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!

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

I am old – almost 80. I do not do any groups……don’t know how, and don’t want to learn how either. I am not good with technology at all. Can’t possibly set this up. I will just be happy with the information you give us.

Ruth, I so can relate to your statement in technology. My 70’s era in life was with no graphic or hardware technologies, computers, mouse, etc. Had no clue what a mouse was, but curiosity in my teen years got the better of me. All my friends that were on the deans list, honor list; now I was sure they would know something in order to help me through this time period of finding an educator to mend my curiosity. At the time, I was a young mother of 3 and a husband. I decided I would enroll in our community college to find my answers. Now, I did stress to the advisor to enroll me in the most basic classes since I literally knew nothing!

Honestly, I dont think that even educators know what we truly mean when we say we know nothing and how we feel about the unknown.

My worst fears came true. Learning to trust?, I was enrolled in Computer-Programming!

Making a long story shorter, with all the family; and daily pressure with a full time position, crying every week since coding in computer language, exposed to computer internals, learning how to flowchart; all were so intimidating, and I as a student have always made sure I succeeded and never failed. How was I going to learn all this knowledge, retain it and apply it to enhance my position in my life and family? I began to convince myself it was a waste of time; that all this was above my head; to leave it to our corporations with the real money to utilize. As a last resort, I called all my friends from high school, no one, I mean no one even had the slightest bit of info to help me. I felt so alone.

i did get past the unknown, Ruth. Not alone, but my prayers were heard and I had all I needed right in my classroom. My instructor.
theres nothing you cant find in this machine Ruth, there are magnifying glasses if we cant see, theres gagets we can buy if we have arthritus, theres medical terminology if we dont understand what our physicians prescribed or what our condition of health means, countless and countless of information at the tips of our fingers and even free 800 #s for more info to our questions from individual companies. God Bless Ruth.

One more thing, all. I know I have made numerous typo errors, as we know it in our basic ENGLISH courses. Misspelled words, words not capitalized, etc. This I did for a reason and an example. Our computers with our computer languages (instructors called programmers) or programming languages can CORRECT all this, if I had pushed the right keys formatted for this. just saying… have a nice Holiday!!!

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