I have set up a rule in Outlook Online to automatically delete emails where the sender address starts with "promotions@". However, I still encounter that spam emails starting with "promotions@" land in the Junk email folder instead of being deleted as intended. I assume, the emails would be classifyed as junk anyway, so the rule seems to not work properly.

Here are the steps I followed in Outlook Online:

  1. Added a condition: "Sender address includes: promotions@"
  2. Added an action: "Delete"

Steps taken in Outlook to add the rule

Despite the rule being active, it seems to be ineffective for all or most senders. Even if I click the triangle to run the rule immediately, the spam email already in my junk folder does not get deleted (I do not want them moved to junk but deleted permanently).

Outlook rule activated

Junk email still not deleted

Could you please help me understand what might be causing this issue and suggest any necessary adjustments to ensure the rule deletes these emails instead of redirecting them to the Junk folder?

1 Answer 1


Outlook Rules do not include Spam Filtering.

First, you need to Whitelist the address (or addresses) in the Junk Email settings in Outlook.

Test that you can receive emails (or emails you designated went to the Junk folder).

Once your email filtering is sorted out, Rules will work.

Just remember to filter first.

  • Thank you! Is this basically the same that the answer here tells? superuser.com/a/1246497/1115587 Because that would probably mean that I cannot setup a rule for these emails at all. The last week I have received tens of emails from various addresses all starting with "promotion"...but always from a different domain. Or is it possible to whitelist all emails from a sender that start with a certain name without having the full email address?
    – Michael Wycisk
    May 21, 2023 at 12:05
  • 1
    I will do some more looking, but so far as I know from long time usage of Outlook, whitelisting requires the complete address. If you are getting multiple emails from multiple addresses that you want (Outlook will tend to junk these), you need to go back to the sender and tell them their emails are going to junk. They have a responsibility as well. You can use Junk email to filter domains. Also ask your Company / Email ISP if they have more advanced SPAM filtering Outlook is good but not a complete solution.
    – John
    May 21, 2023 at 12:12
  • Thanks a lot! Well, the emails are junk (so going to the sender i no option), but since I sometimes get important emails into the junk as well, I need to go through the junk from time to time. And therefore, it helps me if I can directly delete emails that I do not want. As you say, Outlook is good but not a complete solution. Completely agreed.
    – Michael Wycisk
    May 21, 2023 at 12:44
  • 1
    Thanks. FWIW - I have really good SPAM filtering from two Email ISPs I use and so the load on Outlook is reduced. I use Mail.com and a local ISP that uses grey listing - both excellent.
    – John
    May 21, 2023 at 12:46

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