How to Unblock a Sender in Gmail

Accidentally block a sender in Gmail? Here's how to undo it

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To unblock an email address in Gmail, remove that email address from the filter you made to set up the block. If the filter contains multiple email addresses and you want to keep blocking other email addresses or domains in the filter, edit the filter to remove only the email addresses you want to unblock and keep the others to continue blocking them. Once the filter has been updated, new emails from the addresses that were removed from the filter show up in your Inbox folder.

Locate the Filter to Unblock

Gmail removes an email address or domain from your list of blocked addresses through the Filters and Blocked Addresses page in the settings. The first step is to locate the filter that deletes emails.

  1. Select Settings (the gear icon), then choose Settings.

    Settings button in Gmail gear icon menu
  2. Go to the Filters and Blocked Addresses tab.

    Filters and Blocked Addresses tab in Gmail
  3. In The following filters are applied to all incoming mail section, locate the filter that you want to edit or delete. The name or address is in bold.

    Filters and blocked addresses in Gmail.

Edit the Filter

After you locate the filter that blocks the email address, decide whether to delete it (which will stop the action designated for these emails) or to edit it to remove an email address (to unblock messages from that address only).

  1. Next to the filter, select Edit to open the filter details.

    Filters and blocked addresses in Gmail.
  2. In the From field, delete only the addresses that should be unblocked. Any address left in the filter will continue to be blocked.

    To stop blocking all the email addresses listed in the filter, skip the rest of these steps and go to the next section, Delete the Entire Filter.

    Editing a filter in Gmail.
  3. Select Continue.

    Continue button in Gmail filter view
  4. Choose how Gmail will handle emails that the filter catches, for example, choose Delete it to delete email from blocked senders. Then, select Update filter to save your changes.

    Update filter button in Gmail

Delete the Entire Filter

To completely delete the filter and unblock all the email addresses in the From field, remove the filter.

  1. Return to the Filters and Blocked Addresses tab in the settings.

  2. Find the filter that blocks emails and select delete.

    Delete button in Gmail filter settings
  3. Select OK to confirm the delete.

    Ok button to confirm filter deletion

Unblock a Blocked Address

If you use the Gmail Block feature to block senders from their messages, the process of unblocking them is slightly different and more straightforward.

  1. Select Settings (the gear icon).

    The Gmail inbox.
  2. Select Settings.

    Selecting setting in Gmail.
  3. On the Settings page, select the Filters and Blocked Addresses tab.

    Viewing the settings details.
  4. Towards the bottom of the page, you'll see a section for blocked addresses. These are the addresses that you've automatically filtered to Spam using the Block feature.

    The following email addresses are blocked message in Gmail filters
  5. Find the address that you want to unblock, and select Unblock.

    Unblock link button in Gmail
  6. Select Unblock to confirm that you want to unblock the address and send all future mail to your Inbox.

    Unblock confirmation button
  7. All future email from the unblocked address will show up in your regular Inbox unless there's another filter in place directing it elsewhere.

Can't Unblock the Email Address?

Removing an email address from the filter that blocks those emails — or deleting the filter — is the best way to stop emails from being blocked. However, if after doing so you don't get emails in your Inbox folder from that sender, there are a few things that you can do

Make Sure There Isn't Another Filter

There's a chance that the email that you unblocked is blocked or redirected by a different filter. Do a search for that address on the Filters and Blocked Addresses page in the settings. Another filter may be set up to automatically move those emails to a different folder, in which case you can edit or delete that filter to make sure those messages go to your Inbox folder.

Maybe it Really is Spam

If you were sending the emails to the Trash folder through this filter, those might not be emails you want. So, if the messages don't go to your Inbox folder after removing the filter, Gmail might be marking these messages as spam.

  1. Open the Spam folder. If you have custom Gmail folders, look for the Spam folder in the More section.

  2. Open the email that isn't spam.

  3. In the banner across the top of the message, select Report not spam to move the message to the Inbox.

    If the banner doesn't appear, look for the Spam label at the top of the message (it's next to the subject). Select the X to remove the label and return the message to the Inbox.

    Report not spam button in Gmail
  4. The message, and others like it, will appear in your Inbox from now on.

Force the Issue With a Whitelist

Another way to make sure your emails are delivered to the Inbox folder is to whitelist that email address so that Gmail stops marking those emails as spam. As long as you don't have a filter that sends the emails to the Trash folder, or to another folder, whitelisting will unblock the emails.

More to Consider Before Unblocking

Be careful when deleting Gmail filters that include more than one email address, but especially if the filter blocks a whole domain. Domains encapsulate a lot of email addresses and potential emails. For example, if you block the domain because it sends spam — and you want to keep blocking those emails — don't delete the whole filter since that will unblock the whole domain.

If you want to unblock all the email address in a filter, don't edit the filter to remove the Delete it option. Filters must have a setting enabled and an error message appears when all options are removed. It's best to remove the whole filter to stop automatically deleting emails.