Monday, April 9, 2012

Deploy a Safe Senders List to Outlook Clients via Group Policy

It makes sense for the environment I manage to try and do as much as I can for our users in order to cut down on support calls.  Scan to email from our Xerox machines, automated system related messages re: password resets and more can all get sent into the junk folder. Specifying a safe sender lists for Outlook can cut down on these potential issues rearing their ugly head and group policy is the best mechanism for deploying the setting.



Your first step should be to download and extract the Office 2010 Administration Files:
http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=18968


Next, download the junk email settings .adm files appropriate for your environment:


Outlook 2010: outlk14-junkemailtrigger.adm

Outlook 2007: outlk12-junkemailtrigger.admOutlook 2003: outlk11-junkemailtrigger.adm


To install these administrative templates you'll want to open your Group Policy Management Editor. If you don't have this please refer to my previous posts for installation instructions. Navigate to the Group Policy Object where you plan on configuring these settings. Right Click and Edit the GPO.



Now, drill down under User Configuration, Policies and Right-Click Administrative Templates and select Add/Remove Templates. Browse to the directory where you extracted the .adm templates (check under your region, in my case: en_us) and select all the templates. 


Next add the junk mail specific .adm files as well just as above.


You can either create your own safe senders list in notepad in the following format:
address@whatever.com
address2@whatever.com
etc.

or use Outlook to generate it if you please and export the list.

You must be sure to save this list, no matter how you generate it, in a file location that is accessible to all users that you are deploying this setting.

Then Navigate in group policy to setting under:
User Configuration, Administrative Templates, Classic Administrative Templates (ADM), Microsoft Outlook xxxx, Outlook Options, Preferences, Junk E-mail.


Enable the "Trigger to Apply junk email settings" setting.
Then edit the "Specify path to Safe Senders" setting and enter your path to your list as well as enable the setting.


In addition, if you leave the setting "Overwrite or Append Junk Mail Import List" to not configured you will just be appending the list your users maintain (if they maintain one at all). I prefer this setting to leave the users with some freedom.


In theory, your support calls for "missing email" and complaints about legitimate mail being sent to their junk folder should subside. I hopes this saves you as much time and energy as it does with me.


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