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  • Spam filter for Outlook 2016 on Exchange Server

    Posted on CWBillow Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Microsoft Office by version Office 2016 for PC Spam filter for Outlook 2016 on Exchange Server

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      • #1970926 Reply
        CWBillow
        AskWoody Lounger

        I had Ben using Outlook with IMAP.  But, at Microsoft’s suggestion, I have moved to MS Office Professional on an Exchange server.

        The problem here is the amount of spam I receive: 25,000(!!) In less than two weeks!

        My prior spam solution was SpamBully, but SB doesn’t play well with Exchange.  It can take up to 5 minutes for my Outlook to load.

        Here’s my question:

        Would it be possible to build PowerShell commands that could/would add either the whole e-mail address or just the domain to the Outlook safe sender list?  That command could then be attached to an Outlook button.

        In SpamBully, I could choose the “This is spam” button or “This is safe” button, which would add the particular e-mail sender to the appropriate list.  By holding down the Control key, I could make that distinction for the domain in question and not just the specific sender.

        If a command string (in PowerShell?) could do this, then that could be attached to a button and make the whole process of altering the white or black list addresses a single click.

        Do I think it possible?  Certainly.  But unfortunately I am no PowerShell aficionado to see how it would pan out.

        Any ideas, suggestions, or offerings of assistance would be greatly appreciated.

        Chuck Billow

      • #1970970 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        I wouldn’t run my own Exchange server unless it was in an organisation large enough to afford an email gateway in front of the server.

        My paid for email service is very good at reducing spam – I get almost none – and I still get all my normal correspondence. They support POP and IMAP, have an app for the phone and even host my domain mail.

        cheers, Paul

        p.s. Fastmail

        • #1971563 Reply
          CWBillow
          AskWoody Lounger

          Paul, I didn’t and don’t want to run my own Exchange server either.  That “came along for the ride” when I switched to Office 365 (Business).  I’m hoping that I don’t have to manage the server once setup is complete.  I was hoping to try this for a month or so but all they have is annual plans, so…

          I do though like the idea of having everything “under one roof.”  Just this last transition to/from Bluehost made me even more convinced of the advantage of that.

          I left 1and1 because I was not getting the results I wanted, especially in support.  I went to BlueHost, an exchange mail system, and was on the phone near-daily, so, I came “back” to Microsoft.  Now of course I am (financially) tied in for a year — to another Exchange setup.

          But then aside from the investment, for an added $5 I could run Fastmail through my current Office setup.  I would seem to be duplicating somewhat, since Fastmail is calendar contacts, and e-mail, but then my Office also has Excel, Access, etc., so then… ?

          Chuck Billow

      • #1971217 Reply
        joep517
        AskWoody MVP

        Is this Office 365?
        Do you have access to the Exchange admin settings?

        --Joe

        • #1971485 Reply
          CWBillow
          AskWoody Lounger

          Joe, yes this is, I believe, Office 365 (Business).  I want to say that, yes, I have access to Exchange admin settings, but first off, I don’t want to screw around with something I know nothing about that could set me back at square one.  Secondly, since today’s junk mail senders are quite good at their craft, I fear I would be back and forth between the Exchange and my Outlook constantly for some time trying to get the filters/rules correct.  After a week of not having Outlook functional, when I connected last night I received 27,000 — yes, thousand — emails.  Most, of course, are junk, but that’s a *fair* amount of filtering.

          Also, under the best of circumstances, wouldn’t I need to be all the time hopping between Outlook and Exchange?

          Chuck Billow

          • #1971594 Reply
            mn–
            AskWoody Lounger

            , yes, I have access to Exchange admin settings, but first off, I don’t want to screw around with something I know nothing about that could set me back at square one. Secondly, since today’s junk mail senders are quite good at their craft, I fear I would be back and forth between the Exchange and my Outlook constantly for some time trying to get the filters/rules correct.

            Oh it’ll never end, at the current rate.

            At those volumes I’d look for an additional antispam service, to set up in the mail flow path. The base Exchange Online only has fairly simple antispam features, though it has gotten better… still no local admin access to Bayesian corpuses, the condition clauses are clunky, and scoring is only very rudimentary compared to, say, SpamAssassin.

            I’ve had to chain multiple rules together via temporary header fields to accomplish some fairly simple things.

            Would it be possible to build PowerShell commands that could/would add either the whole e-mail address or just the domain to the Outlook safe sender list?

