Enable Mail Filtering in Windows Live Mail Desktop

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 24, 2007
Updated • Mar 19, 2014
Email, Microsoft Outlook

Enigma, a regular visitor of my blog, asked if there was a way to stop pdf spam from appearing in his Windows Live Mail Desktop software. I decided to investigate the matter and take a look at it. Windows Live Mail Desktop is basically a mail client like Thunderbird or Microsoft Outlook integrating with several other Microsoft applications such as Windows Live Messenger or Live Spaces.

There is no obvious way to add mail filters to Windows Live Mail Desktop. The only menu that I was able to find at the beginning was E-mail safety options which manages whitelists, blacklists and digital signatures. No sign of mail filters though.

However, after enabling All Menus from the toolbar I was able to spot the Message Rules menu in the Tools menu which turned out to be exactly what I was looking for. Microsoft in their drive to make their new application look clean as hell hid many features and settings including the message rules.

If you want to filter .pdf files automatically you will have to create a new mail message rule. Click on 'Where the message body contains specific words' and on 'Where the message has an attachment'. Now click on 'contains specific words' in the 'To edit this description..' form and add '.pdf' there.

Now select an action for this message rule. I would suggest you move it to a newly created folder to take a look at the filtered messages once a week or so to make sure that only pdf spam was moved to it. If that is correct you can delete the contents as usual.

Select a name like 'pdf spam' and save the message filter. This method works for other file types as well of course, just add (or replace) another file extension and save the new rule so that Live Mail obeys it from that moment on.


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  1. rambo said on December 20, 2009 at 1:44 am

    thanks so much for your info – i was wondering where filters were in windows live mail.


  2. Enigma said on September 24, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    Thanks for that, but i would just like to point out this will not work for windows live mail(hotmail to most) but will work for any pop3 mail that comes in, which is a shame for me as thats where all my crappy pdf spam is lol

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