Automatically Highlight Real Work Emails in Outlook’s Junk Folder

By standss Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Our last post Keep good emails out of the Outlook Junk Mail Folder showed how you can use Outlook’s Safe Senders option to keep real emails out of the Junk folder. Outlook’s Junk Mail folder does a good job of catching most of the SPAM emails but at times some of the real work emails also end up there.

Here’s how you can quickly spot the work emails amongst all the SPAM by getting Outlook to HIGHLIGHT the most likely real emails.

The trick is to get Outlook to automatically color code any emails that have certain words in them. In my case…

I’ve setup Outlook so that it automatically highlights (Red Bold) any email with the word Outlook in it.


1. Go to the Junk Emails Folder.

2. On the menu at the top, Click View > Current View >  Customize Current View to display the Customize View screen. (In Outlook 2010 click View > View Settings on the ribbon)

3. Click the Automatic Formatting(or Conditional Formatting) button.

Auto Format

4. Click the Add Button

5. Enter a name e.g. “Colour Code Outlook Emails”

6. Click the Font button and using the resulting screen to choose how you want emails to be highlighted (I chose the colour Red and Bold). Click OK to return to the previous screen.

7. Click the Condition button to display the Filter screen and enter your criteria and click OK.

Filter emails

In my case I chose:

Search for the word(s): Outlook
In: Subject and message body

8. Click OK 3 times to return to your Folder.

Your Emails are Now Color Coded… Any emails in the folder that meet the criteria you specified will automatically be highlighted. Any new emails will also be highlighted using the same rules.

I can’t tell you how many times this simple trick has helped me immediately spot an important email that Outlook thought was spam.

Categories : Outlook Email Tips, SPAM Filtering in Outlook

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