GFI Software/GFI MailEssentials

GFI MailEssentials detects and blocks phishing emails, and adds email management tools to your mail server, including disclaimers, mail monitoring, Internet mail reporting, list server, server-based auto replies and POP3 downloading.

GFI MailEssentials Online documentation

The aim of this book is to provide access to important information that can help users make the best use of GFI MailEssentials. Wikibookians are therefore encouraged to update this content and/or send feedback, ideas and comments on how this documentation can be further improved via the wiki discussion board, GFI Forums, or by sending an email to

All feedback is welcome! Please contribute your topics with the above principles in mind.



The most effective way to beat spammers at their game is to use GFI MailEssentials™, a leading anti-spam solution that has won several awards.

GFI MailEssentials features not one, but two anti-spam engines to give administrators an ultra high spam capture rate out-of-the-box with minimal configuration. Incorporating multiple anti-spam modules and technologies, GFI MailEssentials not only delivers one of the highest spam capture rates in the industry, over 99%, but it is also a market leader in reducing false positives.

Shipping at a highly competitive price, GFI MailEssentials has been designed for ease-of-use. With its agile anti-spam methodologies, not only will administrators benefit from out-of-the-box filtering, but they will also gain protection from each new attack without the need to tweak GFI MailEssentials. IP reputation filtering, Bayesian filtering, greylisting, directory harvesting attack protection and other advanced anti-spam technologies are also included, ensuring the safe delivery of important emails.

GFI MailEssentials detects and blocks phishing emails, and adds email management tools to your mail server, including disclaimers, mail monitoring, Internet mail reporting, list server, server-based auto replies and POP3 downloading.

Why Choose GFI MailEssentials as Your Exchange Anti-spam Filter?

  • Thousands of installations worldwide, and winner of many awards
  • Ultra high spam detection rate (over 99%) through various anti-spam technologies
  • Ultra low rate of false positives
  • Tried and tested server-based anti-spam software at a highly competitive price
  • Support for industry-leading messaging platforms including Microsoft Exchange 2003, 2007, 2010 and Lotus Domino

How does GFI MailEssentials work?


Inboud mail filtering


Inbound mail filtering is the process through which incoming email are filtered before delivery to users. When an email is received:

  1. SMTP level filtering (Directory Harvesting and Greylist) is executed before the email body is received.
  2. When the email is received, it is checked to see if it is addressed to a list in the list server. If the email matches a list, it will be processed by the list server.
  3. The incoming email is filtered using all the spam filters. Any email that fails a spam filter check is sent to the anti spam email actions. If an email goes through all the filters and is not identified as spam, it then goes to the next stage.
  4. If configured, email is next archived to the archiving database.
  5. If configured, auto-replies are next sent to the sender.
  6. If configured, email monitoring is next executed and the appropriate actions taken.
  7. The new senders filter is now executed.
  8. Email is sent to the user’s mailbox.

Outbound mail filtering


Outbound mail filtering is the process through which email sent by users within a company is processed before it is sent out.

  1. User creates and sends email.
  2. Remote commands check executes any remote commands in email if any are found. If none are found, email goes to the next stage.
  3. Email is next checked to see if it should be archived. If archiving is enabled, email is saved in the archiving database.
  4. If configured, the applicable disclaimer is next added to the email.
  5. Email is checked for any mail monitoring which may apply and action is taken according to any rules configured.
  6. If enabled, auto-whitelist adds the recipient’s email address to the whitelist. This automatically enables replies from such recipients to go to the sender without being checked for spam. After this check, the email is sent to the recipients.

Getting Started Guide for GFI MailEssentials


The scope of this ‘Getting Started Guide’ is to help you install and run GFI MailEssentials on your network with minimum configuration effort. It describes:

  1. The various environments and email infrastructures supported by this product
  2. Guides you through the respective installation procedure
  3. Walks you through the key steps needed to get the product running on default settings.

Manual structure

The sections in this manual are ‘self contained’ and are designed to guide you through the sequence of steps needed to:

  1. Identify product prerequisites applicable to your network
  2. Prepare your environment for product installation
  3. Install/upgrade GFI MailEssentials
  4. Configure, test and run the product.

Follow the instructions for your type of network using the appropriate section in this manual. Where applicable each section contains information related to installing GFI MailEssentials on the same server as your mail server, on a mail gateway or relay/perimeter server or in a clustered environment.

The following links enables you to browse GFI MailEssentials Getting Started Guide.

Chapter 1: Introduces the Getting Started Guide.

Chapter 2: How does GFI MailEssentials work?

Chapter 3: How to install GFI MailEssentials for Microsoft Exchange 2003.

Chapter 4: How to install GFI MailEssentials for Microsoft Exchange 2007 and 2010.

Chapter 5: How to install GFI MailEssentials for Lotus Domino.

Chapter 6: How to install GFI MailEssentials for SMTP Servers.

Chapter 7: Describes the Post-install actions when installing GFI MAilEssentials.

Chapter 8: How to uninstall GFI MailEssentials.

Chapter 9: Troubleshooting.

Chapter 10: Installing MSMQ

Chapter 11: Glossary

Administration and Configuration Manual for GFI MailEssentials


This user manual is a comprehensive guide that aims to assist systems administrators in configuring and using GFI MailEssentials in the best way possible. It builds up on the instructions provided in the GFI MailEssentials ‘Getting Start Guide’ and describes the configuration settings that systems administrators must do so to achieve the best possible results out of the software

Chapter 1: Introduces the Administration and configuration manual.

Chapter 2: About GFI MailEssentials.

Chapter 3: Viewing anti-spam processing status.

Chapter 4: Routine Administration.

Chapter 5: Configuring anti-spam.

Chapter 6: Customizing other features.

Chapter 7: Customizing GFI MailEssentials setup.

Chapter 8: Miscellaneous.

Chapter 9: Troubleshooting & support.

Chapter 10: Bayesian Filtering.



This section explains how you should go about resolving issues that you might encounter while using GFI MailEssentials. The main sources of information available are:

  • The manual - most issues can be solved by reading GFI MailEssentials manual
Download product manuals from
  • GFI Knowledge Base articles
GFI maintains a Knowledge Base, which includes answers to the most common problems. If you have a problem, please consult the Knowledge Base first. The Knowledge Base always has the most up-to-date listing of technical support questions and patches. To access the Knowledge Base, visit
  • Web forum
User to user technical support is available via the web forum. The forum can be found at
  • Contacting GFI Technical Support
If you still cannot solve issues with the software, contact the GFI Technical Support team by filling in an online support request form or by phone.
NOTE: Before you contact our Technical Support team, please have your Customer ID available. Your Customer ID is the online account number that is assigned to you when you first register your license keys in our Customer Area at
GFI support will answer your query within 24 hours or less, depending on your time zone.