How to Whitelist in Gmail

Make sure the messages you want to see always end up in your inbox

What To Know

  • Gear > Settings > Filters...Addresses > Create... > Add the address to From > Create filter. Check Never... Spam, and press Create filter.
  • From an email: Open the message, and press More. Select this > Create filter. Check Never... Spam, and press Create filter.

This article explains how to create a filter in Gmail to always allow emails from a certain sender or domain, either from scratch or using an existing message similar to the ones you want to allow.

Start With Filters and Blocked Addresses

The way to mark a specific email address or domain as allowed is to make an email filter.

  1. Open Gmail. In the upper-right corner, select the Settings (gear) icon. From the menu, choose Settings.

    Settings menu item in Gear icon for Gmail
  2. Select Filters and Blocked Addresses.

    Filters and Blocked Addresses tab in Gmail
  3. Select Create a new filter. If you already have many filters, you'll have to scroll down to find this link.

    Create a new filter link in Gmail Settings
  4. A dialog box appears. In the From field, type the email address you want to allow. Be sure to type the full email address, like To allow every email address from a particular domain, type just that domain name, like

    Create filter button in Gmail Settings
  5. At the bottom of the dialog box, select Create filter.

  6. On the next screen, tell Gmail what to do with the email address or domain you just indicated. To do so, select Never send it to Spam. To finish the process, select Create filter.

    Create filter button in list of actions for Gmail filtered addresses
  7. If you want to allow more than one email address or domain, you need not repeat these steps for each one. Instead, put a vertical bar (and a space before and after it) between the separate accounts, as follows: | |

Start With an Email Message

You can also start the process of making an email filter in Gmail from a message from the person you want to add to the allowed list.

  1. Open the message.

  2. In the upper-right corner of the message, select the three-dot (menu) icon. Select Filter messages like this.

    Filter messages like this menu option in Gmail
  3. With the email address now auto-filled for you in the From field, follow steps 5 and 6 above.

Additional Gmail Filtering Tips

When creating filters in Gmail, keep these additional points in mind.

  • When you add an email address or domain in Gmail, the filter doesn't apply to messages already received. It works from the time you enable it onward.
  • If you're considering allowing an entire domain, think about the possible consequences. For example, if you allow, every single email from a address will be prevented from going to the Spam folder. Yet, there's a good chance that some messages from addresses should indeed go there. It makes more sense to allow a company you do business with when, for whatever reason, messages from individuals at that company tend to end up in your Spam folder.
  • Another way to mark emails as not being spam is to use the Not spam button. However, this button is only visible when a message is opened from the Spam folder. In other words, you cannot use this method to proactively prevent messages from getting marked as spam.
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