4 Effective Email Spam Filter Tools

It is amazing how much spam ends up at my work email address. At least I’m assuming it’s spam—I can’t imagine that that many Eastern European women really want to marry me. The email spam filter at my work does a pretty good job, but it certainly doesn’t catch everything.

I never get spam in my personal Gmail account (thanks, Google!). And while I don’t spend a lot of time deleting spam from my work email, I do have to do it. – and it annoys me. It annoys me a lot. Especially the offensive, raunchy stuff. In the three minutes or so it has taken me to write this, three spam emails have appeared in my junk email folder. Sheesh.

Depending on the email service you use, there are ways to change your settings to strengthen or weaken your spam filter. Another way to help is to download spam filtering software onto your computer. There are lots of these filters out there; here are my suggestions for saving yourself some time and grief:

  • POPFile: Works for Windows and Mac
  • SPAMfighter: Windows only. The most recent version works with Outlook 2010 and Thunderbird 3.1
  • MailWasher PRO: Windows only. After 9 years, this software has gotten an update this year
  • SpamSieve: Mac only. It’s not the coolest looking interface, but it works

Do you have a spam problem? Do you have spam filtering software that you really like? Please share in the comments.

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Melanie Brooks has written for newspapers, magazines, blogs, and websites from Maine to New Jersey. She currently works as an editor for Bangor Metro and Maine Ahead magazines.


  1. Josh Arguello on the 20th September

    What about when you’re on an Exchange Server at an office and you’re STILL getting spam…? is there anything I can do at my workstation since I cannot install anything on the exchange server?

    • Melanie Brooks on the 21st September

      Do you have an IT person who works at your office? Let them know you are getting too much spam and see if they can up your filter.

  2. Egal0 on the 21st September

    I have exactly the same problem. No spam at gmail, lots of spam on business address. I’ve created some custom filters in cPanel and so I don’t receive those emails that came from myself or from fixed addresses. Now I receive only the emails that come from random, one-use, email adresses.

    I’m working on Linux (Ubuntu) both home and office. Could you recommend any spam filters for Thunderbird under Linux?

  3. Paul Rubin on the 22nd September

    +1 for POPFile. @Josh: POPFile runs on your PC and works on anything that gets past whatever spam filters your server has. @Egal0: POPFile is cross-platform; I use it on both Windows and Linux (Mint, which is based on Ubuntu).

    In my experience, POPFile learns pretty quickly and is fairly accurate. It’s easy to correct a misclassification, too, particularly if you use IMAP (just drag the message to the spam folder or from the spam folder back to the inbox, and POPFile will understand that as a reclassification). Setup requires a modicum of technical skill, though. BTW, it’s free (my favorite price).

  4. Aubrey on the 28th July

    POPFile – I just installed it on my Linux Mint 11 (similar to Ubuntu) and I do not know how to use it for Thunderbird. Will restart Thunderbird or the computer to see how this new thing works.

    Any hint is appreciated.

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