User Spam & Phish Submissions configuration in Office 365 – Part 1

Yesterday I noticed a tweet from @Pawp81 about a new feature being rolled out in Office 365 to configure user submissions. So, let’s have a look at this. When enabling the ‘Report Message’ add-in in Office 365, users can report misclassified email, whether safe or malicious, to Microsoft and its affiliates for analysis. Until now IT admins had to deploy the ‘Report Message’ add-in to their end users by configuring the centralized add-in deployment within the Microsoft 365 admin center as described here Furthermore when IT admins wanted to receive a copy of a reported message, a transport rule had to be created as described here.

This has now all been simplified by a new user submissions policy that can be configured within the Office 365 security portal.

Policy Configuration

Under the Threat management node, select Policy.

The User Submissions Policy provides us with several configuration options:

  • Turn on Report Message add-in for Outlook – with this setting you can easily enable the Report Message add-in for all users with a single click. If you prefer to do a staged rollout, then use the process described here. Note that it can take up to 12 hours until the Report Message add-in appears within the Outlook client.
  • Set up a Reporting Mailbox – Here you can configure to send a copy of reported messages to a centralized mailbox.

  • Customize Confirmation Message – allows you to configure custom messages shown before and after the user reports messages.

End User Experience

Once the add-in is enabled within Outlook, users will see the ‘Report Message’ add-in within the Office ribbon.

And when they select Junk or Phishing, the custom before submission message is displayed.

And once submitted the custom after submission text is displayed.

At the time of writing this blog post (Sunday 19 January 2020), the reported messages weren’t yet forwarded to the specified reporting mailbox, I assume maybe because this new feature Is still in the process of being rolled out. I will follow up on that later.

When sending the reported messages to Microsoft they are send to the following e-mail addresses

More details about submitting spam and phish messages can be found here


The configuration settings for the User submission settings can be retrieved through PowerShell, by using the Get-ReportSubmissionPolicy cmdlet that’s included in the Exchange Online PowerShell Module.

3 Replies to “User Spam & Phish Submissions configuration in Office 365 – Part 1”

  1. The other interesting addition here is in Office 365 Security & Compliance > Threat Management > Submissions. In addition to the expected tabs for “Admin submissions” and “User submissions”, we also have a tab called “Custom mailbox”. I’m curious if this is related to the mailbox specified in the setup you detail in this article. Does it allow for review of submitted messages through the configured mailbox in the “Submissions” area of the security and compliance center? If so, how is this facilitated through permissions? Microsoft hasn’t updated any of their documentation related to this, but it would be a neat feature, especially for those using third-party reporting tools.

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