Microsoft Outlook is one of the most popular email clients in the world. Despite the popularity, Outlook’s integrated spam filtering doesn’t catch much. As spammers use increasingly novel methods to skirt the default Outlook spam blocker, your inbox can come under attack from all manner of spam emails.
If your Outlook inbox is under spam-siege, check out the top anti-spam tools for Outlook.
SpamBully takes the crown as the top-rated spam filter for Microsoft Outlook. It is a premium spam filter, but it delivers excellent results straight out of the box as it purges inboxes and keeps them clean.
SpamBully works with Outlook, Office 365, Office 2019, Office 2016, and older Office versions.
SpamBully brings an extensive range of spam filtering and blocking to Outlook. It learns how you use your email, making sure that only the good email passes to your inbox even as it removes spam automatically without you constantly updating your block list.
One of SpamBully’s best features is the option to “punish” the spammer. You can return spam mail automatically to the sender so that it doesn’t clog your inbox. It also reports the sender to the server it came from. The idea is to increase the cost of sending spam.
Another interesting feature is the email password for unfamiliar senders. If the address looks suspicious or spoofed, you can request the sender to enter a password before the email enters your inbox. A spammer isn’t going to take the time to enter individual passwords for each spam email.
If you are unsure about malicious email, why not try Google’s phishing email quiz? It teaches you how to spot and avoid phishing emails and other malicious email types.
A 1-year SpamBully subscription comes in at $29.95.
Download: SpamBully for Windows (Free Trial)
MailWasher is an Outlook spam filter that receives excellent reviews. MailWasher comes in two flavors: Free and Pro. The free version works with a single email account, and you cannot block incoming mail based upon country of origin.
Those limitations aside, MailWasher Free offers much of the same features as the Premium version.
MailWasher uses an automated learning system to figure out what is spam in your inbox and what it should leave intact. It has extensive filtering, which it uses in conjunction with customizable blacklists. The MailWasher interface is easy to use, allowing you to sort through spam emails rapidly. The auto-account detection works well, too.
A 1-year MailWasher Pro license will set you back $39.95, and a lifetime license comes in at $100. MailWasher is also available for iOS and Android.
Download: MailWasher Free for Windows (Free)
SPAMfighter is an award-winning free spam filter for Microsoft Outlook. SPAMfighter is a Microsoft Gold Partner, too, working closely to deliver a great spam filter.
Once installed, SPAMfighter protects all the accounts on your PC (including Outlook Express and Mozilla Thunderbird). When you receive an email, SPAMfighter checks it automatically. If it is spam, it heads straight to your spam folder.
If SPAMfighter misses a spam email, you can update the SPAMfighter definitions with a single click. The updated definition will eventually filter through to all other SPAMfighter users.
Handily, SPAMfighter creates whitelists automatically, and you can also filter emails using the language list.
Download: SPAMfighter for Windows 10 (Free for home users)
Spamihilator takes the prize for the best spam filter name. It isn’t just an amusing name, though. Spamihilator is a useful free anti-spam tool for Outlook that will keep your inbox clear. Once installed, Spamihilator sits between Outlook and your network connection, catching spam before it hits your inbox.
Spamihilator hasn’t received an update in a while, but it is still a great free tool. The “Training Area” feature lets you mark specific emails for future filtering, teaching the program to remove messages with similar content. Spamihilator becomes better the more you use the filters.
There is a setup wizard that appears automatically after installation. The wizard is fine if you have a POP3 email account. However, if you use IMAP, you need to enter your email configuration within the Spamihilator settings.
If you are unsure about what email type you use, here are the differences between IMAP and POP3.
Unlike most other spam filters, Spamihilator offers a portable installer. A portable installer works directly from a USB flash drive, meaning you can use it to clean up spam on a different computer without installing. You can find the portable installers on the Spamihilator download page.
5. Spam Reader
Spam Reader scans your inbox with impressive speed after installation. No sooner had I opened Outlook, Spam Reader reported back over 8,000 spam messages. It had scanned my existing spam box, but also caught a lot of spam lurking in my inbox. Spam Reader nestles in your Outlook toolbar, as per the above image.
Aside from rapid scanning speed, Spam Reader tracks and analyses your inbox to understand your usage.
In this, it uses a “Sure/Not Sure” method to deal with potential spam. Marking messages Not Sure keeps false negatives from deletion before you have had a chance to check manually. Over time, Spam Reader learns that those false negatives should head straight to your inbox.
There are two Spam Reader versions: Free and Pro. The features are exactly the same. But after 30-days, the free version adds a small message to your outgoing emails. If that is not something you want, the Pro version comes in at $39.95 for a lifetime license with minor upgrades, or $59.50 for a lifetime license with major upgrades.
Download: Spam Reader for Windows (Free)
What Is the Best Outlook Spam Filter?
The default Outlook spam filter doesn’t cut out enough spam. Spam is big business, and Microsoft is losing the war.
Spam varies between inboxes, of course. If your email has found its way onto a spam list, you will receive more spam than most. Data breaches are extremely common, unfortunately, so your email address could well be in the hands of the spammers.
The best Outlook spam filter is SpamBully. It catches almost every bit of incoming spam and learns about your inbox and usage habits quickly. SpamBully does come with a price tag. But for the sake of keeping your Outlook inbox free of time-consuming and potentially malicious spam, it is a worthwhile investment.
If you want to power-up your Outlook inbox, check out these Microsoft Outlook add-ins for a better email experience.