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Microsoft KB Archive/187298

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Knowledge Base

Article ID: 187298

Article Last Modified on 1/23/2007


  • Microsoft Outlook Express 4.01
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 4.0
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 4.01
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 4.0
  • Microsoft Outlook Express 4.01

This article was previously published under Q187298

For information about the differences between Microsoft Outlook Express and Microsoft Outlook e-mail clients, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

257824 OL2000: Differences Between Outlook and Outlook Express


This article describes how to configure the Microsoft Outlook Express Inbox Assistant to filter and sort e-mail messages, including unwanted messages.


You can configure the Outlook Express Inbox Assistant to use rules to filter and sort e-mail messages to prevent delivery of messages to the Inbox that meet certain criteria, including unwanted messages such as solicitations. To prevent unwanted e-mail messages from being delivered to your Inbox, the rules must be based on common criteria that is present in the unwanted messages. You can then choose to not have these messages downloaded from the server, the messages can be moved to a folder other than the Inbox, or the messages can be deleted from the server.

Create Inbox Assistant Rules

To create Inbox Assistant rules, follow these steps:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Inbox Assistant.
  2. Click Add, and then type appropriate text under "When a message arrives with the following criteria." The Subject line that matches the criteria that is common to the unwanted messages.

NOTE: Any of the fields can be used. For example, type the word "Free" in the Subject line. Other words that may be common to unwanted messages are "Make Money," or "Offer". If you enter information in the To line, you must enter the e-mail name, you cannot enter a friendly name.

  1. Under "Perform the following action" click to select the appropriate check box and if needed, select a folder or e-mail address for the action.
  2. Click OK.
  3. The rule will now appear in the Inbox Assistant. Click OK to return to Outlook Express.
  4. Repeat steps 2-4 to create additional rules.
  5. To promote or demote a rule, click the rule and then click Up or Down to the desired position.

NOTE: You can also contact your Internet service provider (ISP), to see if the ISP can prevent unwanted messages from being delivered to your mail server.

For information about Inbox Assistant in Outlook Express, click Help Topics on the Help menu, click the Index tab, type "inbox assistant" (without quotation marks), click the "Inbox Assistant" topic, and then click Display.

For additional information about using Inbox Assistant with a mail account based on the Internet Mail Access Protocol (IMAP), please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

169616 OE: Inbox Assistant Rules Do Not Work with IMAP Accounts

For additional information about the Inbox Assistant, please see the following articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

169063 OE: Address Seen as Separate Words in Inbox Assistant Rule

169615 OE: Inbox Assistant Does Not Sort Using Extended Characters

169914 OE: Inbox Assistant Rules Not Applied in Outlook Express

Additional query words: oe4top SPAM sp1 sp

Keywords: kbhowto KB187298