Junk email update

In early to mid-September, we began hearing reports from people who noticed legitimate email messages were being delivered to their Junk Email folders. Together with Microsoft, we have researched the issue and identified four causes, two of which we want you to be aware.

But first, please remember there are technical and legitimate reasons why email is sent to the Junk Email folder. You should check your Junk Email folder regularly to ensure you are not missing important messages.

The main cause of email being improperly tagged as spam is due to the fact that we use multiple tools to ensure that the lab’s email is secure. The tool we rely on first determines whether your email is safe, then sends the email through an application that checks for known phishing URLs. Upon return, another scan is performed, and this was the scan was the cause of incorrectly flagging email messages as spam. We have a mitigation for this that we tested and put into place this morning. Please note that the mitigation only impacts new email, not email that is already in the Junk Email folder.

We recommend that Outlook Web Application (Webmail) users who disabled filtering after our last message should now re-enable it by doing the following:

• Log in to Webmail at mail.fnal.gov
• Then, visit this link: https://outlook.office.com/owa/?path=/options/blocksenders
• Make sure the button, “Don’t move email to my Junk Email folder” is not selected
• Click “Save”

If your problems with improper Junk Email persist after this morning’s change, the next most common reason has to do with incorrect settings in Windows Outlook desktop email clients. You can fix these settings by following the instructions in the article at https://fermi.service-now.com/wp?id=kb_article&sys_id=KB0013227. Again, this issue is specific to those using the Windows Outlook desktop client.


Many Fermilab employees and users have reported that email messages are being falsely tagged as junk and being delivered to their “Junk Email” folder.  A service request has been opened with Microsoft, who is currently troubleshooting the issue. In the meantime, keep an eye on your “Junk Email” folder. We will update this article once the issue has been resolved.

To mitigate this issue, we recommend that you disable junk mail filtering by doing the following:

  1. Log in to the web email client (not the Outlook client on your desktop) at mail.fnal.gov
  2. Then, visit this link: https://outlook.office.com/owa/?path=/options/blocksenders
  3.  Select the button, “Don’t move email to my Junk Email folder”
  4. Click “Save”

If you are using a non-Microsoft mail client, we have had reports that these clients will not have a “Junk Email” folder and may not allow one to be created.  This isn’t the normal behavior, and we are reporting that to Microsoft as well.   Use the web email client at mail.fnal.gov as an alternative.

We apologize for these mail issues and are working with Microsoft to get them corrected.