            Well yes. From https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powershell/module/exchange/antispam-antimalware/Set-MailboxJunkEmailConfiguration?view=exchange-ps :

            ————————– Example 2 ————————–

            Set-MailboxJunkEmailConfiguration “Michele Martin” -TrustedSendersAndDomains @{Add=”contoso.com”,”fabrikam.com”} -BlockedSendersAndDomains @{Add=”jane@fourthcoffee.com”}

            This example makes the following configuration changes to the safelist collection for the user named Michele Martin:

            Adds contoso.com and fabrikam.com to the Safe Senders list without affecting other existing entries.

            Adds jane@fourthcoffee.com to the Blocked senders list without affecting other existing entries.

            That’s one user’s lists, and then you can do things with Set-HostedContentFilterPolicy to affect the entire organization. (Of course assuming that you have the Exchange Online PS module loaded, and have an authenticated session open with sufficient privileges…)

        • #1971574 Reply
          CWBillow
          AskWoody Lounger

          Joe, I want to say, yes, I do.  But again, I’m not too anxious to screw around with those as yet.  Additionally, I am still in pursuit of the “perfect” filtering solution.

          Chuck Billow

      • #1972785 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        The perfect filtering solution is a supplier who takes spam seriously and has an anti spam appliance in front of Exchange.

        cheers, Paul

      • #1975985 Reply
        CWBillow
        AskWoody Lounger

        Who might that be, Paul?  I can’t seem to find anything of the sort.

        Chuck Billow

      • #1976012 Reply
        joep517
        AskWoody MVP

        It appears you have Office 365 Business Premium. You need to setup Exchange Online Protection. Check out some of the results of Configure Exchange Online Protection.

        --Joe

      • #1976120 Reply
        CWBillow
        AskWoody Lounger

        When I was talking to Microsoft last nite, they were adamant that:

        1) Microsoft Office 2016 Business Pro could/would solve my e-mail issues;

        2) Microsoft Office 2016 Business Pro was designed to run on an Exchange server (theirs) and that IMAP wouldn’t do well.

        Well, after installing Exchange, yes, it downloaded my e-mail, but it dramatically increased the time required for my spam software to interact (3-5 seconds per message), which, in my situation can translate into 15 to 20 minutes just to download the e-mail, not to mention that starting up Outlook 2016 in that config takes as much as five minutes, where IMAP takes 6-7 seconds.

        He then gave me the PowerShell commands to disable the built in Exchange filtering:

        Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned
        $credential = Get-Credential
        Install-Module MSOnline
        $exchangeSession = New-PSSession -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Exchange -ConnectionUri “https://outlook.office365.com/powershell-liveid/” -Credential $credential -Authentication “Basic” -AllowRedirection
        Import-PSSession $exchangeSession -DisableNameChecking
        Set-MailboxJunkEmailConfiguration -Identity cwxxx@xxx.com -Enabled $false

        Can anyone attest to refute these claims and PowerShell code?

        [Moderator edit: removed email address for security]

        Chuck Billow

        • #1976160 Reply
          mn–
          AskWoody Lounger

          When I was talking to Microsoft last nite, they were adamant that:

          1) Microsoft Office 2016 Business Pro could/would solve my e-mail issues;

          2) Microsoft Office 2016 Business Pro was designed to run on an Exchange server (theirs) and that IMAP wouldn’t do well.

          Well…

          Not sure which product “Office 2016 Business Pro” actually is, but it certainly isn’t one of the “normal” package versions.

          I’m not quite clear on what you have for the server solution either. Is it your own Exchange server, or the usual Microsoft cloud Exchange as in Exchange Online / Office 365?

          Well, after installing Exchange, yes, it downloaded my e-mail, but it dramatically increased the time required for my spam software to interact (3-5 seconds per message), which, in my situation can translate into 15 to 20 minutes just to download the e-mail, not to mention that starting up Outlook 2016 in that config takes as much as five minutes, where IMAP takes 6-7 seconds.

          It’s just a fact of life that Outlook with Exchange Online is anything but fast. The long distance to cloud, compared to pretty much any LAN-local installation ever, makes this unavoidable… and Exchange isn’t usually the thing to use if “fast” is a priority, anyway.

          Outlook user interface can be reasonably snappy once it has most of the mail downloaded into local cache, but that part can take time.

          And if you do have a local installation of Exchange… what kind of server hardware is it on?

