Surprisingly many people don't know that it's possible to block someone from emailing you. They either ignore it and continuously delete the emails manually, or sometime they'll even change email accounts if the problem gets bad enough.
There are actually many ways to get rid of unwanted emails, and the best method depends on what exactly you're trying to block, whether it's a specific person, some spam email, or other types of unwanted emails.
In this article we'll go over a few of the many ways you can prevent these unwanted emails from getting into your inbox.
How to Block a Person in Gmail
If your issue is that you want to block a specific person then you're in luck. It's actually easier to block a person's email address than it is to block other types of unwanted emails, mostly because there is only one email address to worry about.
If the person is particularly motivated to contact you then they may try to contact you via a few different email addresses. For cases like this it's best to try a few of the methods below to cover all possibilities.
Blocking by Email Address
This is the most common method of blocking emails from people, and it's very effective when dealing with a single person. In the Block Sender app you can do this by selecting the "Person (by email)" option when selecting what you want to block. Using this option also ensures that you don't accidentally block emails that you actually do want in your inbox like a keyword/phrase block might.
Blocking by Name
Another option is to block the person by name and not their actual email address. This is useful when a person has multiple email addresses to email you from, or maybe when a company uses the same email address for different types of emails. For example, maybe you want to block "Acme Inc's" marketing emails sent from
Acme Marketing <[email protected]> but you don't want to block emails from
Acme Support <[email protected]>. In this case, blocking by name is a better option.
This works by looking at the name associated with the email address instead of the actual address itself. This kind of block can be created in the Block Sender app by selecting the "Person (by name)" option when creating a new block.
Note that there is a limitation to this. It is not required to have a name associated with an email address, so if the sender has not used their name on that account then it won't be blocked with this method. Although this works well in conjunction with other block types.
How to Block Spam in Gmail
Getting rid of spam emails can be a bit trickier than when blocking an individual person's emails. This is because the spam can come from many different email addresses and cover a wide range of topics. While Gmail does a pretty good job of sending most spam to the Spam folder, inevitably some still gets through to your inbox.
Below we have outlined a few of the most effective ways of getting rid of this spam mail.
Blocking by Email
Like with blocking a person, you can block spammers by their email address. In some cases this alone is very effective, but other spammers are more resourceful and know that this kind of block is a possibility, so they change their email username for each email sent.
Blocking by Domain
This is one of the most effective ways to block spam. Blocking the entire domain will make sure that all email addresses on the domain won't be able to send you email. So if you blocked
example.com then both of the emails from our above example (
[email protected] and
[email protected]) won't be able to email you.
Note that you do need to be a bit careful using this. When blocking by domain, make sure that you know that only spam emails come from that domain, otherwise you might miss something important.
For example, you wouldn't want to block the
yahoo.com domain names since there are likely users using those email providers that you do want to receive emails from.
Blocking by Subject
A lot of spam out there can be pretty repetitive, which is actually a good thing for you. If you notice that you continuously get emails with some kind of pattern, like the same subject, then blocking by subject would be a good way for you to get rid of those emails.
Blocking by Phrase or Keywords
For the trickier spammers that you can't get rid of using one of the above methods, blocking by phrase or keyword may be a good solution for you. For example, this is especially good for stopping obscene emails by blocking sex or dating-related keywords/phrases to get rid of the very common porn advertisement emails.
Again, you need to be careful with this method, because blocking a word that is very common (like
hello, for example) may then block many legitimate emails that you want to receive.
Blocking by IP Address
This is an advanced type of block that works by stopping emails that are sent through a particular IP address or addresses. If you know of an IP address that sends a large amount of spam then you can block it by using one of the following types of IP address formats:
- IPv4 (i.e. 192.168.1.1)
- IPv6 (i.e. 0:0:0:0:0:ffff:c0a8:101)
- Wildcard (i.e. 192.168.1.*)
- CIDR notation (i.e. 192.168.100.0/24)
Note that a sender's email IP address is not typically the same as the IP address of their website. Emails are usually sent from a different server, and thus a different IP address. Block Sender is currently working on creating some helpful features to help you find the sender's mail server IP address so you don't need to do it yourself. This feature is recommended for advanced users only.
How to Block Other Unwanted Mail in Gmail
The third type of email that we'll be covering in this article is "unwanted email", which isn't necessarily spam, but it's not email you want to receive in your inbox either. For example, this might be an email newsletter, email that wasn't actually intended for you, notification emails, etc.
With this type of email it's always best to first try and unsubscribe or change your notification settings if it originates from a service in which you have an account. It's better for an email to not get sent at all than to have to block it. If for any reason this doesn't work then you still have some effective options.
For this type of email it is usually most effective to block by email address, or even by domain, if needed. This is because for this type of email the address doesn't usually change often, so blocking just the email address is usually enough. For some services, like Facebook for example, transactional emails come from many different email addresses, so you may need to block the domain (
facebookmail.com in our example) instead.
As mentioned in other parts of this article, it's best to be careful when blocking emails from services in which you have an account. For example, you wouldn't want to block a domain that might send you a password reset email. So make sure you first understand exactly what you're blocking.
Other Blocking Options
Of course, Block Sender isn't the only way you can get rid of emails in Gmail. Gmail filters are another option that are reliable and can be accessed via the Settings page of your account. These are good for when you want to filter out certain chat messages in Gmail or automatically filter an email to a specific label, for example.