- Add an email address to the Gmail white list
- Add a Gmail contact
- Create a filter rule
- Mark an email as not spam
Email is an essential communication tool and nearly everyone has an email address (or three), but it’s ubiquitous nature makes it a popular target for unsolicited marketing messages, also known as spam. To combat this, email providers utilize sophisticated filters that attempt to sort the legitimate email (ham) from the unwanted messages (spam).
Spam filtering is an excellent tool email providers use to help manage the unending flow of unwanted email messages sent every day. Often, this process happens silently behind the scenes, but the process can become very apparent when you don’t receive a message you need. As good as spam filters are, mistakes can be made.
To keep your inbox clean from unwanted emails and to help protect you against malicious messages, Gmail has various spam-fighting methods. If you’re not receiving email from certain senders, you’ll first want to check your spam folder for those messages and mark them as “not spam” if you find them there. After that, you can add a sender’s email address to your Gmail contacts and create a filter rule that will act as your email white list.
Add an email address to your Gmail white list or safe sender list
To keep important email messages out of your Gmail spam folder, you can add the sender email address to your Google Contacts and/or create a filter rule to prevent messages from specific senders going into the spam folder. If a desired email message is already in your spam folder, you can use an option to train the Gmail spam filter to not send those messages to your spam folder.
Add a Gmail Contact
When you add a sender’s email address to your contacts, it tells Google you want to receive email from that sender. This method does not guarantee messages from the desired sender won’t be sent to spam, but it’s an easy way to make it more likely the desired email will arrive in your inbox. For a more reliable method, see the instructions below for creating a filter.
On a computer (web site)
- On your computer, go to contacts.google.com
- At the top left corner, select Create contact
- Enter the contact’s information, including the sender email address
- Select Save in the bottom right corner
On an Android smartphone/tablet (mobile app)
- On your Android phone or tablet, open the Contacts app
- At the bottom right, tap Add
- Enter the contact’s name and email address
- Make sure you save the contact to the correct account. Next to your email account, tap the Down arrow and then select the account that will receive the email messages you’re whitelisting.
- When you’re finished, tap Save
Create a filter rule to keep desired email out of spam
Gmail’s filters provide a lot of useful ways to manage your email and one of those ways is to set a rule to prevent email from a specific email address from going to your spam folder. Filters are the closest thing Gmail has to a “safe sender” or “whitelist”.
Filters can only be created and modified from the online web version of Gmail, so you’ll need to go to your computer to complete the following.
- Open the Gmail website from your computer
- In the search box at the top, select the Down arrow
- In the From field, enter the sender email address
- At the bottom of the search window, click Create filter
- Select Never send it to Spam
- Click Create filter
Mark an email as Not Spam
If a desired email message arrives in your spam folder, you can remove it from Spam and send a signal to Gmail that you want to receive that type of email in your inbox in the future. This method doesn’t guarantee messages from that sender won’t end up in spam in the future, but it is an easy way to move the email to your inbox and train Gmail at the same time.
- On your computer, open the Gmail website
- On the left, select Spam
If you don’t see Spam, select More then find Spam
- Open the desired email message
- At the top of the page, select Not spam
The message will be moved to your inbox
For more help
If you need more help receiving email messages as a Gmail user, visit their support site.
If you’re an email sender having trouble sending email to Gmail recipients, visit the Gmail Postmaster Tools website.
Did this guide work for you?
Let us know if this guide for Gmail worked for you by leaving a comment below. We strive to keep our guides up-to-date and relevant, but sometimes things change without notice. If you find something is different in your Gmail account from this guide, let us know what you had to do differently. Thanks for your help and input!
245 replies on “How to white list in Gmail (updated for 2022)”
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Instead of a down arrow in the search box, I had to click on the symbol meaning “show search options” (there was not a down arrow). Otherwise, this worked. Thanks!
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