          He then gave me the PowerShell commands to disable the built in Exchange filtering:

          Yes, on a quick look the set of PowerShell commands does look like it’d install a module, then open a session to the cloud server, and then disable the Exchange Online spamfilter.

          Not sure why you’d want to do that except if it gets things badly wrong – it’s supposed to run on the cloud server before mails get to your box, so not in the execution path any more when Outlook fetches mail from the box, and expected to reduce the amount to be downloaded.

          Same with server-side processing rules, they’re supposed to run on the Exchange server, long before you even start Outlook…

        • #1976238 Reply
          joep517
          AskWoody MVP

          @Chuck,

          What aren’t you telling us? What anti-spam software are you using?

          Remember, when you changed from IMAP to Exchange all your email was going to be downloaded again if you selected a local cache option. How much got downloaded depends on your settings of how much to cache locally.

          Who were you talking to at Microsoft? Why did they recommend disabling the Exchange spam filter?

          In Outlook go to File | Office Account and tell us what is said there about Outlook. Please tell the type, such as Office 365 Pro Plus, and the version. See the attachment

          Outlook_about-2019-10-07-073557

          --Joe

          Attachments:
      • #1976702 Reply
        CWBillow
        AskWoody Lounger

        @Joe;

        Here’s the long story:

        I was running Home Premium without (major) issues.  Then I ran into a problem, and Microsoft told me I should upgrade to Office Professional.

        But, I was told, Office Professional prefers Exchange.

        Five – seven days of calls and my Outlook still isn’t really working properly.  Part of the issue is  per day)because, due to the massive amounts of e-mail I receive ( 5-700 per day) I use a spam filtering app called Spam Bully — great add-on, but it does NOT like Exchange.

        So now, after two months of back and forth, I have my Home Premium account — which just yesterday MS agreed to stop and refund — and my Office Professional account — still active.

        I just called Microsoft because I wasn’t seeing any e-mail in the PRO account prior to 8/28, and, come to find out, mail prior to 8/28 is sitting off in my Home Premium account .

        Can I export my Home Premium e-mail, and import it to my Office pro account?

        And, since I don’t have both set up in Outlook, how might I do that?

        Secondly:

        Microsoft support says that Office 365 Business Pro is built around Exchange.  That may or may not be, but can I not still run IMAP mailboxes “without” incident?

        I ask this because SpamBully, my preferred filtering add-on, does not like Exchange at all.  It can take almost 6 minutes for Outlook 2016 Exchange to start up, where Outlook 2016 with IMAP loads in8-9 seconds.

        So…?

         

        Chuck Billow

        • #1976823 Reply
          mn–
          AskWoody Lounger

          Well er… yes, of course Microsoft will tell you that their mail client application really prefers their mail server. They’ve consistently marketed Outlook and Exchange together since… hm, 1997?

          At no point has Exchange been the kind of server I’d suggest for high-throughput usage. It’s sold on advanced features and convenience, not speed and volume.

          Microsoft support says that Office 365 Business Pro is built around Exchange.  That may or may not be, but can I not still run IMAP mailboxes “without” incident?

          Exchange server does indeed offer IMAP access to mailboxes as an alternative protocol. UNLESS that part is turned off by server administrator, which it can be.

          That makes Outlook lose a lot of the “advanced” features the combination normally offers, though. Like the interface to mail sorting and filtering on the server.

          And the mailboxes are the same regardless of the protocol used to access them – MAPI, EWS, ActiveSync, IMAP, even POP… (MAPI is the “Outlook native” protocol.)

          Can I export my Home Premium e-mail, and import it to my Office pro account?

          And, since I don’t have both set up in Outlook, how might I do that?

          Well what do you have them in, then?

          Usually the easiest way for single users is to set them up in the same client application and just move stuff over. Can also save things in files, take backups of those, and then upload to another mailbox – which can be done from another application instance if they can use the same file format for local copies.

          I ask this because SpamBully, my preferred filtering add-on, does not like Exchange at all.  It can take almost 6 minutes for Outlook 2016 Exchange to start up, where Outlook 2016 with IMAP loads in8-9 seconds.

          Oh and I’d note that, according to https://spambully.com/sb4help/indexa93b.html :

          System Requirements:

          Operating System: Windows 98/ME/2000/XP/2003
          Email Client: Outlook 2000/2002/XP/2003 or Outlook Express 5, 5.5 or 6

          … it has no expectation of working with 2016 or 2019 Outlook. Could be they just haven’t updated the documentation but still, I’d ask them.

