Quickly marking spam in Outlook 2003

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Outlook 2003 has a junk mail filter but it isn’t perfect, and occasionally you have to delete spam messages yourself.

Outlook 2003 has a junk mail filter but it isn’t perfect, and occasionally you have to delete spam messages yourself.

You can just hit delete and remove the message or you can mark the message as spam / junk email. Doing that with Outlook 2003 in its default setup is a nuisance.

You have to choose Actions | Junk E-mail | Add Sender to Blocked Senders list from the menu or the right-click menu.

But there is a quicker – single click – option. Just add a new item to your menu.

  • Right-click on the Outlook toolbar and choose Customise. Leave the Customise dialog open so you can edit the toolbar menu.

  • Under the Commands tab choose the Actions category

  • From the Commands list scroll down to ‘Add Sender to Blocked Senders List’ click on that item and drag it to a position on the Outlook toolbar.

  • The item will appear on the toolbar but with the long text name. You’ll probably want to shorten that.

  • Right-click on the new toolbar item and click on the Name item

  • Change the text to something shorter – – I just have it as ‘Junk’

  • You can add a shortcut key with the & symbol before the shortcut key eg &Junk or Jun&k

  • To have both text and an image on the toolbar button. Just add an image by choosing ‘Image and Text’ then select ‘Change Button Image’ and select an icon. The unhappy face icon seems appropriate.

  • To have just an image you should choose ‘Text Only (in menus)’ and then the ‘Change Button Image’ – this option uses the least screen space.

  • Finally click OK on the Customize dialog to end editing the toolbar.

Now you can highlight an incoming message, click on the new button and it will be moved to the Junk E-mail folder and the sender will be added to the Blocked Senders list in one operation.

This easy approach has some drawbacks – most common is that it can be too quick to click on a message that you really want to keep. If you do that you have to undo both operations of the Junk toolbar button. Find the message in the Junk E-mail folder and move it back to the Inbox and go to Actions | Junk E-mail | Options | Blocked Senders | find the email address of the sender and click Remove.

The blocked senders list is of limited use, most spammers fake the FROM address and change it quickly. Any full email addresses you put on the Blocked Sender list are not likely to be used again. But with a single click toolbar button it can be worth the small effort.


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