Are you tired of getting spam or potentially malicious emails? While email clients do filter content for spam, you can help refine your inbox by reporting suspicious emails.
If you have cleaned up your email inbox using Microsoft Sweep and you want to make sure that your email client is free from spam and phishing messages, then use using the Report Message add-in feature to report suspicious messages to Microsoft.
Microsoft uses the information it receives from submissions from Outlook users to improve its spam filters and to catch new and updated phishing messages from bad actors. Phishing messages are continually evolving, so to stay one step ahead, Microsoft wants users of Outlook rich and web clients to manually report messages that are spam or phishing messages that have appeared in your inbox.
The Report Message add-in for Outlook makes it easy to report false positives or false negatives. False positives are valid emails that have been marked as bad and have been added to your junk email folder. False negatives are emails that are suspicious to you but are considered to be good by the system and have appeared in your allowed email inbox folder.
Which versions of Microsoft Outlook can use the Report Message feature?
The Microsoft Outlook Report Message add-in can be added to your Outlook.com, Outlook 2016 for Mac, Outlook 2019, Outlook 2021, and Microsoft365 versions of Outlook. The add-in can also be added to the Outlook app for iOS and Android devices.
The process to report messages in Outlook.com is slightly different to other versions.
If you are an administrator for a Microsoft 365 organisation you can install and deploy the add-in for users in the company and edit user settings for the Report Message add-in for Microsoft 365 during deployment.
How to install the Report Message add-in for Microsoft Outlook clients
To install the Report Message add-in, go to the add-ins icon on the Outlook Ribbon, previously called and scroll down to see the Report Message add-in.
Click through the Get Started wizard and you will see a new Report Message icon on the ribbon at the top of the Outlook client screen.
How to use the Report Message add-in for Microsoft Outlook clients
The Report Message add-in can be accessed from the Outlook Ribbon when you have selected the relevant email you wish to report. Click on the Options link to decide how you want to report messages.
You can be prompted each time you click the suspicious message, automatically send reports, or never send reports.
Click on the Report Message function and select whether the message is Junk, Phishing (an email that looks to be valid, but has suspicious links or images), or is actually a valid message that has appeared in your junk email folder.
Click on the Report button in the dialog box that appears to send a copy of the message to Microsoft.
How to use the Report Message feature in Outlook.com
Select the message that you suspect to be a phishing message and click the Junk icon above the reading pane. Select the Phishing link. Then, on the dialog box that appears, click report. A message is then sent to Microsoft for analysis.
How to remove the Report Message add-in for Microsoft Outlook clients
To remove the Report Message add-in for Outlook clients choose the Add-ins button on the Ribbon and click the My add-ins link. Select the Report Message add-in icon, click on the ellipsis dots on the bottom right-hand part of the screen and click the Remove link.
The add-in will disappear from your Outlook Ribbon. If you are using Microsoft 365 in an organisation, be aware that your administrator may have implemented organisational-wide policies that prevent you from modifying your Outlook settings.
Submitting reports when you suspect that a message is spam or a phishing email message, will keep your inbox clear of junk and phishing attempts but will add to Microsoft’s knowledge about unwelcome messages. And that ultimately will benefit everyone.