How to Unblock a Sender in Gmail

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Unblocking a sender in Gmail. CZQS2000 / STS / Getty Images

Unblocking an email address in Gmail is as simple as removing that email address from the filter you made to set up the block in the first place. Once the "Delete it" filter has been lifted, new emails will start showing up in your Inbox folder again.

However, don't just remove the whole filter from the start. You might still want to keep blocking other email addresses or domains in the filter. If that's the case, you can edit the filter to remove only the email address(es) you want to unblock and keep the others there to continue blocking them.

Directions

Gmail lets you remove 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's deleting emails.

Screenshot of the Filters and Blocked Addresses settings in Gmail
  1. Use the settings/gear icon at the upper right-hand side of Gmail to open the settings menu, and then choose Settings.

  2. Open the Filters and Blocked Addresses tab at the top to open those settings.

  3. Locate the filter that's configured to delete the email. It says Do this: Delete it under the filter details.

Now that you've found the filter that's blocking that email address, you need to decide whether to delete it (which will unblock emails from all of the senders listed in the filter) or to edit it to remove just that one email address (to unblock messages from that address only).

Screenshot of the filters pop-up window in Gmail showing a blocked email address
  1. Click or tap edit off to the right side of that filter to open its details.

  2. Locate the From field at the top of the pop-up screen.

    If you want to stop blocking all of the email addresses listed there, continue with the next section below (skip the rest of these steps).

    If there are multiple email addresses listed and you want to keep blocking some of them, then delete only the addresses that should be unblocked, and then continue with the next step. In other words, any address left in the filter will continue to be blocked.

  3. Click Continue at the bottom of the screen.

  4. Choose the Update filter button to unblock the email addresses you removed.

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

Screenshot showing how to delete a filter in Gmail
  1. Return to the Filters and Blocked Addresses tab in the settings. You can repeat the first set of steps above to do so.

  2. Find the filter that's deleting emails and choose delete off to the right.

  3. Click or tap OK to confirm the delete.

Can't Unblock the Email Address?

Removing an email address from the filter that's blocking those emails—or deleting the whole filter altogether—is definitely the best way to stop emails from being blocked. However, if after doing so you find that you still can't get emails in your Inbox folder from that sender, do a search for that address on the Filters and Blocked Addresses page. You might have another filter set up to auto-move those emails to a different folder, in which case you can edit or delete that filter to make sure they go to your Inbox folder.

Something else to consider is that if you were sending the emails to the Trash folder through this filter, they might not be emails you want. So, if they still aren't going to your Inbox folder even after removing the filter, Gmail might be marking them as spam now, in which case they're going to the Spam folder. If you can locate the email in the Spam folder, open it and select the Not spam button in the toolbar to mark it as safe again.

Another method to make sure you're getting emails delivered to your Inbox folder is to whitelist that email address so that Gmail will stop marking those emails as spam. As long as you don't have a filter sending the emails to the Trash folder, or to any other folder in your account, whitelisting should be all you need to do to unblock the emails.

Tips

Be careful when deleting Gmail filters that include more than one email address, but especially if the filter is blocking a whole domain. Domains encapsulate a lot of email addresses and potential emails. For example, if you've been blocking the whole @spamsite.org domain because it keeps sending you spam—and you want to keep blocking those emails—make sure you don't delete the whole filter since that will unblock the whole domain, too.

If you're trying to remove the whole filter and unblock the email address that way, it might be tempting to edit the filter and then just remove the Delete it option. However, since filters have to have a setting of some sort enabled, you'll get an error message. It's best to remove the whole filter to stop auto-deleting emails.