Office 365 Groups & Spam

Copper Contributor

Because Groups do not have folders in Outlook, can anyone tell me what happens to mail marked as spam sent to 365 Group address when configured to not "Send copies of group conversations and events to group members' inboxes" or notifications disabled when rules are in-place?

26 Replies

@Rivera Foster wrote:

Because Groups do not have folders in Outlook,


TR: Group mailboxes have complete sets of folders. The inbox is used for conversations, but the other folders are there.


can anyone tell me what happens to mail marked as spam sent to 365 Group address when configured to not "Send copies of group conversations and events to group members' inboxes" or notifications disabled when rules are in-place?


TR: Spam is dealt with like for any other mailbox. If a message exceeds the spam level, it is rejected and ends up in the Junk Email folder. If it is under, it goes into the Inbox.


Thanks Tony for the response. Can you also tell me how to access those folders as they do not appear in Outlook. Thanks for your help.

You can't get to them with a client. But you can check to see what's there by running the Get-MailboxFolderStatistics cmdlet against a group mailbox.

And even though we've repeatedly tried to bring this issue to Microsoft's attention (I know I have spammed few people several times), there is no supported option to check on those messages. Best you can do is run a message trace or get the folder stats as Tony suggested. But for actually getting the message, things are trickier - you either have to play with mailbox searches or use unsupported workarounds such as opening the Group as additional mailbox in OWA.

Thank you gentlemen for your replies.
If you have a UserVoice post, link it here and I'll upvote

I suppose that if you really wanted to eliminate messages held in the Junk Email folder of a group mailbox, you could run a content search limited to the folder id of Junk Email and then execute a soft-delete action against the results of that search. All in PowerShell, naturally [see chapter 19 of "Office 365 for IT Pros" if you want to find out how to do this kind of thing...]


Otherwise, I would simply leave the items to rot in the Junk Email folder. They don't do any harm there because no user can get to them.

Unless it's that very important message you know your customer/colleague sent but you cannot find anywhere... The least they can do is put some sort of notification that there are messages in other folders, as this does not only affect Junk, but Clutter, Deleted Items, etc...

How likely is it that an important message from a customer or colleague would be classified as junk?


In any case, a content search can always recover such a message...

In my experience - likely enough. It was one of the common cases that hit our helpdesk back in the day. Even with user mailboxes, it was common enough (and surprising) as many users never ever seem to check any folder other than Inbox. But at least for user mailbox the instructions were easy enough to follow as end user, for Group it's an admin level operation (or complicated EWSEditor steps). Clutter was causing similar issues.


Anyway, doesn't look like MS is putting any effort at all into improving the "mailbox" part of Groups, so it looks like we will be stuck with all the limitations for the foreseeable future.

We just ran into this same issue, an application (Drupal) sends mail to a group. The mail is not visible and is also not forwarded to the subscribers.



Isn´t it a option to prevent e-mails going in the junk mail folder?

E.g. configure a transport-rule to adjust the scl to 0 for group mailbox recipients.

Or configure the quarantine function for spam mails and work with qurantine notification mails.

There are certainly options, if you are at all aware that Groups have Junk e-mail folders. That's my point here - Microsoft should at least make it clear that this can happen.

@TonyRedmond this is happening to us right now.  I set up a Group email, to use as Freshdesk's support email, but emails from Freshdesk's verification system don't come through.  I've enabled external communications, and Freshdesk support staff have gotten through, but the verification system test message gets lost every time - and I can't check the group's junk folder.

@artamov Well, a simple test would be to check the number of messages in the Junk email folder in the group mailbox before the verification message is sent and after. If the number increases, it's probably due to the message being directed to Junk email.


If this is the case, there's got to be something in the message that causes EOP to consider it spam. Maybe you can get a copy of a message (delivered to another mailbox) and examine its headers to see what the issue might be. And if verification messages can't be delivered to other mailboxes in your tenant, then you know that there's something in the message that is causing a real problem. At that point, I'd ask Freshdesk what's going on. 


It's hard to say anything else without access to the tenant... And I'm not a support service!

Yup same here, we just finished getting users to self service shared mailbox needs with outlook groups and then BOOM find out email is missing with NO WAY to get to it. Totally unacceptable is only nice thing I can say about that. Microsoft should auto disable junk email boxes for Outlook groups or here is a wild idea, allow ALL mail folders to be tree visable in the groups branch as thats what people want anyways.

@Eric2XUYeah, same here. Extremely frustrating.

Just got complaints that a Office365 group is mostly empty. Turns out the mails do get delivered to the users inboxes nicely, some inboxes marks them as spam. But not a single trace of the mail in the group inbox. It's like it's never been received. I did get a copy to my inbox (not spam), another user got a copy in the spam folder. But nothing is visible in the group whatsoever. (Also dunno why it referes to a distribution list, it's a 365 group, with default setting "Send copies of ..." set to true,  with a Teams Area so...). Only about 1/10 mails are visible in the inbox, the rest only seems to exists in the users inboxes/spam folders. Frustrating!



@Rivera Foster  WOW. This is the exact same issue we are trying to resolve. We have Office 365 through GoDaddy and I'm online with GoDaddy support right now.  We have emails missing from our group mailbox but they are in our Inbox.   This is crazy. Please, if anyone at least finds some sort of workaround it would be much appreciated.

Almost 5 years later and this is still an issue. Of course I just found out the hard way. Several legitimate, important, time sensitive emails were missed as they have been delivered to the invisible "Junk" folder. We only found out after angry customers contacted us via. another means asking why we are not responding. Doing a content search was the only way I was able to see the folder that the message was delivered too as the normal message trace just shows the message as delivered.