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IMF Tune - Bringing Back the Exchange Connection Filter
IMF Tune - Bringing Back the Exchange Connection Filter


Check the following frequently asked questions to quickly resolve/answer common questions.

Choose your question type:
Technical FAQs
Sales/Licensing FAQs


Technical FAQs

Sales/Licensing FAQs

Which Exchange versions/platforms does IMF Tune Support?

The IMF Tune server is installed on the Exchange server machine. Exchange versions 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016 and 2019 are supported.

Supported Windows platforms include Windows Server 2008 R2 up to Windows Server 2019.

In Exchange 2007/2010 IMF Tune must be installed on the Edge or Hub transport server roles. The Exchange Content Filter or Forefront Protection 2010 for Exchange must also be installed.

In Exchange 2013 and later IMF Tune must be installed on the Edge or Mailbox server roles. The Exchange Content Filter must also be installed.


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How does IMF Tune help to quickly verify emails at the junk email folder?

IMF Tune enables the insertion of SCL ratings into the email subject. This is inserted as a prefix in the format (SCL: x). Thus at the junk email folder one can easily sort all emails by SCL rating. Since false positives are most likely to happen with the lowest SCL rating, sorting enables verification of these emails first. Read Complete Article...


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How do I configure emails to be deposited to the junk email folder?

IMF Tune does not change anything in the way emails are moved to the junk email folder. Hence this is purely a matter of configuring the Exchange Content Filter and the email clients. Read Complete Article...


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Why aren't emails ending in the junk email folder?

For emails to be deposited to the junk email folder rather than the inbox you need to make sure that this functionality is enabled at the client mailbox. But before doing this make sure that the Content Filter is also correctly configured at the Exchange Server. See more details from: How do I configure emails to be deposited to the junk email folder?

If you already verified the Exchange Server settings, then check that the junk email folder is enabled at the client mailbox. This can be done through Outlook Web Access OWA. Other possible methods for enabling the Junk Email folder are available but depend on your Exchange Version. Read Complete Article...


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How do I enable the Exchange Content Filter/Forefront Anti-Spam?

You need to make sure that the Exchange Content Filter or Forefront Protection 2010 for Exchange Anti-Spam is enabled for IMF Tune to work. Read Complete Article...


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How do I force an email to go to the Junk Email Folder?

Typically you need to do this when spam still manages to reach the recipient Inbox. Read Complete Article...


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How do I configure IMF Tune to only insert the SCL rating in emails ending in the junk email folder?

Read Complete Article...


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How do I use IMF Tune to improve the SCL threshold configuration?

Optimizing SCL threshold configuration typically aims to

  • Minimizing the number of false positives/negatives

  • Ensuring that any false positives end up in the recipient junk email folder rather than being deleted or rejected.

To get the best out of IMF we need to monitor how a set of configuration settings is performing. IMF Tune helps in this task in the following ways:

  • Insertion of SCLs in the email subject and email headers exposes the SCL rating for individual emails. Thus one can immediately tell what the SCL rating was in case of a false result.

  • IMF Tune enables the setup of SCL based logging. This provides a CSV formatted file in which each email is listed together with its SCL rating and other key information. This simplifies looking up the list of emails processed and type of actions applied.

  • The IMF Tune Moderator/Reporting interface allows us to expose all inbound emails. This may include both emails blocked at the server and emails delivered to user mailboxes. In this manner it is easy for us to investigate emails assigned mid-range SCL ratings (i.e. the emails that are typically effected by an SCL fine tuning exercise).


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How do I separate email archives/logs based on SCL ratings?

At IMF Tune create multiple Archive/Logging Profiles. One for each of the SCL ranges requiring independent logging/archiving. In this manner you can setup a unique log file/archive directory for each of the SCL ranges.


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Why should I disable Gateway blocking at the Exchange Content Filter/Forefront?

