Learn to Properly Block Email Addresses in Mac OS X Mail

Block email addresses in Apple Mail to stop getting certain emails.

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Blocking a sender in Mail is really easy, and particularly so if you have a message from them at hand. No matter the reason for wanting to automatically send Mail messages to the trash, you can set up a filter that does this for you so that you can quit being bothered.

It's also possible to simply hide mail in the Mail program so that you can focus on messages sent from one single email address.


You must set up a message rule in Mail to auto-delete all messages from a particular sender, which essentially blocks them from reaching your Inbox:

  1. Go to Mail > Preferences... from the Mail menu.

  2. Navigate to the Rules tab.

  3. Click or tap Add Rules.

  4. Make the criteria read From Contains.

  5. Type the email address you want to block.

  6. Make sure Delete message is selected under Perform the following actions:.

  7. Enter a description for the new rule.

    Use something like Block user@example.com to help you easily recognize the rule from the filters list.

  8. Choose OK.

  9. Click or tap Apply if you want Mail to delete existing messages from the sender(s) that you just blocked. If you don't pick this option, then the rule will only apply to new messages and not existing ones.

  10. Close the Rules preferences window.


If you already have a message from the sender you want to block, open the email and then start at Step 1 above to avoid having to type the address.

You can instead open the message, click/tap the downward-pointed arrowhead or reverse caret () that appears as you hover over the sender's name or address in the header area, and then select Copy Address to easily paste (Command+V) the address during Step 5.

To block a whole domain and not just a single email address from that domain, enter the domain only. For example, instead of blocking user@example.com and user@sub.example.com, you can block all "@example.com" email addresses by entering example.com at Step 5.

Another filter rule in Mac Mail lets you block senders by other conditions, too, like messages where the "From:" line contains certain text. This approach is useful if you often get emails from different senders that have the same text in the "From:" line and you want to block all of them.