How to Block Emails in Gmail

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

What to Know

  • Open the sender's message, click More > Block <Name> > Block. No email handy? Use a rule in Gmail to set up blocks instead.
  • Messages are deleted automatically so you never see them. The block works across all devices connected to your account (using IMAP).
  • The sender won't know that they've been blocked. If you want them to know, use a Gmail filter to automatically trigger a response

This article explains two ways to block email from any sender you wish using the desktop version of Gmail.

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

Block Email from a Sender in Gmail

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.

For the single sender that keeps bothering you, it's usually better to block them. If you're receiving mailer daemon spam, you can mark them as spam or junk.

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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.

  4. Click Block in the confirmation message that appears. Now that sender is blocked.

    Block this email address confirmation dialog highlighting the Block button

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:

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

    Search options triangle in Gmail
  2. 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 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.

  3. Click Create filter.

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

    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.

  5. 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.

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

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.