- Everyone knows that one of the most annoying aspects of sending and receiving emails is when you get spam mail.
- That is why we've decided to create this list of email spam filters that you can try.
- For more information about emailing, visit our dedicated Email Hub.
- However, if software lists are what you are looking for, check out our Software page instead.
In a world where billions of emails are being sent every day, various threats can attack your inbox. One of the biggest, if not the biggest, problem of all email addresses owners is the huge amount of spam they receive every day. Therese’s nothing more annoying than receiving an offer ‘for purchasing a gold mine for affordable prices’ when you’re expecting some important email.
Additionally, spam mail can be extremely dangerous, as some of these emails often carry malicious software that can be installed on your computer simply by opening that email. So it’s clear, spam mail is the biggest enemy of everyone with an email address and we need to improve our spam detecting techniques.
There are various ways of fighting spam, but perhaps the most effective one is using dedicated software for that. So, we’ve decided to present you our list of the best spam filters you can use on Windows, to keep your email inbox safe and clean. And it gets even better, all these programs are available for free!
What are the best free email spam filters that I can use?
Topping off our list is not a spam filer per se, but an email client that comes with ones already built into it.
While this feature itself is not that uncommon among modern-day email clients, eM Client’s spam filter stands out because it is one of the best, if not the best, in the world.
What makes it so great is not the fact that it blocks the spam itself, but the fact that you can tailor the spam filter’s settings to suit various scenarios and your needs.
More so, these settings can be later revised if you changed your mind about a source of emails and no longer want to flag them as spam.
eM ClientTry out this fantastic email client and set the Spam Filter settings to whatever suits your needs most so that you can avoid annoying messages.
Spamfence is one of the most effective spam filters you can find. This tool is a great option, simply because it uses a ‘complex’ mechanism that involves two email addresses in the process of getting rid of spam messages.
So, how does it work? When you sign up with Spamfence, you create a new email address, after that, and submit both your current, spam-riddled address and the new one to the service.
After that, all mail from your main account is being forwarded to Spamfence filters, where the service checks if any message is spam, and then sends approved messages to a secondary email, which is protected from spambots.
You’ll be notified about any spam mail, and you’ll have full control over it.
Besides providing an effective way of filtering spam from your email, Spamfence also provides free virus security. So, this program won’t even keep you safe from spam, it will also prevent spreading malicious software through mail.
POPFile is another powerful POP and NNTP proxy. You can use this tool to effectively filter your email address from spam messages. This software works on the principle of classification, as you can create as many mail categories as you want.
Of course, by default, categories are spam and not spam, as mail from the spam category go through, and the other one doesn’t. However, you can create your own, custom categories, like work, personal, important project, hobby, and sort mail into each category.
POPFile uses Bayes algorithm to classify messages, which means it uses statistics to determine which words are likely to appear in which messages.
But before POPFile starts effectively protecting your email from spam, you need to train it first, to ‘tell’ it which messages should be marked as spam. So before start using POPFile, make sure you set it up.
Once you’ve ‘trained’ POPFile, it should automatically get rid of any unwanted mail you receive.
Spamihilator is perhaps the best solution if you mainly receive your mail through desktop clients, like Outlook for Windows 10, Mozilla Thunderbird, etc. This program runs alongside your email client for desktop, and successfully removes any unwanted email of your choice.
You can also train Spamihilator for more successful filtering. It contains a special feature called Training area, where you simply mark certain messages as spam.
Based on your decisions in the Training area, Spamihilator will further remove messages from the same sender, or of a similar kind. The more you use Training area to filter spam, the more effective it becomes.
Spamihilator also supports various plugins, which you can download to improve filtering even more. There are some additional options, as well, like the ability to filter links. The program, along with all plugins, is completely free to download and use.
If your email service is Google’s Gmail, you basically don’t need any spam filter at all, because this service has all it takes to keep your inbox clean. In Gmail, you have the ability to manually mark any email as spam, and prevent it from appearing in your inbox anymore.
Once you mark an email as spam, it will be automatically transferred to the spam section of Gmail, and future messages from that sender won’t make it to your main inbox, as well.
You also have the option to unsubscribe from receiving email from a certain sender, which is extremely useful if you’ve accidentally subscribed to some newsletters and promotional offers.
Here’s how to handle spam mail in Gmail:
- When you receive an unwanted mail, open it in Gmail
- Now, just click on the exclamation mark icon, that says “Report spam” from the toolbar
- Click on Report spam & unsubscribe
- And just click OK
Of course, marking each email individually can be exhausting, and time-consuming, but you’ll disable it forever. So, if you don’t receive a lot of spam mail, Gmail’s built-in option is the best solution, but if you do, try some of the programs from this list.
MailWasher is a simple spam-filtering service for POP3, IMAP or webmail email address. You just need to connect it with your email account, and filter unwanted messages. Of course, it will require some work first, until you filter a certain amount of mail.
But since MailWasher also uses Bayesian algorithm, it will remember your choices, and do further filtering automatically, based on your decisions.
The program is very simple to use, as you have just two options – spam and good. So, just check emails you want to get rid of, mark them as spam, and you’re good to go.
MailWasher also has a premium version, that of course, you need to pay for. But in our opinion, the free version contains all you need to keep your inbox clean.
However, it limits you to just one email account, but if you’re a regular user, that shouldn’t be a problem. If you want to add more than one account, and have some customization options, consider buying the paid version of MailWasher.
SpamBayes is another email filtering program that uses Bayesian statistics to get rid of unwanted mail in your inbox. This filter for POP and IMAP mail accounts plugs in directly into Outlook, and Mozilla Thunderbird, so installation on these clients is quite easy.
However, there are some less popular email clients that don’t support direct SpamBytes plugin, so installation on these clients might be tricky.
Just like it’s the case with the majority of spam filters from this list, SpamBytes uses the Bayesian method to learn from your decisions, and automatically filter unwanted mail.
The program also provides full analysis of all spam messages, so you can have further insight into what you’re actually marking as unwanted mail.
That’s about it for our list of the best spam-filtering software for your inbox. Do you agree with it? Have something to add? Let us know in the comments.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2016 and has been since revamped and updated in August 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.