How to white list in Gmail (updated for 2022)


  1. Introduction
  2. Add an email address to the Gmail white list
  3. Add a Gmail contact
    1. On a computer
    2. On a mobile device
  4. Create a filter rule
  5. 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)

  1. On your computer, go to
  2. At the top left corner, select Create contact
  3. Enter the contact’s information, including the sender email address
  4. Select Save in the bottom right corner

On an Android smartphone/tablet (mobile app)

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Contacts app
  2. At the bottom right, tap Add
  3. Enter the contact’s name and email address
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

  1. Open the Gmail website from your computer
  2. In the search box at the top, select the Down arrow
  3. In the From field, enter the sender email address
  4. At the bottom of the search window, click Create filter
  5. Select Never send it to Spam
  6. 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.

  1. On your computer, open the Gmail website
  2. On the left, select Spam
    If you don’t see Spam, select More then find Spam
  3. Open the desired email message
  4. 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!

191 replies on “How to white list in Gmail (updated for 2022)”

I dont understand how we as the owners of the cellular service Whitelist a Domain to receive the message I’m trying to get SMS messages from a certain Fantasy Football league I’ve used for 6 yrs & was getting the SMS message. They use EMAIL TO SMS to send. I was getting them messages then they stopped all the sudden. Some people still get them and others dont. We just happen to all Verizon cellular. They tell so many different basically stories about Whitelisting. One person says no they do not do that, another yes we use SMS & it doesnt show up as blocked on your account for the domains thatare used. Why does some peoples cellular accounts get the SMS & some dont when they have been for 6 yrs? You cant get a straight answer. I’ve been told it is the Domain & it is having a problem with the messaging code.There must be a United States Verizon support phone number to call and not their normal number where your talking to someone overseas. I don’t believe they have any clue what to do. I have spoken with over 20 techs and this has gone on for over a month. I have gotten no where. They read out of a manual & just follow a written script as to what to communicate to the cell owner. Any help would be appreciated. The domain owners arent any help at all.

No I’ve tried all the instructions you provided and nothing works. I even contacted AT&T to No avail. So I give up. It’s funny how I receive your messages but not the devotionals. So I am removing the cbn app and cbn family app. I hate these new phones. Always updating and losing things. And being told by AT&T that they don’t know how or if they can retrieve it. Thank you for your help. God Bless you all

I’m having problems where email comes to my Gmail box, but it is labelled as suspicious and all the pictures are stripped out. There seems to be no way to see the original message with all the graphics 🙁

This did not work, emails from one contact continue to go to spam. This started two days ago after several years of no problems. I use Mozilla Thunderbird as my email client. I have made the changes through the browser, but to no avail.

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