How to Block Email Addresses in MacOS Mail

Stop getting unwanted email from a specific address

If a person or business is sending you annoying or unwanted emails, you don't have to see them, select them,and delete them repeatedly. Blocking a sender in Apple's Mail application in macOS is easy. Just set up a message rule (also known as a filter) in Mail to auto-delete all messages from a particular sender. The rule blocks them from ever reaching your inbox.

Information is this article applies to the following operating systems: macOS Catalina (10.15), macOS Mojave (10.14), macOS High Sierra (10.13), macOS Sierra (10.12)

Building a Rule to Block Email From a Sender

Here's how to build a rule to block email from an unwanted sender:

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

    Mail Preferences selected on a Mac

    If you already have a message from the sender you want to block, open the email first and then select Mail > Preferences to avoid having to type the address when you formulate the rule.

  2. Click the Rules tab in the Preferences screen and select Add Rule.

    The Mail preferences Rules tab with Add Rule highlighted
  3. By default, the rule form is set to apply to any of the following conditions, and the criteria fields are From and contains. If those fields have been changed, reset them to the defaults using the arrows next to the fields.

    The default entries on the Rules screen for Mail
  4. Type the full email address that you want to block in the field next to contains.

    If you started this process by opening an email from the email address you wanted to block, you don't have to type in the email address. It will already be filled in.

    Contains field for new Rule in Mac Mail

    To block an entire domain and not just a single email address from that domain, enter the domain only in the field next to contains. For example, you can block all email addresses by entering in the field.

  5. Select Delete message under Perform the following actions.

    Action selections for the Rule
  6. Enter a description for the new rule in the field next to Description. Use something like BlockedUsers to help you easily identify the rule in the filters list.

    Entry field for Rule description in Mail preferences
  7. Choose OK and close the Rules preferences window.

    Rules screen in macOS Mail preferences with OK selected

Mac Mail lets you block senders by other conditions, too, such as messages where the Subject line contains specific text. This approach is useful if you often receive emails from different senders that have the same text in the Subject line, and you want to block all of them.