The Why and How of Reporting Spam in Gmail

Help Gmail learn to prevent spam from reaching your inbox

Door mail slot with NO JUNK MAIL sign above it


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An inbox can quickly get out of hand when inundated with spammy email. Instead of deleting the spam that makes it to your Gmail inbox, report it so that you see less spam in the future.

Reporting Spam Strengthens Your Gmail Spam Filter

The more spam you teach Gmail to recognize, the less spam you get in your inbox. You help Gmail's spam filter learn by showing it the junk that made it to your inbox.

Reporting spam is easy and not only rids you of similar junk in the future but also purges the offending message immediately.

How to Report Spam in Gmail

To report an email as spam right in your browser and improve the Gmail spam filter specifically for you in the future:

  1. Place a checkmark next to the message or messages in Gmail by clicking on the empty box in front of the email. You may be able to identify spam without opening the email. You can also open the email, of course.

  2. Click Spam at the top of the screen to mark the checked emails as spam. You can also press ! (Shift+1) if you have Gmail keyboard shortcuts enabled.

  3. In the next window, select Report spam. If the email has arrived because the sender has added you to an email subscription list, click Report spam and unsubscribe to remove your email address from that list.

How to Report Spam in Gmail in an IMAP Email Client

To report spam if you access IMAP, move the message or messages to the [Gmail]/Spam folder.

How to Report Spam in Gmail in a Mobile Browser

To report an email as spam in the Gmail mobile web browser:

  1. Place a checkmark in the box in front of the unwanted message or messages. You can also open a message.

  2. Click the Gmail tab at the top of the screen.

  3. Tap Spam.

How to Report Spam in Gmail in the Gmail App

To report a message as spam in the Gmail app for Android and iOS mobile devices:

  1. Open the message or place a checkmark in front of one or more messages.

  2. Press the Menu button.

  3. If you open the message, select More.

  4. Select Report spam.

How to Report Spam in the Inbox by Gmail App

To mark an individual email as spam in Inbox by Gmail in a browser on a computer or in the Inbox by Gmail apps for Android or iOS:

  1. Open a message, or for a message that is part of a bundle or digest, open the digest or bundle. For emails in digests, find the message under Related Items.

  2. Click or tap the Move To button, which is three aligned dots.

  3. Select Spam from the menu that appears.

Inbox by Gmail was phased out altogether on March 31, 2019.

Blocking: An Alternative for Individual Senders but Not Spammers

For messages from specific, obnoxious senders, blocking is usually the better option than reporting the messages as spam. Chances are, the emails don't look like typical spam, so they may confuse the spam filter more than they help.

Use blocking only for individual senders — people who forward you messages, for instance — and not for spam. Senders of spam emails do not usually have identifiable addresses that remain the same. Typically, the address is random, so blocking the lone email does nothing to stop the inflow of spam.