Microsoft Outlook spam filter seemingly shut off for many (Update)

Microsoft Outlook on Android
(Image credit: Future)

Update: February 21 at 7:55 AM ET

The Microsoft Service Status page states that Outlook should be working as usual. The original article follows.

What you need to know

  • Microsoft Outlook's spam filters stopped working for many people this morning.
  • Users affected by the issue are receiving many or all spam messages in their main inbox at the moment.
  • Microsoft has not commented on the issue at this time, but the bug appears to be affecting several users across Europe.

Microsoft Outlook has an issue right now that results in spam messages making their way into people's personal inboxes. Many have run into the bug, including myself and many others across Europe (via The Verge). Filters appear to have been shut off entirely, with malicious and unwanted messages getting through.

Outlook has a poor reputation regarding filtering spam, but the messages that have made their way through filters are particularly egregious. A quick glance at some of the inboxes shared on Twitter (1, 2, 3) shows emails that are clearly spam.

Twitter user Kristian Chelminski said that they've seem more span in their inbox for several days.

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Reports so far suggest that the issue is limited to Outlook personal accounts, but the extent of the bug is not clear at this time.

Microsoft has not shared a statement on why spam emails are going unfiltered into people's inboxes.

Windows Central take

Outlook is a fine email client and tool for managing your schedule, but its weak spot has always been spam filtering. I use Outlook daily, and the service often fails to filter spam messages while unnecessarily filtering genuine communication from friends and colleagues.

Spam emails aren't just annoying, they're also dangerous. People fall prey to email scams all the time. Users may have a false sense of security that Outlook will filter out malicious messages, so today's surge in unfiltered emails could cause significant harm.

While hiccups and bugs happen to services occasionally, today's filtering problem may be the final straw for some people.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.