In IMF Tune, filtering is a two stage process. First we have the Exchange Content Filter/Forefront stage. Following that we have IMF Tune itself. Emails blocked at the first stage are not processed by IMF Tune.

IMF Tune can perform all the gateway blocking actions itself. Hence the correct setup is that to disable Gateway filtering at the Exchange Content Filter/Forefront and configure any of the Archive/Quarantine, Delete or Reject actions at the IMF Tune configuration.


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Which IMF Tune actions replace the Exchange Content Filter/Forefront Gateway Blocking?

In Exchange 2007/2010/2013/2016/2019 the Content Filter provides the Quarantine, Reject and Delete gateway blocking options. These may be replaced at IMF Tune by the Reroute, Reject and Delete Email Handling actions.

The Forefront Content Filter provides Quarantine, Reject and Delete gateway blocking. The Forefront Quarantine is a central store, accessible from the Forefront Management Console. These are replaced at IMF Tune using the Web Moderator/Reporting component and the Email Handling Reject and Delete actions. Read Complete Article...


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How does IMF Tune help me to reduce spam at source?

Through the detailed logging information generated by IMF Tune it is possible to identify some common spam sources. For example the originating host IP can be useful in setting up IP blacklists.

This information could also be processed through one of the many reporting tools available on the market. All of these typically support the CSV format generated by IMF Tune. Hence you should be able to import the data directly and then generate reports based on the capabilities of the tool used.

In this case it is best to generate separate log files for the higher range of SCL values where the likeliness of false positives is minimal.


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Does IMF Tune process emails rejected by Exchange Connection, Sender or Recipient filtering?

No. Emails rejected through Exchange filtering never reach IMF Tune.


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At IMF Tune I can configure email handling for "unprocessed" emails. Which emails fall in this category?

IMF Tune couples tightly with the Exchange Content Filter. Hence which emails are processed or left unprocessed is determined by Exchange and not IMF Tune.

By default the Content Filter won't process emails from an authenticated connection. Thus these are handled as unprocessed by IMF Tune.

Another scenario giving rise to unprocessed emails is when the Content Filter is not enabled.


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What is SCL 999?

999 is the SCL value assigned by IMF Tune to blacklisted emails. At the moment the Exchange Content Filter does not define an SCL for blacklisting. Thus we had to invent one. We chose a value that is much larger than the largest defined SCL. For this reason, whenever choosing to expose the SCL value, 999 will be set in case of blacklisted emails.


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I configured various Whitelists, Blacklists and SCL Rules. What happens if an email causes multiple matches?

With Whitelisting, Blacklisting and SCL Rules it is possible for a single email to give rise to multiple matches. IMF Tune follows a "play safe" rule, and the lowest SCL rating is applied. For example if an email contains both a blacklisted keyword and a whitelisted keyword, the email is whitelisted.

Extending this concept further, if an email matches an SCL Rule configured to set the SCL to 5 and also matches a blacklisted keyword, than the final SCL will be 5.

SCL Rules applying 'increment by 'and 'decrement by' operations are considered to have the lowest priority. The increments and decrements are only computed if no other match is found that would set the email to a fixed SCL value. If computed, increments and decrements add up so that the final SCL value is the net result.

So to recap, the final SCL rating is assigned based on these priority rules:

  1. Whitelisting has highest priority. An email may be whitelisted through:

    • IMF Tune Whitelists

    • SCL Rules

    • Exchange Whitelists

  2. Next in priority are the SCL Rules having the lowest 'set value to' SCL value.

  3. Next in priority is Blacklisting. An email may be blacklisted through:

    • IMF Tune Blacklists

    • SCL Rules

  4. Lowest in priorities are the SCL Rules having an 'increment by' or 'decrement by' SCL operation.


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The IMF Tune machine receives emails relayed by another internal server. Can we still filter emails by IP?

