How to Whitelist an Email on Gmail with Photos

How to Create Rules in Gmail

How to Whitelist an Email on Gmail with Photos

Of all the reasons you have for using Gmail, spam filtering might be one of them. These filters help identify spam emails and ensure they never get to your inbox. Unfortunately, they aren’t 100% reliable. At times, the spam emails end up in the inbox, or even worse, the legit emails go to the spam folder. 

Thankfully, Gmail solves this problem by creating a safe listing feature. By whitelisting, you prevent important emails from ending up in the spam folder. Dive in for information on how to whitelist on Gmail. 

How to Whitelist an Email on Gmail

Whitelisting tells Google you trust a particular sender, and their emails should not end up in the spam folder, even if they look suspicious. A whitelisted email becomes whitelisted on all devices you’re logged in to. By whitelisting, you save yourself the frustrations of missing an email. 

There are different ways to whitelist an email on a phone or computer. Let’s look at them below.

Whitelisting an Email on Gmail Through a Computer

On a computer, you can safelist an email by adding filters, adding the address to your contact list, or marking the email as not spam. Here are the steps to follow in each step:

Method 1: Whitelisting by Creating a Filter

Step 1: Log in to your Gmail account and click on settings 

Open settings on your Gmail inbox. 

On your browser, search mail.google.com and enter your Google account details to log in to your inbox. Then click the gear-like icon at the top right corner to open Gmail settings. 

Step 2: Select filters and blocked addresses

Navigate to filters and blocked addresses.

On the settings icon, select see all settings, then navigate to the filters and blocked addresses tab. It is the fifth tab under settings. 

Step 3: Create a new filter 

Click create a new filter. 

On the filter and blocked addresses tab, scroll down to the blue link written to create a new filter. 

Step 4: Enter the email address to whitelist

Enter the email address and click Create filter 

You get a popup that looks like the compose field; enter the address to whitelist in the From field. You can also enter the email address in the To field. Nevertheless, do not fill in both the To and From fields, as Gmail will whitelist only the emails that meet both criteria. After entering the email address, click create filter at the bottom. 

Step 5: Complete the whitelist steps 

Select never send to spam 

After clicking create filter, you open another page with options of what happens to the email that meets your selected criteria. Check the box to the left of Never send it to Spam and click create filter at the bottom right. 

On clicking create filter, the email address you enter is safe listed. You can confirm this by checking the filters in your inbox. Go back to settings, then the filters and blocked addresses tab. Under themes, you will see the filters applied to that email address. 

Confirm that you have whitelisted the email address. 

For a great walkthrough of these steps you can also reference this video:


It is also possible to safelist an email you received without using the settings. Follow these steps: 

Step 1: Open an email and filter emails like these 

Under the menu, select filter messages like these.

Click an email you want to whitelist. Tap the three dots at the right corner to expand the options, then select filter messages like these.

Step 2: Select create filter

Click Create filter.

A new filter page opens with the email address auto-filled in the ‘from’ field. Click create filter below. 

Step 3: Set what happens with emails from that address

Select never send it to spam.

On the open page, check the box to the left that reads Never send it to spam, then click create filter. This instructs Google to safelist the specified email. 

Method 2: Whitelisting by adding an address to contacts

An address is automatically whitelisted when you add it to contacts. Therefore, if the address you want to safelist is already saved in your Google contacts account, you don’t have to whitelist it. Here are the steps to add a sender’s address to contacts and automatically whitelist them.

Step 1: Open an email from the sender 

Click their profile picture. 

Click an email sent by the person you want to add to your contacts to open it. On their email, click on their profile picture or the icon that showcases the first letter of their name. 

Step 2: Add to contacts 

Add a recipient’s email to your contacts.

Click the contacts icon next to the sender’s email address to add the email to contacts. With the address added to your Google contacts, you have automatically whitelisted it. However, it doesn’t hurt to be more careful. So, you can still go through the steps in method one above to manually whitelist the email. 

Method 3: Whitelist by marking it as not spam 

If an email is already in your spam folder, you can whitelist it by marking it as not spam. This will also move the email back to the inbox. Follow these steps. 

Step 1: Open your Gmail account and proceed to your spam folder 

Open your spam folder.

Log into your Gmail account on mail.google.com, then click more on the left sidebar. On the options that open, scroll down and click spam. 

Step 2: Report not spam

Click Report not spam

Open the email and click Report not spam in the notification above the email. You’ll have automatically whitelisted the email address.

Whitelisting an Entire Domain

If you have email addresses with a common domain, say, addresses from a client or a company, you don’t have to whitelist them one after the other. Instead, you can safelist the entire domain, for instance, @historycomputer.com. Here are the steps.

Step 1: Open your inbox and proceed to settings 

Click see all settings.

Log in to your inbox and click on the gear icon at the top right corner to open settings. Then select see all settings. 

Step 2: Create a new filter 

Select create a new filter.

Navigate to the filters and blocked addresses tab. Scroll down to Create a new filter. 

Step 3: Add the domain address to the whitelist 

Enter the domain you want to whitelist.

On the open page, add the domain address you want to whitelist and click create filter. 

Step 4: Whitelist the domain

Mark never send it to spam.

Check the box to the left of Never send it to spam to safelist the domain. Select Create filter, and you will have safe listed all emails from that domain. Be careful when whitelisting domains to avoid whitelisting domains that will lead to spam emails in your inbox. 

Whitelisting Several Email Addresses

If you have several email addresses or domains you need to whitelist, you can do this by separating the addresses using the pipe symbol (|). To type this symbol, use the keyboard combination Shift+key with the hash sign(#). 

Follow steps 1-3 above, and in the ‘from’ field, enter one email address and separate it with the pipe symbol. 

Whitelisting on the Gmail App

If you are accessing Gmail on an iPhone or Android device, you can whitelist an address using the Gmail app. Here are the steps. 

Step 1: Open the app and navigate to the spam folder

Click on spam.

Open the app with a big colored M and enter your account details to continue to inbox. Next, click on the three lines at the top left corner, open a menu, and then scroll down to spam. 

Step 2: Report not spam 

Select Report, not spam.

Click on the email you want to safelist, then select Report not Spam in the email. The email is automatically sent to your inbox, and the address will be whitelisted in the future. 


Gmail spam filters have gotten so good that they sometimes filter emails that are not spam. Fortunately, you can also safelist emails you never want to miss. After whitelisting, this will apply to the emails you receive next from the sender but will not remove those already in the spam folder. 

Up next

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do legit emails end up in spam?

Legit emails end up spam if the Gmail filters interpret these emails as spam. Additionally, you may have marked a previous email from the same sender as spam either accidentally or intentionally.

What is the total number of emails you can whitelist on Gmail?

There is no limit to the total number of emails you can whitelist. If most of the email addresses that you are whitelisting have the same domain, consider whitelisting the domain instead.

Can a whitelisted email end up in spam?

A whitelisted email can never end up in spam, even if it has suspicious content.

How does Gmail determine spam emails?

Gmail determines spam emails using AI spam filters. These spam filters look at several signs of the email to determine whether it is spam.

How long do spam emails remain in Gmail?

Spam emails remain in the spam folder for 30 days. After these days, they are automatically deleted from Gmail.

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