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How to Block a Sender in Gmail


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So you made it to their address book. Five jokes forwarded each day don't lie.

Unfortunately, no convincing replies can, it seems, convince you out of the mass forwards. Your pleas for email silence are well received and benevolently ignored. Everybody wants to have and get some fun, right?

Either way, you have to read the jokes, amazing stores and virus warnings or delete them right away. Or let technology do the job.

With a simple filter, Gmail can send all incoming mail from your favorite forwarders to the Trash folder as it arrives. As an alternative, you can archive these messages and equip the with a label for later review.

Block a Sender in Gmail

To have Gmail send messages from a specific sender to the Trash automatically:

  • Click the Show search options triangle in the Gmail search field.
  • Type the desired email address under From:.
    • You can block an entire domain by entering just that. To block all mail from both user-a@example.com and user-b@example.com, type "@example.com".
    • To block more than one address, separate them with "|" (the vertical bar; typically above the backslash on the keyboard; not including the quotation marks). You can block both user-a@example.com and user-b@example.com by typing "user-a@example.com|user-b@example.com", for example.
  • Click Create filter with this search ».
  • Make sure Delete it is checked under When a message arrives that matches this search:.
  • Click Create filter.
    • Check Also apply filter to [__] matching conversations to delete previously received messages.

To archive and label instead of delete messages, choose Skip the Inbox (Archive it) and Apply the label: under Choose action when setting up the filter.

Of course, you can always unblock somebody you have blocked using a filter in Gmail.

Add a New Address to Your Gmail Block List

To add new senders to your block list, add them to an existing deletion filter using "|" (as above), or create a new filter if the From: field has grown big and unwieldy. You can find the existing filter by clicking the Settings gear in Gmail, selecting Settings and going to the Filters tab.

(Updated March 2014)

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