In Exchange 2007/2010/2013/2016/2019, we configure the perimeter IP address list from the shell with Set-TransportConfig, InternalSMTPServers property. In this case having the perimeter addresses correctly configured, both Exchange and IMF Tune are able to identify the last foreign host IP that routed the email.


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How do I enable SQL Authentication as required by the Quarantine Database?

The IMF Tune web interface requires a Microsoft SQL backend database. All MS SQL versions from 2008, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2017 are supported, including the free MS SQL Express editions.

For the system to work IMF Tune requires an SQL Server that supports both Windows Authentication and SQL Authentication. This is sometimes referred to as mixed mode authentication. In case SQL Authentication is not enabled, IMF Tune will be unable to upload any emails to the database server. Complete Article...


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How do I change the Date/Time format of the Web Moderator Interface?

The IMF Tune Moderator/Reporting Web Component displays date and time information in various parts of the interface. Different countries have differing methods for formatting such information. For example in US the short date format used is M/d/yyyy. In the UK the format dd/MM/yyyy is used instead.

The Web Component fixes the format to be used for displaying time information at installation time. This format may not be the one in use in your region. In that case, follow the procedure presented here to change it. Complete Article...


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How do I contact technical support for questions not answered in this FAQ?

Email to:


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How do I get an evaluation license?

IMF Tune on first install runs in free 30day evaluation mode. Once evaluation is over it stops processing emails. At this point a license key must be supplied in order to restore full product functionality.

You may obtain an extended evaluation period by contacting:


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How do I choose the license type to order?

When licensing IMF Tune the following information is required:

  1. The number of mailboxes serviced by Exchange.
  2. The number of machines on which IMF Tune is to be installed.

IMF Tune provides a number of license options based on the number of mailboxes being serviced. Currently license levels for 15, 30, 50, 100, 200, 500 and unlimited mailboxes are available. You need to choose a license that matches or exceeds the number of mailboxes serviced by your organization.

Once the license type is identified, order one license for each machine where IMF Tune is to be installed. For example an organization servicing 150 mailboxes running IMF Tune on two servers would require 2 licenses for 200 mailboxes.

Note that in general IMF Tune is only installed on the internet facing servers and not backend mailbox servers. However this depends on your network configuration.

For help on choosing the correct license contact:


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Are there any differences in features for licenses with different mailbox limits?

No. The feature set is identical.


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Our Exchange organization is composed of a number of bridgehead and mailbox servers. Do I need a license for each of them?

A license is only needed for the servers where IMF Tune is installed. Typically anti-spam protection is installed on the internet facing bridgeheads. Thus these would be the only servers requiring IMF Tune.


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Is the online order processing secure?

The secure ordering system uses SSL to encrypt your details so as to safeguard sensitive data such as the credit card number.


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Is WinDeveloper IMF Tune subscription based?

Yes. IMF Tune licenses are valid for a period of 1 year. Once the license validity period is exceeded the subscription must be renewed for a new license to be provided. If the subscription is not renewed IMF Tune will stop processing emails and allow all emails through unfiltered.


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I evaluated IMF Tune in the past and would like to re-evaluate the latest version. Can you help?

Contact they will be able to supply you with an evaluation license.


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I want to evaluate IMF Tune, will I need to reinstall on licensing the product?

No. The IMF Tune evaluation product is effectively the full product. All you need is to supply it with a license key and no reinstallation is required. For details on how to license the product refer to the User Manual.


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Does the IMF Tune Subscriptions include support and updates?

Yes. IMF Tune Subscriptions include technical support and product updates. There is no additional charge for support. All you need is to have a valid Subscription. Contact technical support on with problems you may have when running IMF Tune.


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My last Subscription expired. Am I still in time to renew it?

IMF Tune Subscriptions should be renewed before the expiry of the last Subscription in order to avoid spam filtering from stopping. In case a Subscriptions expires you may order a new Subscription and start anew.


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How do I contact sales for questions not answered in this FAQ?

Email to:


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