How to use MS Outlook rules to filter internal emails from external trusted, and untrusted mails

Last updated on March 13th, 2021

My job title is a magnet for spam, and the predictable format of email addresses across companies means I have to work my way through a load of targeted spam everyday.

Spam filters do a great job, but targeted spam is difficult to identify, as it’s sent person to person, it’s just unwanted direct e-mail.

I recently took some time to setup some rules in MS Outlook, and this has made a massive difference, so thought I’d share this approach, in-case it helps others…

The Aim

To prevent me from auto-ignoring mail, I highlight mail from External Trusted Senders, and External Untrusted Senders, so I can look at these separately.

The Approach

I setup categories for External Trusted Senders, and External Untrusted Senders. The inbox view automatically highlights these as such, so they are easy to ignore day-to-day (I prefer this to auto-deleting them, as there’s always the odd new sender I haven’t added to my trusted list).

I then use a search folder to separately view the External Untrusted Sender emails. I quickly look through this folder every week to spot any external senders I need to add to my trusted list, I just select the rest of the emails and delete them in one go! At this point, I feel quite smug!


You are likely to need to edit the Trusted party rule regularly initially, while you identify a list of domain names that you trust. I now have this working with a list of all our suppliers and trusted partners, and find it a huge help in the fight against targeted spam.

Please leave comments if this is helpful, as it’s great to know if my effort was worth it!

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