Windows Live Hotmail – Junk Email Filter Override


  • Windows Live Hotmail does not provide an option to turn off the the built-in Junk Email Filter
  • Overriding the Hotmail Junk Email Filter can be accomplished by use of rule configured in the web interface

Background Information:

  • Windows Live Hotmail provides two selectable filter options (Standard and Exclusive) for handling Junk Email and neither option has the ability to override (turn off) the Junk Mail Filter.


    • Overriding the Hotmail Junk Email Filter may be advantageous for those operating under or desiring the following conditions:
  1. Hotmail accounts configured to use Pop3 protocol in a desktop email client which only retrieves the contents of the Inbox from the account’s web server Inbox
  2. Hotmail accounts using the web interface and preferring all email delivery to the Inbox while still retaining the ‘Safety Features’ of the Hotmail which in most cases will continue to block attachments, pictures and links until the content is approved (for viewing) by the user (i.e. Show Content, or Always show content from the sending email address)
  3. Persons using the social media features of their Windows Live Profile where it’s desirable that all  ‘Friend Invitations’ are delivered to the account’s web server Inbox (instead of the Junk Mail Folder)
  4. Hotmail accounts used as a mechanism to aggregate other pop3 email accounts’ incoming email to the Hotmail Inbox
  5. Hotmail accounts that are configured to forward all incoming email to another Hotmail account or 3rd party provider email account (e.g. primary ISP email account or other web account provider)

Method (to Override):

1. Overriding the Hotmail Junk Email Filter requires the use of  a simple rule which can be created in the Hotmail options section. The steps to create the rule are as follows:

a. Sign-in to the Hotmail account at or

b. Access the Hotmail Options located in the upper right in the Hotmail web interface (see pic 1 below)

c. Select More Options then Rules for Sorting New Messages (pic 2)

HM_ByPassJM_MoreOptions  (pic 1)   =======>>>>>> HM_ByPassJM_RulesOption  (pic 2)

2. Select ‘New‘ under ‘Rules for sorting new messages‘  (pic3)

HM_ByPassJM_RulesNew (pic 3)

3. Create a new rule of the form Sender’s Address contains @  (Step 1 in pic 4) then select  Move to Inbox (Step 2)

HM_ByPassJM_RulesCommand(pic 4)

4. Save the rule prior to exiting the rules options and returning to the Inbox


  • Credit for this method is compliment of one of my oldest friends from the early beta days of MSN (circa 1995). Thanks Snork!!!!  for doing all the leg work in testing and validating the above rule.
  • Credit for testing the applicability of the rule for ‘Friend Invitations’ to both Amber and Erin (Thanks Ladies!!! )
  • If other rules are in place/configured to move incoming messages to another Hotmail web folder or subfolder within the account, then ensure the above rule is the first rule created in a series of rules since rules created last apparently operate first in the hierarchy of all rules.
  • Overriding the Hotmail Junk Mail filter increases the risk of undesirable mail being delivered to the account Inbox thus caution is warranted when opening or clicking on links in any unsolicited email.
  • Overriding the Hotmail Junk Mail filter increases the risk of undesirable mail being delivered to a local email client (e.g. Windows Live Mail or Outlook) used to retrieve Hotmail account messages when the Hotmail account is configured to use the POP3 protocol (only Inbox messages are retrieved from the Hotmail server) thus caution is warranted when opening or clicking on links in any unsolicited email
  • Always ensure that a capable Antivirus/Antimalware scanner is active on your pc (e.g. Microsoft Security Essentials)


May 4, 2011: Original Published Date

About Winston
Microsoft MVP

9 Responses to Windows Live Hotmail – Junk Email Filter Override

  1. Hi Winston,
    I hope you had a good easter holiday.
    I see all of your topics here are about windows live, I know where to come if I need help with it!
    I still miss msn live spaces, it was much better in so many ways than wordpress.
    Wish you a wonderful weekend,

    Hugs, Nikki


  2. Lavonne Avilla says:

    Hi there, I hopped over to your site from stumbleupon. It’s not something I would typically read, but I liked your spin on it. Thanks for creating an article worth reading!


  3. Salo says:

    Good Lord! I THANK YOU FROM THE DEEPEST SPOT OF MY HEART! This saved my life! Thank you very much! God bless you and your friend Snork!


  4. Steve says:

    WLM junk filter has cost me friends and money. It sends your e-bills and important personal notices to junk. Amazingly, there is no way to turn it off!!!! Thanks for the workaround; you have to wonder what happened at Microsoft that they couldn’t add an off switch to the filter.


  5. Tony says:

    Thank you. This is very helpful. It took me a while to find this solution.


  6. LEE says:

    Rules for sorting new messages…..The ‘New’ button doesn’t work anymore…



    • sixstorm1 says:

      Workaround if you have IE 8+:

      1. Go onto the “Rules for sorting new messages” page with Internet Explorer 8 or 9.
      2. Press F12 to show Developper tools.
      3. Click on the select Arrow toolbar button (or “Find” -> “Select element by click”)
      4. Select the “New” button in the page
      5. In the “HTML” tab, you should have a selected text string similar to “onclick=$BSI.navigateTo(‘EditRule.aspx?n=472214545’);”
      6. In your browser’s address bar, replace “ManageRules.aspx?n=1223147531” part with the “EditRule.aspx?n=472214545” part (without quotes, and only that part)
      7. Press enter
      8. IE should now navigate to the New rule page.

      Waiting for a Microsoft fix.

      Comments by blog owner after validating ‘Work-around’
      a. In step 5 the numbers in the EditRule string may/will be different on your system e.g. n=483611138 (i.e. ‘similar but not the same’ as shown in step 5)
      b. Copy the ‘EditRule.aspx?n=xxxxxxxxx’ part of the string you see/find on your system
      c. In step 6, use the part of the string you copied from your system

      Thanks sixstorm.
      To everyone – The problem has been reported directly to the Windows Live Hotmail Team

      This blog is not a forum for support on Windows Live. Your If you need additonal help/support visit the Windows Live Hotmail forum (Hotmail Mail and Settings) in the Windows Live Solution Center ( – logon with your Live ID and click ‘Ask A Question’

      Redundant comments on the same problem (when the blog editor is aware of them being reported and acknowledged by the Windows Live Team) will be deleted. i.e. read the paragraph directly above this one.



  7. Charles says:

    Excellent workaround, thank you.


  8. RBOH says:

    So simple, and yet so clever!


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