How to Whitelist in Gmail

Stop Important Gmail Messages From Going to Spam

How to whitelist an email
Whitelist in Gmail. hh5800 / Getty Images

Gmail's spam filter is mighty. The Spam folder is usually full of junk, but if you want to be sure that messages from your contacts never end up marked as spam, setting up a filter to whitelist Gmail senders guarantees your important messages make it to your inbox.

You can use Gmail's whitelisting feature to prevent specific email addresses or entire domains from going to the Spam folder.

How to Whitelist in Gmail

Here's how to whitelist an email sender or domain:

  1. Open Gmail and click the Settings icon in the top right corner.
  2. Click Settings in the drop-down menu that appears.
  3. Click the Filters and Blocked Addresses tab.
  4. Click the Create a New Filter button located right above the section for blocking email addresses.
  5. In the window that pops up, type the email address you want to whitelist in the From field. To whitelist a full email address in Gmail, type the information in the format person@example.com.
  6. To whitelist an entire domain in Gmail, type only the domain in the From field in the format @example.com. This whitelists every email address from the example.com domain, no matter who sends it.
  7. If you don't want to adjust any of the other options for a more specific filter, go ahead and click the link called Create filter with this search, which opens an option screen.
  8. Place a check in the box next to Never send it to Spam.
  9. Click Create a filter to save the changes.

    Tip: If you want to whitelist more than one email address or domain, you don't have to repeat this step for each one. Instead, put a break between the separate accounts, such as person@example.com | person2@anotherexample.com | @example2.com.

    An Alternate Method to Whitelist a Sender

    The other option for setting up whitelist filters in Gmail is to open an email from the sender that you want to always keep out of the Spam folder, and then:

    1. With the conversation open, click the small down arrow to the right of the sender name and timestamp.
    2. Choose Filter messages like this
    3. Click the More button above the email list that opens containing all the emails in your inbox from that particular sender.
    4. Click Create Filter, which opens the whitelist screen as in the previous section with the person's email address populating the From field. 
    5. Enter any other additional information.
    6. Click the link called Create filter with this search.
    7. Place a check in the box next to Never send it to Spam. You can make other choices as well as whether to Star the email or forward it, and you can opt to apply labels or categories to the email.
    8. Place a check in the box next to Also apply filter to xx matching conversations if you want to apply everything to all the emails from your sender in the current list.
    9. Click Create a filter to save the changes.

    Every new email you receive from the sender you whitelisted is filtered according to your specifications. 

    Note: When you whitelist an email or domain in Gmail, the filter does not apply to past emails that are already in the Spam or Trash folder.

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