A reader has a question about blocking emails.

“In Outlook, the Block feature does not actually “block” further emails from that sender, at least not with my setup. It just removes the current email from the Junk Mail folder, nothing more. Is there something in Outlook Settings that determines how Block works? I am so overwhelmed with junk emails?”

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The term ‘block’, when used to refer to individuals blocking senders, is something of a misnomer. What blocking actually does is send messages from that person to your spam or junk folder. Removed from your sight but not from existence. Since most junk or spam folders empty automatically after a set period of time, it becomes something you never have to deal with.

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I would continue to keep marking them as spam, as that can alert your email provider to sketchy domains that are sending out junk. ISPs and email providers actually have the capability of blocking some domains and senders if they get enough complaints. Their servers will actually refuse the messages. It also teaches your email program what types of messages to stick in the spam folder.

One challenge with spam is that the senders change addresses often, usually having thousands of different return addresses at their disposal. You can block them from one address and still get fifty more messages.

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I will caution you not to just mark just any email message from a company you no longer wish to hear from as spam. If it’s something you subscribed to at one time or a company you purchased from, take the time to look for the unsubscribe link in the email message.

It can actually cause some real issues for legitimate senders when their messages are marked as spam.