Applies to: Exchange Server 2013
Topic Last Modified: 2012-10-03
Safelist aggregation refers to anti-spam functionality that's shared from Microsoft Outlook to Microsoft Exchange Server 2013. This functionality collects data from the Safe Recipients Lists, Safe Senders Lists, Blocked Senders Lists, and contact data that Outlook users configure, and makes this data available to the Exchange anti-spam agents. Safelist aggregation can help reduce the instances of false-positives in anti-spam filtering performed by the Exchange servers where the anti-spam agents are running.
What do you need to know before you begin?
- Estimated time to complete each procedure: 45 minutes
- You need to be assigned permissions before you can perform this
procedure or procedures. To see what permissions you need, see the
"Recipient Provisioning Permissions" section in the Recipients
Permissions topic, and the "Anti-spam features" section in the
Anti-Malware Permissions topic.
- You can't use the Exchange admin center (EAC) to perform this
procedure. You can only use the Shell.
- By default, anti-spam features aren't enabled in the Transport
service on a Mailbox server. Typically, you only enable the
anti-spam features on a Mailbox server if your Exchange
organization doesn't do any prior anti-spam filtering before
accepting incoming messages. For more information, see Enable Anti-Spam
Functionality on a Mailbox Server.
- Be mindful of the network and replication traffic that may be
generated when you run the Update-SafeList cmdlet. Running
the command on multiple mailboxes where safelists are heavily used
may generate a significant amount of traffic. We recommend that if
you run the command on multiple mailboxes, you should run the
command during off-peak, non-business hours.
- For information about keyboard shortcuts that may apply to the
procedures in this topic, see Keyboard Shortcuts in
the Exchange Admin Center.
What do you want to do?
Use the Shell to configure the mailbox safelist collection limits
You can configure the maximum number of safe senders and blocked senders a user can configure. By default, users can configure up to 5,000 safe senders and 500 blocked senders.
To configure the maximum number of safe senders and blocked senders, run the following command:
Set-Mailbox <MailboxIdentity> -MaxSafeSenders <Integer> -MaxBlockedSenders <Integer>
This example configures the mailbox email@example.com to have a maximum of 2,000 safe senders and 200 blocked senders.
Set-Mailbox firstname.lastname@example.org -MaxSafeSenders 2000 -MaxBlockedSenders 200
How do you know this worked?
To verify that you have successfully configured the mailbox safelist collection limits, do the following:
- Run the following command:
Get-Mailbox <Identity> | Format-List Name,Max*Senders
- Verify the values displayed match the values you
Use the Shell to run the Update-Safelist command
In Exchange 2013, safelist aggregation is done automatically, so you don't need to schedule or manually run the Update-Safelist cmdlet. However, you may want to occasionally run this cmdlet to test safelist aggregation.
This example writes the safe senders list for the mailbox email@example.com to Active Directory.
Update-Safelist firstname.lastname@example.org -Type SafeSenders
For detailed syntax and parameter information, see Update-SafeList.
How do you know this worked?
To verify that you have successfully configured safelist aggregation, perform the following steps:
Step 1: Use the Shell to verify the Content Filter agent is enabled on the Exchange server
- Run the following command:
Get-ContentFilterConfig | Format-List Enabled
- If the output shows the Enabled parameter to be
True, content filtering is enabled. If it isn't, run the following command to enable content filtering and the Content Filter agent on the Exchange server:
Set-ContentFilterConfig -Enabled $true
Step 2: (Optional) Use ADSI Edit to verify replication of the safelist aggregation data to Edge Transport servers
This step is only required if you run the Content Filter agent on an Edge Transport server in your perimeter network.
You can view the user objects in the Active Lightweight Directory Services (AD LDS) instance on the Edge Transport server to verify that the safelist collection data is updated for the user objects and that the Microsoft Exchange EdgeSync service has replicated the data to the AD LDS instance.
There are three safelist collection attributes for each user object:
- msExchSafeRecipientsHash This attribute
stores the hash of the Safe Recipients List collection for the
- msExchSafeSendersHash This attribute
stores the hash of the Safe Senders List collection for the
- msExchBlockedSendersHash This attribute
stores the hash of the Blocked Senders List collection for the
If a hexadecimal string, such as
0xac 0xbd 0x03
0xca, is present on the attribute, the user object was
updated. If the attribute has a value of
Set>, the attribute wasn't updated.
You can search for and view the attributes by using the AD LDS Active Directory Service Interfaces (ADSI) Edit snap-in.
Step 3: Send a test message to verify safelist aggregation is working
To test whether safelist aggregation is functioning, you need to send yourself a message from a safe sender that would otherwise be blocked by content filtering. If safelist aggregation is functioning, the message should arrive in your Inbox.
- Find an existing external email account to use, or create an
email account at a free web-based email provider like Microsoft
- Add that account to your Safe Senders List in Microsoft
- Use the Update-SafeList cmdlet to have the safelist
collection from that mailbox copied to Active Directory.
- Optional: if you are running the Content Filter agent on an
Edge Transport server in the perimeter network, run the
Start-EdgeSynchronization cmdlet to force EdgeSync
- Add a specific word as a blocked phrase to your content
filtering configuration. For detailed steps, see Manage Content
- From the external email account in step 1, send a message to
your Exchange mailbox that includes the blocked phrase you
configured in step 5.
If the message is successfully delivered to your Inbox, safelist aggregation is working correctly.