Hotmail problems - ensure you receive our emails
The information on this page is accurate to the best of our knowledge. If in any doubt, contact your email provider.
If you use a HOTMAIL address you may already be a victim of the "Hotmail Black Hole" without even realizing it.
You probably assume you receive all emails sent to you, even if some of them go into your spam/junk folder. But it is a little-known fact that Hotmail regularly deletes incoming emails without telling either the sender or addressee. These emails are NOT placed in your spam folder. This is a side effect of their aggressive anti-spam processing.
Spam is a big problem, and without these measures there would be a lot more of it for us to wade through. Every day Hotmail deletes millions of spam emails in this way. But it also deletes some legitimate emails by mistake. The sender and addressee will probably never know this happened. Have you ever made an enquiry online and received no response? If so, it’s entirely possible there actually was a reply - but it disappeared into the Black Hole. You are left wondering why that business never bothered to answer your enquiry. Meanwhile they are wondering why you suddenly lost interest and ignored their reply!
A sender (us) can’t tell Hotmail not to delete emails (that would defeat the point of anti-spam systems!) But the addressee (you) can…
Tell Hotmail NOT to delete your legitimate emails by adding the sender to your "Safe Senders" list…
The following instructions apply to Hotmail. Other free email systems have similar features but may use different terminology. There is lots of help available online including YouTube demos.
1. Log into your Hotmail account using a web browser…
Not sure what a web browser is? It’s the software you’re using right now to view this web page. The most popular browsers are Internet Explorer (on Windows), Safari (on Mac) and Chrome. If this is the way you usually access your email, log in as usual.
Other people use an email program on their computer to manage their email. The most common examples are Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express and Mac Mail. They have completely different menus and buttons from a web browser, so the difference should be obvious.
If this is how you usually manage your emails, you MUST use a web browser this time. Your email program will certainly have its own spam filtering options – but these will NOT prevent Hotmail from deleting your emails. Hotmail will continue to delete emails before they can be downloaded to your computer. So to follow these instructions, you need to use a browser to access the Hotmail system itself, not update the spam filter in your email software on your own computer.
2. Navigate to your Safe Senders list…
Near the top right of your Hotmail page there should be a small symbol that looks like a cog. Click this and a list will drop down. Click on Options. On the page that opens next, click on Safe and Blocked Senders. Then click Safe Senders.
3. Add us to your Safe Senders list…
Your existing Safe Senders list should appear on the right side of the next page. (There will probably already be a lot of items in the list because Hotmail updates it behind the scenes when you mark something in your junk folder as Safe.)
On the left of the page is a box for you to type in a Sender or domain to mark as safe.
A sender is an email address - eg firstname.lastname@example.org
A domain is the bit after @ - eg swimmingbydesign.co.uk
Or the @ may be required – @swimmingbydesign.co.uk
We recommend you enter our domain name - swimmingbydesign.co.uk - to ensure you receive email from any of our email addresses in the future.
If you are using a different email service that requires full email addresses instead of domains then enter email@example.com
Click on the add to list button to add us to the list on the right.
That’s it! You have told Hotmail that when we send you emails they are not spam, so Hotmail shouldn’t arbitrarily delete them.
You will probably want to add other senders to your Safe Senders list. We hope this information has been useful to you.