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MIT's email service provider, Microsoft 365, scans all incoming email messages before they are delivered to your mailbox. Messages identified as "high confidence phishing" threats are held in Microsoft's quarantine. Other messages identified as spam or phishing are delivered to your Junk Email folder, where they are deleted after 30 days.

Quarantined Messages

To view messages held in quarantine, visit and log in through Touchstone.

When messages are quarantined, users will be notified by email from See Identifying Quarantine Messages from Microsoft.

To review messages that are being held in quarantine:

  1. Visit
    1. If you are not already logged in to MIT's Microsoft 365, you will be prompted to sign in.
    2. Under "Email and Collaboration" click Review
    3. Click on the Quarantine tile.
      Result: Your quarantined messages will display.


  • Messages identified as "high confidence phishing" cannot be released from quarantine by the end user. Clicking the "request release" link will open a support request with IS&T, who will review the request and take appropriate action.
  • Messages that fail DMARC or SPF authentication protocols will not be approved for release.
  • Released messages are sent to your inbox, but will also remain in your quarantine list for a period of time; you do not need to submit another request for release.

Junk Email

Messages identified as spam, phishing (other than “high confidence phishing”), or other types of “junk” are delivered to your Junk Email folder.

The following actions can be taken in Outlook on messages delivered to the Junk Email folder:

  • Block Sender routes future messages from this sender to Junk Email
  • Never Block Sender allows messages from this sender to route to the inbox
  • [Mark as] Not Junk moves the message to the inbox
  • Permanently Delete removes the message

The Microsoft phishing filter takes precedence over any user-set Safe senders and domains. Messages identified by Microsoft as phishing will be directed to the Junk Email folder automatically. Messages identified by Microsoft as “high confidence” phishing will be held in quarantine.

For those who forward their MIT email to another service, messages marked as spam will be delivered to the forwarding address, where they will be handled according to the receiving system’s rules.

Block and Allow Lists

Your block/allow lists identify known good and bad senders to ensure you receive the mail you want and do not receive messages from senders you do not want to get. You must enable automatic filtering of junk email in order to use the block and allow list features. To manage these lists:

1. Visit Outlook on the Web at and login.
2. Top-right Gear Icon
3. Under Settings on your left navigation click Junk email

  • Allowed recipients can be added to “Safe senders and domains,” and denied senders added to “Blocked senders and domains.”
  • Mail sent by blocked senders will be routed to your Junk Email folder.
    • Note: Don't forget to SAVE any changes you made. It may take up to 30 minutes to take effect.

M365 Spam Filtering does not allow the blocking of senders inside your organization (with an address). A workaround for this is to use Filters

For more, see: Manage blocked senders, allowed senders, and quarantined email with MIT spam filtering


See Also

Have Questions or Still Need Help?

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members

Last Modified:

April 12, 2024

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  1. Feb 19, 2019

    It is very important to note that these settings are on the exchange level and not on the application level. Any changes you make on Junk mail settings in the outlook app or other mail apps apply after it the mail has passed through As such, it is still important to go to to update your settings so the spam filter can read your global settings set in exchange for what emails are on your allow/block list.

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