Email classified as spam is delivered to the users' inbox

Issue encountered

Emails are correctly classified as spam by GFI MailEssentials, but the configured action is not taking place. The email is delivered to the users' inbox instead of the junk folder.


GFI MailEssentials stamps an email as spam and passes it to be processed by the Microsoft Exchange Server. Some issues may happen during email transport to the user, for example:

  • Microsoft Exchange misinterprets or ignores the GFI MailEssentials stamp.
  • Microsoft Outlook misprocesses the instruction received by the Microsoft Exchange server.

Possible solutions

Resolving this issue depends on how GFI MailEssentials is deployed and the action set in the configuration.

Environment Action Solution
GFI MailEssentials installed on a separated server from Microsoft Exchange Exchange junk email folder
GFI MailEssentials installed on the Microsoft Exchange server Exchange mailbox sub-folder

To determine the root cause, launch the Microsoft Exchange Message Tracking and search for any of the emails flagged as spam that are not going to junk:

  • If Microsoft Exchange shows that the email went to junk, check if there is an Microsoft Outlook rule that interferes with this action.
  • If Microsoft Exchange shows it went to the inbox, check your Microsoft Exchange configuration.
GFI MailEssentials installed on the Microsoft Exchange server Exchange junk email folder

Step 1: Enable Junk Email Filtering in OWA (All Microsoft Exchange versions)

Step 2: Check account and auto-discovery (Microsoft Exchange 2010 or later)

  1. Confirm that a dedicated user is configured correctly for this feature. For more information refer to Set a Microsoft® Exchange account.
  2. Refer to for further information.