How to Unblock a Sender in Gmail

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

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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.

Locate the Filter to Unblock

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.

  1. Select the gear icon (Settings) at the upper right-hand side of Gmail to open the Settings menu, and then choose Settings.

    Settings button in Gmail gear icon menu
  2. Open the Filters and Blocked Addresses tab at the top to open those settings.

    Filters and Blocked Addresses tab in Gmail
  3. Under The following filters are applied to all incoming mail, locate the filter that you want to edit\delete. You'll see the name or address in bold.

    Filters and blocked addresses in Gmail.

Edit the Filter

Now that you've found the filter that's blocking that email address, you need to decide whether to delete it (which will stop the action designated for these email.) or to edit it to remove just that one email address (to unblock messages from that address only).

  1. Select Edit off to the right side of that filter to open its details.

    Filters and blocked addresses in Gmail.
  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.

    Editing a filter in Gmail.
  3. Select Continue at the bottom of the screen.

    Continue button in Gmail filter view
  4. Use the checkboxes to modify the ways Gmail will handle emails that your filter catches.

  5. Choose Update filter to finalize your modifications.

    Update filter button in Gmail

Delete the Entire Filter

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

  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.

    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've been using Gmail's relatively new Block feature to block senders directly from their spam filled messages, the process of unblocking them is slightly different considerably more straightforward.

  1. Use the gear icon in the upper right corner of your Gmail window to open the menu.

    The Gmail inbox.
  2. Select Settings from the resulting drop-down list of options.

    Selecting setting in Gmail.
  3. On the Settings page, locate and select the Filters and Blocked Addresses tab towards the top of the window.

    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. Find the address that you want to unblock.

    The following email addresses are blocked message in Gmail filters
  5. To the right of each email address is an Unblock link. Select the link next to the address you want to be unblocked.

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

    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'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, there are still a few things that you can do

Make Sure There Isn't Another Filter

There's always a chance that the email that you just unblocked is blocked or redirected someplace else by a different filter. 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.

Maybe it Really is Spam

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

  1. Open up your Spam folder. If you have any custom Gmail folders, it's probably hidden under the More section.

  2. Locate the email in the Spam folder that isn't actually spam, and open it.

  3. There's a good chance that you'll see a big banner across the top of the message asking you if you want to report the email as not spam. If it's there, press Report not spam to move it back.

    Report not spam button in Gmail

    Don't worry if you don't see it. There's a little Spam label at the top of the message next to the subject. Press the little X next to the word spam to remove the label and return it to your inbox.

  4. Your message, and hopefully others like it, will appear in your inbox from now on.

Force the Issue With a Whitelist

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.

More to Consider Before Unblocking

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.