      • #1976811 Reply
        joep517
        AskWoody MVP

        @Chuck,

        There is no Home Premium SKU of Office. Were you running Office 365 Personal or Office 365 Home or some other non-subscription SKU?

        What does your version of Outlook say when you look at the Office Account information?

        You really need to try to use the correct terminology. It would save a lot of back and forth.

        Is your old Home account still accessible? Are you using the same email address?

        --Joe

      • #1977203 Reply
        CWBillow
        AskWoody Lounger

        Joe, I cannot speak to SKU’s, but the program that ran my install was

        Setup.X86.en-US_O365HomePremRetail_211f1f87-be71-42d2-9eb4-38f8afa43473_TX_PR_

        So, I dunno…

        <hr />

        That was the x86, my bad…

        the x64 command is

        Setup.X64.en-US_O365HomePremRetail_0bb30d02-e71b-4421-a20a-28c757a99890_TX_PR_

        Chuck Billow

        • This reply was modified 9 months, 1 week ago by CWBillow.
        • This reply was modified 9 months, 1 week ago by CWBillow.
        • #1977219 Reply
          anonymous
          Guest

          Chuck, can you say why you are giving the filename of the installer?

          Joe asked you to refer to the Office Account information within the application’s File menu. Please see his illustrated request in comment #post-1976238 above.

          The installer filename reflects your system requirements, not the installed application in use. Joe showed you where to find the information he requested.

        • #1977251 Reply
          mn–
          AskWoody Lounger

          That was the x86, my bad…

          the x64 command is

          … right, this might be a bother to fix.

          First, SpamBully seems to be (or at least include as a significant part) an add-on for Outlook, so regardless of the respective age of the parts they need to match on the architecture. So if they don’t match – such as if your SpamBully package is x86 and Outlook is x64 …

          Then, some add-ons for Office 2016 (let alone older) just no longer work correctly with the latest Office 365 application packages even if the x86/x64 part matches. This can only be fixed by the add-on vendor. If this is the case and there is no such fix for the add-on, you may need to downgrade the Office applications to an older version.

          With one specific add-on (for Excel), had to get a MSI-packaged and volume-licensed Office 2016 ProPlus x86, none of the 365 or Click-to-Run packages would work… sheesh, that was expensive.

          And that’s not getting into what’s going on at the server side.

      • #1977220 Reply
        joep517
        AskWoody MVP

        OK. What do you see when you look at the File | Office Account page?

        --Joe

      • #1977254 Reply
        CWBillow
        AskWoody Lounger

        @anonymous:  I cannot very well look at File info on an Outlook that is no longer installed.  The version is abundantly clear in the filename.

        Joe, I was running Home Premium, and am now running Office 365 Business.

        As to the possible conflict between Office x64 and SpamBully (x86), the issue never came up until I moved from Home Premium x64 to Office Professional x64.  After the “upgrade”, starting Outlook went from 6-9 seconds to five minutes.  I’ll know this afternoon if, running Office Pro x64 with an IMAP profile instead of the Exchange

        One MS support person had me set up an IMAP account AND an Exchange account in order to see that there were no differences in the download of the two.  Both were identical.

        I am in the process of syncing the mailboxes now (Office Pro x64 install) and will then see about Spam Bully, and I’ll let you know.

        Chuck Billow

        • #1977258 Reply
          anonymous
          Guest

          I did not realize we were attempting to filter spam for an Outlook installation that has been uninstalled. Please pardon my confusion. I should not have intruded. The installer filename describes the installer, not the program installed. Good luck.

        • #1977511 Reply
          mn–
          AskWoody Lounger

          As to the possible conflict between Office x64 and SpamBully (x86), the issue never came up until I moved from Home Premium x64 to Office Professional x64. 

          Oh, it’s possible that SpamBully does include both x86 and x64 versions of the dll – some other products do. It’s just, that’s fairly high up on the checklist because it’s a typical problem. And since I don’t have it myself, I can’t check that.

          It’s supposed to have controls visible in the ribbon if it’s loaded successfully, right?
          For those that are only conditionally visible, this can be checked through File -> Options -> Add-ins …

          The version is abundantly clear in the filename.
          I was running Home Premium, and am now running Office 365 Business.

          Actually the installer filenames can change without notice and Microsoft seems to use same initial installers for several products. It may install different features based on what product SKU you have.

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