How to Set Spam Email Filters in Yahoo Mail

By Zicheng Ren

Spam emails disturb your daily life and might contain viruses that can steal information from your computer. Yahoo mail allows you to set up spam filters in the Settings section to prevent harmful emails from going directly into your Inbox; instead, they are moved to the spam folder using a filter that searches for particular content, such as a sender's email address, a URL domain or domain name and sensitive keywords for the email's title and body. You can add, edit or remove spam filters in the Settings.

Filter Emails Into the Spam Folder

Step 1

Log on to your Yahoo mail account and hover your mouse over the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the account page. Choose **Settings** from the drop-down list.

Step 2

Make sure the Mail version in the Viewing email section is switched to **Full featured** in order to enable the Filters settings. Filters do not work in the Basic version.

Step 3

Locate the Filters section and click the **Add** button to set up a spam email filter.

Step 4

Type a name for the new spam email filter in the Filter Name box. Taking travel agency-related spam as an example, type "Travel" in the Filter Name field. In the drop-down lists for each condition, choose either "contains," "begins with," "ends with" or "does not contain." In the text fields next to the option, fill in the words you want the filter to check. If the case of the word is important, check "Match case" so the filter looks for only the lowercased or capitalized version of the word. Choose the folder into which the filter moves messages that meet these conditions and click **Save.**

Step 5

Choose a spam filter from the list of filters in effect and click the up arrow button to move that spam filter above other filters. The purpose of this step is to filter the emails that contain this specific type of spam into the spam folder as a first priority instead of distributing spam emails to other folders. For example, you might get travel-related spam emails in your Family folder if they also meet the Family filter requirements and the Family filter is at the top of the list. The spam emails would be filtered into the Family folder instead of the Travel folder. Remember that you need to do this step only if you have several filters and you want to order them by importance.

Step 6

Check that the filters are in the order you want and click **Save** to confirm the changes.

Edit and Delete Filters

Step 1

Hover your mouse over the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the account page. Choose **Settings** from the drop-down list.

Step 2

Click a spam filter from the filter list in the Filters section and click the **Remove** button to eliminate it. You can also click the **Edit** button to modify the settings for the spam filter.

Step 3

Click **Save** to apply the changes.

Tips & Warnings

  • You might still get spam in your Inbox from time to time even after the spam filter has been set. If you notice this happening, try to categorize the type of emails that are getting through your filters and set up an extra filter to handle them, using the senders' addresses and keywords from the subject lines and bodies of the emails to form the new filter.
  • In addition, check your spam filter rules to make sure that two or more filters aren't in conflict. For example, you may have a filter that sends emails with the word "opportunity" to one folder, intending to root out make-money-quick schemes, and "travel" to another folder, intending to root out airline advertisements. If you get an email with "travel opportunity" in it, the filters may conflict and you may not get the email in the folder you expected.
  • Some keywords are used commonly in subject lines. For example, you could get spam emails with the subject "Hi" and legitimate emails from friends or family with the subject "Hi." If you set up filters with keywords that are too common, you could send too many messages to spam. Try to choose words that are unique to the spam messages you receive.
  • Check your spam folders regularly in case some of your legitimate emails are erroneously ending up there. Before deleting entire folders, retrieve emails that are not spam and mark them "Not Spam" to move them out of the spam folder; and don't forget to fine-tune the filter.