SmartScreen Spam Filter Support Being Removed from Outlook and Exchange

SmartScreen Spam Filter Support Being Removed from Outlook and Exchange

Today the Microsoft Exchange Team announced the deprecation of the SmartScreen spam filter for several Outlook and Exchange Server products.

The SmartScreen Spam Filter in Outlook and Exchange and the SmartScreen Filter that is part of Windows, Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer are two different features. In Outlook and Exchange the SmartScreen Spam Filter checks each received message and assigns a Spam Confidence Level score. If that score results in that message being labeled as spam it is then moved to Outlook's Junk Folder.

It is the spam filter for Outlook and Exchange that is being deprecated by Microsoft. The consumer based SmartScreen feature in Microsoft Edge and IE remains in place with no changes associated with this announcement.

According to Microsoft this move impacts the following products:


  • 2016 for Windows
  • 2013 for Windows
  • 2010 for Windows
  • 2007 for Windows
  • 2011 for Mac

Exchange Server

  • 2016
  • 2013
  • 2010
  • 2007

Microsoft states that this feature is no longer necessary because it has been replaced by Exchange Online Protection:

"SmartScreen spam filters in Outlook and Exchange have become obsolete and have been replaced by Exchange Online Protection (EOP), a more effective cloud-based email filtering service. EOP is built into to all Office 365 and accounts and available for purchase to protect Microsoft Exchange Server (on-premises).

This spam filtering technology was first released in 2003, which provided Outlook and Exchange a content filter able to identify spam campaigns and direct them in the junk folder. As spammers have evolved and increased the volume and sophistication of their attacks, this type of spam prevention is no longer a useful way to prevent spam."

On 01 November of this year Microsoft will no longer update the spam definitions that were used by the SmartScreen Spam Filter in the above mentioned version of Outlook and Exchange. The current definitions will remain in place and offer some level of continued protection but overtime it will be come less effective as spammers change tactics.

Visit the Deprecating support for SmartScreen in Outlook and Exchange blog post for the full Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on this upcoming change.

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