Disabling Junk Filtering With Hotmail

What many people do not realize is that my archlinux.org email address is really just an alias for a Hotmail account. That’s right… I do my Linux development with a Hotmail address! Deal with it… I am not changing.

Recently I got annoyed at the Webmail extension for Thunderbird as it breaks every time the Hotmail site makes a change or a new version of Thunderbird is released (so generally not the extension authors fault). The final straw was when attachments were only being partially downloaded, which I only noticed when some photos I was sent had black bars on them. Then I checked my WordPress backups that are automatically emailed to me and, sure enough, I could not open the zip file because it was corrupt.

Fortunately, your Hotmail emails can be retrieved by POP3 and this had become an option for me as my work no longer blocks that port. Unfortunately, that only downloads emails in your Inbox and not your Junk folder. That should be easy to work around… Just turn of Hotmail’s junk filtering. Right? Well, no… Hotmail has two junk email settings – “Standard” and “Exclusive” – and neither of these is equivalent to “Off”. The “Standard” filter manages to catch about half of the spam I receive and a bunch of valid emails from mailing lists I am subscribed to. I could log into Hotmail every so often and flag the valid emails as not junk (annoying), but Hotmail will delete anything in your Junk folder after ten days (really annoying…).

How to work around this crap? I found in Hotmail’s options there is a item to set up “Rules for sorting new messages”. It appears if an email matches one of these rules, the rule is enacted without running the spam filter. So the spam filter can be disabled by adding the following rule: Move messages to Inbox if sender’s address contains “@”.

That means I am now receiving all of my emails. So, if you send me an email and I do not respond, it is now definitely because I am ignoring you.

2 thoughts on “Disabling Junk Filtering With Hotmail

  1. Thanks for this post! I had to set up something similar for my gf, and remembered you had written about Hotmail’s junk filter. You saved me quite a lot of time and frustration.