Technology Support Center

Administrative Technologies

Setting up a whitelist filter in Thunderbird

Set up a whitelist filter in Thunderbird to prevent [SPAM_ISU] messages from trusted sources from being delivered to your Junk folder.

Before You Begin

The spam filtering system at Illinois State University evaluates incoming email messages to determine whether or not they are spam. Emails from known spammers is blocked, and messages which are suspected of being spam are flagged as [SPAM_ISU] and are delivered to your Junk folder.

As you review email in your Junk folder, you may occasionally discover that legitimate messages (non-spam) have been flagged as [SPAM_ISU].

Using message filters in Thunderbird, you can whitelist email from trusted sources so those messages are put in your Inbox instead of your Junk folder. The messages will still be tagged as [SPAM_ISU], but they will be put in your Inbox rather than your Junk folder.

Whitelist Filters in Thunderbird

There are two ways you can create a whitelist filter in Thunderbird.

  • If you use Thunderbird's address book, you can create a whitelist filter that prevents messages from being placed in the Junk folder so long as the sender's email address is in your address book.
     
  • If you would rather create a whitelist filter that simply allows you to specify email addresses and domains that you trust, you can do that instead.

Set Up a Whitelist Filter Based on Your Address Book

To set up a whtielist filter in Thunderbird that is based on your address book, do the following:

  1. Open Thunderbird.
  2. Make sure your personal address book in Thunderbird contains the email addresses you would like to whitelist.
  3. Click Tools
  4. Click Message Filters.
  5. Click New.
  6. Enter Whitelist My Personal Address Book as the Filter name:
  7. Under Apply filter when, check the box Manually Run.
  8. Check the box Getting New Mail.
  9. Select Filter after Junk Classification from the drop down box.
  10. Select From in the first drop down box.
  11. Verify Match all of the following is selected.
  12. Select From in the first drop down box.
  13. Select is in my address book in the second drop down box.
  14. Verify Personal Address Book is selected.
  15. Under Perform these actions, verify Move Messages to is selected.
  16. In the second drop down box, scroll over your email address and select Inbox.
  17. Click OK.
  18. Close the Message Filters window.
  19. Locate the Junk folder in your folder list. Right-click on Junk and select Properties.
  20. Do one of the following:
    • In Thunderbird for Windows, put a check mark next to the option, When getting new messages for this account, always check this folder.
    • In Thunderbird for Mac OS X, click the General Information tab. Then put a check mark next to Check this folder for new messages.

Set Up a Whitelist Filter Based on Specific Addresses or Domains

To set up a whtielist filter in Thunderbird that is based on specific addresses or domains, do the following:

  1. Open Thunderbird.
  2. Click Tools.
  3. Click Message Filters.
  4. Click New.
  5. Enter Whitelist as the Filter name:
  6. Under Apply filter when, check the box Manually Run.
  7. Check the box Getting New Mail.
  8. Select Filter after Junk Classification from the drop down box.
  9. Select From in the first drop down box.
  10. Verify contains is selected.
  11. Enter an email address or a domain in the text box to the right.
    • Example email address: rrredbi@ilstu.edu
    • Example domain: @ilstu.edu
    • Please note that you should avoid adding large or popular domains such as @gmail.com or @hotmail.com to your whitelist filter because of the sheer number of email addresses associated with those domains and because there is no way for you to be sure that spam messages will not be sent by addresses that use those domains. However, you could still add specific email addresses form those domains (example: rrredbi@gmail.com).
  12. To add additional email addresses or domains, click the plus sign (+) button and repeat steps 9 through 11.
  13. Under Perform these actions, verify Move Messages to is selected.
  14. In the second drop down box, scroll over your email address and select Inbox.
  15. Click OK.
  16. Close the Message Filters window.
  17. Locate the Junk folder in your folder list. Right-click on Junk and select Properties.
  18. Put a check mark next to the option, When getting new messages for this account, always check this folder.
    • This will force Thunderbird to automatically apply the filter to new email messages delivered to the Junk folder.