Control Outlook 2007 Junk Mail Settings via GPO

If you do a web search for setting up a Group Policy for controlling Outlook 2007 junk mail settings (specifically adding a global Safe Senders or Safe Recipients list) you’ll find a ton of links, spanning several years and pointing to posts, KB articles and other blogs. This is how I got it to work for me. And yes, you still need on extra registry key that’s not in the template settings.

Goal: Append a global list of “Safe Senders” to each users existing list in Outlook 2007.

Scenario: We have an Windows 2003 domain, Exchange 2003 and Outlook 2007 deployed on Windows XP.

  1. Create a file called “safesenders.txt” in a shared location that is accessible to all users.
  2. Access Group Policy Management Editor from a Vista or Windows 7 machine so Group Policy Preferences can be used.
  3. Install the administration templates for Office 2007. (These were already in our system from when a co-worker deployed Office 2007.)
  4. Create or edit a policy to control Microsoft Office or Outlook.
  5. Go to “User Configuration – Policies – Administrative Templates – Classic Administrative Templates – Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 – Tools Options… – Preferences – Junk E-mail”
  6. Disable “Overwrite or Append Junk Mail Import List”. If you enable this policy, the users existing personal list will be overwritten with the common list. (You’d think there would be something that let’s you select overwrite or append, but instead enable = overwrite, disable = append.)
  7. Enable “Specify path to Safe Senders list” and include the path to your common file.

  8. In the same GPO, go to “User Configuration – Preferences – Windows Settings – Registry”. (You don’t have to use the same GPO, but I did to keep things all together. Also, GPO processing happens faster if you have less of them overall.)
  9. Create a key under “HKEY_CURRENT_USER” for “Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook\Options\Mail” with the value of “JunkMailImportLists”, dword=1

Once the policy is pushed out to your clients, you should see your additions to the safe senders in Outlook.

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