Hotmail’s “Exclusive” Junk Mail Filter Not Working?

I use Hotmail for my main personal email account. Yes, it’s a spam magnet. Yes, there are other options out there. The reason I stick with it is because I’ve had the address for a long time, and people know it and use it. The other main reason is that I can access it from my Smartphone Inbox via the IMAP gateway from As soon as I can access my Gmail account via IMAP, or some other method on my Smartphone Inbox, I’m giving Hotmail the boot.

To combat the spam, I use the “Exclusive” junk mail filter setting. This is basically a whitelist, that only allows email into my Inbox if the sender’s address is on my Safe List. Everything else goes into the Junk Mail folder. I still have to parse through the Junk Mail folder, and pick out things that I want to keep, but it’s much better than having my Inbox fill up with spam, especially since my Inbox goes to my Smartphone. I know that when I get a message in my Inbox on my Smartphone, it comes from someone on my Safe List, and is likely to be something I care about.

Well, for the last few weeks, I’ve been getting spam messages (sent to lots of random Hotmail addresses, advertising everything from hot stocks to hot porn) in my Inbox. I thought that somehow my Exclusive setting for the Junk Mail filter had been turned off, but it’s still set correctly. The spam is coming from random people and addresses that are most definitely NOT in my Safe List.

How are these messages getting into my Inbox? Have spammers figured out a way to get around Hotmail’s “Exclusive” Junk Mail filter?

Inquiring minds want to know…


3 thoughts on “Hotmail’s “Exclusive” Junk Mail Filter Not Working?

  1. Willem Kegge says:


    They have done it by adding your own email address (in brackets) behind the junkmail sender address.

    It started this week for us. I have turned full headers on (in hotmail options) to show the path of these email. The paths (so far) include a an “unsubscribe from…. ” that’s probably how they get teir email addresses now

    After turning on full headers, I forward every on of these to and ask them to do something!

  2. Phil Baker says:

    I started getting this too this week, about 5 so far. As Willem above said I noticed my email address had been added to the senders email.

    I’ve created an email rule now with my email address in it. if they can use my email address to get it past the Exclusive option then surely I can also use it to divert it with a rule back to the junk email folder?

    I don’t send myself emails from my hotmail account to my hotmail account so I figure I can safely divert any emails from my own address to the junk email folder… time will tell if there’s any adverse affects but we’ll see.

    Hope this helps.

  3. John Frater says:

    I’m having the same problem with spam. I went to options in Hotmail live to expand the headers but cannot seem to find a menu item to do this, I don’t get a ‘preferences’. Can you point me where to go to get ‘preferences’ so I can display the full header? When I select ‘options’, what i get is the following…..
    Manage your account
    View and edit your personal information
    Send and receive mail from other e-mail accounts
    Forward mail to another e-mail account
    Send automated vacation replies
    Junk e-mail
    Filters and reporting
    Safe and blocked senders
    Customize your mail
    Choose a theme
    Select language
    Personal e-mail signature
    Save sent messages
    Automatically sort e-mail into folders
    Reply-to address
    Mobile alerts for new messages
    Today page settings
    Customize your contacts
    Clean up duplicate contacts
    Sort your contact list
    Import contacts
    Export contacts


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