A Faster Way to Block Senders in Outlook

To combat spam, I'm using the Block Sender feature in Outlook. Flagging messages to block is a fairly simple process, but an increasing amount of spam has been making its way into my inbox. The number of steps involved to flag all the messages adds up quickly. So I decided to look to my typical time saver when it comes to Microsoft products, the Quick Access Toolbar.

Background

I'm responsible for monitoring several email addresses. So when a spam message arrives, it fairly common to see that same message appear multiple times. Outlook does a decent job of catching the bulk of the spam I typically receive (~200 to 300 per day). However, an increasing amount of spam has been landing in my inbox.

Note: the directions and screenshots below are from Microsoft Outlook 2013 on a Windows 7 computer.

Block Sender

My standard process for blocking spammers was to

  1. Right click a spam message in my inbox
  2. Click Block Sender under the Junk option (see Figure 1)
Outlook screenshot showing the Block Sender option under the right-click menu
Figure 1. Click Block Sender

While that's not a lot of steps, it becomes a bit more tedious when there are dozens of spam messages to process. It also doesn't help when I accidentally click the Never Block Sender option which is right below Block Sender.

Alternative Solution

With how much I use the Block Sender feature and how much clicking is involved in my current process; it's time to leverage the Quick Access Toolbar.

  1. Click the down arrow on the toolbar above the ribbon
  2. Click More Commands (see Figure 2)
  3. Under "Choose commands from", click All Commands (see Figure 3)
  4. Locate and click Block Sender
  5. Click Add (see Figure 4)
  6. Click OK
Outlook screenshot showing how to get More Commands for the Quick Access Toolbar
Figure 2. Click More Commands
Outlook screenshot showing how to select the All Commands option
Figure 3. Choose All Commands
Outlook screenshot showing how to add the Block Sender option to the Quick Access Toolbar
Figure 4. Add Block Sender

Now I can hover my mouse cursor over the Block Sender button in the Quick Access Toolbar and use the up/down arrows on the keyboard to move through the messages in my inbox. Then I just click Block Sender as spam messages come up.

Final Thoughts

The new process is much faster than right clicking a message to block a sender. But it could be even better with Microsoft's help.

At this time, the Block Sender feature only works with individual messages. It would be nice if Outlook let us select multiple emails and then click Block Sender. Unfortunately, the feature is not available under the right-click menu when more than one message is selected (see Figure 5).

Outlook screenshot showing that the Block Sender feature is no longer available when multiple messages are selected
Figure 5. Block Sender Option Missing

18 Comments

  • #1 nathan on 03.23.17 at 7:10 am

    Thanks for the tip. I agree that MS can do more to make managing spam easier.

  • #2 Jason Boche on 06.19.17 at 8:15 pm

    Great tip. Just employed it myself. Was searching for a way to do this with "Quick Steps" but couldn't find one so Google brought me to your site. Thanks again.

  • #3 Roger Wolfendale on 07.12.17 at 8:26 am

    Two points…
    Great tip, I'd tried to figure out how to do this previously but failed but now it works. Well done!
    I completely agree that MS should enable this for multiple spam items.

  • #4 Greg Saunders on 08.17.17 at 11:41 pm

    Thank you SOOOOOOO much. Spam is truly a waste of everyone's time. But now, at least, not as much.

  • #5 Lisa on 09.01.17 at 5:10 pm

    Thank you so much! I wanted to figure this out, went to the Internet and your site popped up. You instructions were so clear, and it worked just great. Thanks for taking the time to help others!

  • #6 Raymon Caldwell on 09.01.17 at 10:17 pm

    Great Tip.
    I took advantage of this tip and made it slightly faster. I made a folder in my inbox "Temp Blocked" When I go through a large amount of emails You can hold the control key to select multiple emails and move them all to that folder then you can just go through the entire list after your done sorting or every so often and block the senders.

  • #7 Sarah on 09.03.17 at 10:29 am

    thank you so much for this! it drives me crazy every day working through right clicking blocking spam emails from our business email address! just deleted about 400 emails in a couple of minutes with your advice, thank you!! :-)

  • #8 Amanda P Tong on 09.21.17 at 5:53 pm

    Much faster! Thank you!

  • #9 Michael Talley on 04.20.18 at 5:51 pm

    Great Tip! Thank you very much!

  • #10 Philip on 06.18.18 at 10:26 am

    Really appreciate the tip and agree there needs to be a better multiple items click to block. Thanks for taking the time to write this up.

  • #11 Sharon on 07.02.18 at 6:56 pm

    I LOVE this option–thank you so much!

  • #12 Dee Duran on 07.28.18 at 11:23 am

    My life just got a little easier. Thank you! It is unfortunate that this simple, yet time-saving, option is not made readily available to Outlook users. I had to go on the hunt for it. Thank you!

  • #13 Fernando on 08.01.18 at 7:51 am

    This works great!, I was actually looking for a way to show that command inline with the message, next to the delete and flag commands… anyone knows?, thank you!

  • #14 Anni on 08.16.18 at 6:29 am

    Brilliant!

  • #15 Patrick Nichols on 09.04.18 at 5:33 pm

    @Fernando – There is a way to incorporate the Block Sender option into the Microsoft Ribbon. You just need to open one of your email messages, right click the ribbon in the message viewer, and click Customize the Ribbon….

    The delete command you referred to is likely listed under the Message tab under the Delete group. For some reason, Microsoft doesn't let us customize existing groups, but we can create new ones. Click the Delete group, so that it is highlighted, and click the New Group button. This causes the new group to appear next to the Delete group.

    Now you just need to incorporate the Block Sender option into the new group. Under the "Choose commands from" drop down, select Main Tabs and expand Message > Delete > Junk. Click the Block Sender option and click the Add button. The Block Sender option should now be listed under the new group.

    From here you can rename the new group and click the OK button. The Block Sender option should now appear near the Delete option.

  • #16 Melanie on 11.14.18 at 10:47 pm

    >>> select the mail you want to block
    >>> press ALT+H+J+B

  • #17 Rod on 12.06.18 at 12:43 pm

    Great Tip! Thanks!

  • #18 Patrick Nichols on 12.12.18 at 11:05 am

    @Melanie – Using the keyboard shortcut (Alt+H+J+B) works well. You can even access the options available through the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) using the Alt key. For example, the Block Sender feature is the 5th icon in my QAT. I can select the message to block and press Alt+5. Of course, that shortcut could be problematic if I ever change my QAT so that Block Sender wasn't the 5th icon. Thanks for sharing!

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