy and you can have some light reading here.  Worth the effort though




IMF is not installed.

It shouldn't matter at this point about it being turned on at the client level because these boxes are essentially not hitting a client...the users are opening the inbox with the Open - Open other users folder option.  However, SPAM filtering is turned off at the client level.

This page from Microsoft: http://www.microsoft.com/exchange/evaluation/features/antispam.mspx
It states: These user-maintained block and safe lists are shared from the clients to Exchange, where server-side filtering is conducted."

So that leads me to believe that someone somewhere could have added a domain to a blocked senders list and it's filtering all email at the server level based on one users "blocking".

Expert of the Year 2007
Expert of the Year 2006

If this is Exchange 2003 SP2 then you cannot uninstall IMF. It is integrated in to the application.
For serverside antispam features to work, you have to enable IMF. IMF works with the junk email feature of Outlook.

Therefore I would check whether IMF is enabled first. Exchange System Manager, Global Settings. Right click on Message Delivery and select Properties. Click on the tab "Intelligent Message Filtering" and ensure that it is set to No Action.

Client side filtering could also be playing a part, so that will probably have to be disabled as well. That is done on a per machine basis through the Options of Outlook.



SP2 is not installed as of yet.
Expert of the Year 2007
Expert of the Year 2006

Any reason why not? It is rock solid and there are almost no reasons why you shouldn't install it.

If you don't have IMF and you don't have SP2 then it is only the client side junk email filter in Outlook that could be filtering the messages. There is nothing else that could do it.


Is there any chance you have an antispam solution installed?  For example, by default Trend Micro's client/server/messaging security suite installs spam filtering by default and could be a server-side "culprit" for your problem.  


Based on the text below..found on the Exchange doc link i provided above...how do I stop exchange from using client side block lists?

I do know the one client PC that opens the inbox in question has the filter turned off.


Junk E-Mail Filter

Outlook 2003 uses state-of-the-art technology developed by Microsoft Research. This feature uses several factors, such as the time and content of the message to evaluate whether a message should be treated as junk e-mail. The filter does not single out any particular sender or type of e-mail. Message handling is based on the content of the message and uses advanced analysis of the structure of the message to determine how likely the user will consider the message as junk e-mail.

Set at Low by default, the Junk E-mail filter in Outlook 2003 and Outlook Web Access is customizable, giving users greater control over their inbox. To customize how Outlook 2003 handles e-mail messages, users can set the Junk E-mail filter to Low, High, or Exclusive, or they can simply turn the filter off altogether.

Trusted Recipients, or "safe" list. If an e-mail message is mistakenly sent to the Junk E-mail folder, users can add addresses or domain names to their Trusted Recipients list.

Junk E-mail, or "block" list. Outlook 2003 can also be configured to only accept e-mail messages from the Trusted Senders list, or to block specific e-mail addresses or domain names by adding the sender to the Junk Senders list.

These user-maintained block and safe lists are shared from the clients to Exchange, where server-side filtering is conducted.


No, there is no third party solution installed.  Our A/V is Symantec Enterprise with nothing but A/V installed.
You probably want to use the group policy snap in.


To enforce Outlook Junk E-mail Filter user interface options for users

In Group Policy, load the Outlook 2003 template (Outlk11.adm).
Under User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Microsoft Office Outlook 2003\Tools | Options\Preferences, click Junk Mail.
Double-click Junk E-mail protection level.
Click the Enabled radio button to enable configuring the policy.
In the Select level drop-down list, select a protection level to enforce.
Click OK.
Set other policies, such as specifying to permanently delete junk e-mail messages.


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But how can this be a client level rule when these junk emails are going into the junk email folder before they even hit the client?

This particular user has junk email turned off and absolutely no addresses in blocked senders.
Expert of the Year 2007
Expert of the Year 2006
If you don't have Exchange 2003 SP2 installed, and you don't have the standalone version of IMF installed, then it can only be one of two things.

1. A third party application installed on the server.
2. Something running client side.

There is nothing else in Exchange apart from IMF that can move emails to the Junk Email Folder.

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