How to Block Emails in Gmail

How to block emails automatically in Gmail so you never see them

Block a sender's emails in Gmail and have their messages deleted automatically without being bothered.

The Forwarding That Never Stops

So you made it to someone's address book and suddenly you're getting five forwarded messages a day from this person. Unfortunately, no amount of pleading seems to convince this sender that you should be left out of the mass forwards. Your pleas for email silence are completely ignored.

Historical warrior blocking rolled up paper with a Gmail shield
Lifewire / Miguel Co 

You Do Not Have to Delete Emails by Hand

That means you have to read the jokes, amazing stories, and virus warnings or delete them right away; or you can let technology do the job.

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

The Spam Button Isn't for Everyone

Of course, when you get one of those annoying emails in, you could just click the Spam button and send it into the internet netherworld, right? Sure. But that's not always the best idea. The Spam button should be reserved for reporting real junk email, which can be classified as mass mail sent typically for financial gain and from a source that is not easily identified.

For the single sender that keeps bothering you, it's usually better to block them. If you're receiving mailer daemon spam, read these tips.

Block Email in Gmail


To add a sender to your Gmail’s list of blocked senders and have their messages go to the Spam folder automatically:

  1. Open a message from the sender you want to block.

  2. Click the More menu button (sporting three vertical dots) next to the Reply button in the message’s header area).

  3. Select Block Name from the menu that has appeared.

    More button in Gmail, leading to Block user menu item

    For some senders, such as Google, you will not have the option to block messages. You can still employ a rule to "block" these senders; see below.

    Click Block in the confirmation message that appears.

    Block this email address confirmation dialog highlighting the Block button
  4. Now that sender is blocked

Looking to block a sender and have them receive a message you did when they send new mail? You can do so using a Gmail filter.

Unblock a Sender in Gmail

To remove a sender from the blocked emails in Gmail and have future messages from the go to the inbox again instead of spam (unless, of course, a rule catches them or Gmail identifies them as junk for other reasons).

If you have a message from the sender you want to unblock at hand (you can also search for one, even in the Spam folder):

  1. Open a message from the sender you want to unblock. You'll see a big Unblock sender button. Click it.

    Screenshot of Unblock sender button in Gmail

    Click Unblock in the confirmation message that appears.

    Unblock button in Gmail

    If you do not have a message from the sender you want to unblock readily available:

  2. Click the Settings gear icon () in Gmail.

  3. Select Settings from the menu that appears.

    Settings button in Gear icon menu in Gmail
  4. Go to the Filters and Blocked Addresses category.

  5. In The following email addresses are blocked... section, select the sender you want to unblock.

  6. Click Unblock.

    Screenshot of unblock option in Filters and Blocked Addresses menu in Gmail

    Now click Unblock in the confirmation message that appears.

    Screenshot of Unblock button in Filters and Blocked Addresses tab in Gmail settings

    Block a Sender Using a Rule in Gmail

    To have Gmail send messages from a specific sender to the Trash automatically using a filter you set up and maintain:

  7. Click the Show search options triangle () in the Gmail search field.

    Search options triangle in Gmail
  8. Type the desired email address under From:

    • You can block an entire domain by entering just the sender's domain. To block all mail from both and, type "".

    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 and by typing "|", for example.

  9. Click Create filter with this search.

    Screenshot of Create filter button in Gmail search options dialog
  10. Select Delete it in the search filter dialog box appears.

  11. Click Create filter.

    Screenshot of search filter options highlighting Delete it and Create Filter buttons

    Check Also apply filter to X matching conversations to delete previously received messages.

  12. You should have now blocked a sender with a rule in Gmail.

To archive and label instead of deleting messages, choose Skip the Inbox (Archive it) and then choose Apply the label. Next to that, select Choose label to open a dropdown menu of all available filters. You also have the option to create a New Label if that is what you need to do.

Of course, you can always unblock somebody you have blocked using a filter in Gmail or whitelist an address altogether to prevent future messages from being put into spam.

Add a New Address to Your Gmail Block List Rule

To add new senders to your block list, add them to an existing deletion filter by editing the filter and using "|" (as above), or create a new filter if the From: field has grown big and unwieldy. To find the existing filter click the Settings gear in Gmail, select Settings, and go to the Filters and Blocked Addresses tab.