How do I setup junk filtering in Thunderbird?

If you are only interested in filtering email that our servers detect as spam - you can do that by following our Thunderbird spam assassin help page.

Even with our server-based spam filtering, however, you may still get junk messages in your inbox. If you are using Thunderbird, you can ask Thunderbird to try to learn about and filter these messages as well - giving you double protection. By following these directions you can both filter messages that our server detects as spam and ask Thunderbird to try to detect messages that our server misses.

First - set the default junk filtering options:

  • Click Edit -> Preferences (on a Mac this may be under the Thunderbird -> Preferences)
  • Click the Privacy button
  • Click the Junk tab
  • Selected "When I mark a message as junk: Move them to the account's junk folder"

That sets the default behavior.

Then set the behavior for your existing account:

  • Click Edit -> Account settings (on a Mac this maybe be under the Tools -> Account settings)
  • Click the Server Settings section (if you have one) on the left side of the window.
  • If your server type is: IMAP Mail Server, then click the Junk Settings button below Server Settings. If you do not have Server Settings or if your server type is POP Mail server, then click Junk Settings in the Local Folders area.
  • Select "Enable junk mail controls for this account"
  • Select "Do not mark mail as junk if the sender is in Personal address book"
  • Select "Trust Junk mail headers set by SpamAssassin" (this is optional and means you will not need to set a separate filter for SpamAssassin)
  • Select "Move Junk mail messages to: Junk on local folders"

Lastly - you will need to create the Junk folder.

  • Click File -> New -> Folder
  • For folder name, type "Junk"
  • Create as subfolder of: Local Folders (choose this as parent)

Now - if Thunderbird thinks a message is junk, it will automatically move that message to the newly created Junk folder. If you get a message that Thunderbird does not think is junk, but you think it is junk, you can click on that message and click the "Junk" button and Thunderbird will teach itself about that message and move it to the Junk folder.

You should periodically scan the Junk folder to make sure they are no messages tagged as junk that are not junk. If you see some, you should click on the message and then click on the "This is not junk" button.

Last modified 6 years ago Last modified on Feb 2, 2013, 4:41:44 PM