How to Block and Unblock Contacts in Gmail
Knowing how to use the block and unblock feature on Gmail is one of the drawbridges you have to protect your inbox. Blocking and unblocking your contacts in Gmail is a simple matter of two clicks.
When you block a contact, messages from their addresses will end up in your Spam folder, but they won’t know they were blocked. And don’t forget to unblock them if you just wanted to temporarily block them for a while.
How to Block Someone on Gmail
If someone has sent you an email and you’d like to block them, do the following:
- Open the email message from that contact.
- Click the ellipsis (three vertical dots) button next to the reply button on the message.
- Click Block [Contact Name] where the contact name is the individual’s name.
- In the popup window that appears click the Block button to confirm your choice.
Block Someone on the Mobile Gmail App
The process on the Gmail mobile app for Android and iOS is just as easy. Instead of the vertical ellipsis, you have three horizontal dots on the mobile app for iOS that you should tap to access the block option.
A small banner is displayed on top telling you that future emails from the sender will be marked as spam. The screenshot below is from the Gmail mobile app for iOS.
How to Unblock Someone on Gmail
If you change your mind and want to unblock a contact, do the following:
- Go to Gmail settings (by clicking the gear icon).
- Click the Filters and Blocked Addresses tab.
- Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and you’ll see a list of blocked addresses.
- You’ll have to scroll through the list to find the contact you want to unblock and click the Unblock link. You can also select multiple or all addresses and click Unblock selected addresses.
- In the popup window that appears click the Unblock button to confirm your choice.
Unblock someone on the Mobile Gmail App
To unblock someone, find an old email from the person or account and again click the three dots to view the menu that pops up. Tap on the Unblock [Name] option to remove the bar.
You can also go back to your Gmail Settings and remove the block as we mentioned above.
How to Block All Emails From a Domain With a Rule
Like individual email addresses, you can “block” all emails from specific domains too. But in this case, you have to create a rule that will delete incoming mails from that domain as they hit your inbox.
It’s a timesaver as you don’t have to add individual contacts from that domain to your own Gmail’s blocked list one by one. Here’s how to create a rule that will filter and block all emails from a specific domain automatically:
1. Go to Gmail settings (by clicking the gear icon).
2. Click the Filters and Blocked Addresses tab.
3. Click Create a new filter.
4. A window will open in which you can enter the information for your filter. In the From field, enter the domain. For example, if you were to block all emails coming from the gmail.com domain, you would enter @gmail.com.
5. Click Create filter with this search.
6. In the list of options available, check Delete it.
7. Click Create filter.
You can also take a shortcut to these filter settings by using a single email from the domain.
- Open Gmail.
- Check the checkbox next to the email you want.
- Click More > Filter messages like these.
- Enter your filter criteria.
- Click Create filter.
Note: When you create these rules to filter out unwanted emails, only new emails will be affected. You have to click Also apply filter to [X] matching conversations to affect the older mails in your inbox that match the criteria.
All deleted emails are available in the Trash for 30 days. You can manually check the trash folder for any important mail caught by the filter.
Unblock the domain by deleting the rule. Go to Settings > Filters and Blocked Addresses. Select the filter in the list and click on Delete.
Why Not Use the Spam Button to Block Emails?
You can take a few steps to stop spam in your inbox . But using the spam button is the nuclear option and you should reserve it from persistent junk mail.
Use the Block option for email addresses you recognize but don’t want in your inbox right now. For example, marketing emails from a bank can be blocked and then removed when you decide to become a subscriber.
Block Unsolicited Emails
Blocking or unblocking a contact you know is a straightforward process in any email client. The tougher battle is against the spammers who use clever workarounds like changing the email addresses or spoofing to flood your inbox. Blocking doesn’t work and marking them as spam is also ineffective sometimes.
The Delete button can be your best friend. You can also use smart Gmail filters with keywords to stop automated emails and keep a cleaner inbox.