How to Stop Spam Emails in Gmail

Ben Stegner Updated 08-07-2019

You’d think that email spam would be a solved problem by now, yet it persists. Billions of spam messages are sent every day, and there’s a good chance that some of it makes its way into your Gmail inbox.


Thankfully, you don’t have to put up with that nonsense. Let’s look at some ways to block spam email on Gmail and get rid of spam for good.

1. Use the Block and Report Spam Features

Report Gmail Message Spam

Gmail has a few tools built into the service that allows you to report spam and block annoying senders. They’re the easiest way to cut off spam that keeps coming from one address.

To report a message as spam, first open it as normal. Click the three-dot Menu in the top-right corner of the message and find the Report spam button. Doing so will report it to Google and send it to your spam folder.

On the same menu, you’ll find a Block “Name” option. Use this to prevent that person from sending you any more messages. You can also block and unblock contacts in Gmail How to Block and Unblock Contacts in Gmail Blocking and unblocking contacts in Gmail is a simple matter of just a few steps---and they won't know they were blocked. Read More as required.


2. File Emails Into Folders via Filters

You don’t have to let every incoming message into your inbox. Gmail offers filters, which let you intelligently sort messages into folders where you can deal with them as needed. Of course, for our purposes, they make a great way to block spam emails.

To start making a filter, check the box that appears to the left of a message in your inbox. Then click the three-dot Menu button that appears underneath the search bar and choose Filter messages like these.

First, you’ll need to fill out the fields to set up your filter. You can simply include all messages from a sender, or get more specific by including the subject, size, or attachment status. Once you’re satisfied, click Create filter to move on.

Create Gmail Filter Criteria


Setting Filter Actions

Next, you’ll need to decide what happens to messages that match the earlier criteria. You have several options here. If you’re sure that all messages in this filter are junk, check Delete it.

For a safer approach that still helps block spam in Gmail, try using the Skip the Inbox (Archive It) box, which will prevent it from landing in your main list of messages. Combine it with Apply the label and a label you create, like Potential Spam, and you can review potential junk messages at your convenience without them clogging your inbox.

Gmail Filter Actions

If you want your filter to also run on current messages, check the Also apply filter to matching conversations box. When done, click Create filter and you’re all set.


This small step will go a long way in helping you get rid of spam emails in Gmail. See our guide to email filters How to Set Up Email Filters in Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Outlook Here's how to filter emails in Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook so you can better organize your inbox and stay productive. Read More for more tips.

3. Sign Up to Sites Using Gmail Aliases

One of the strongest tools to fight Gmail spam hides right under your nose. You can create an infinite amount of alias addresses by adding periods or plus signs in your email address.

For example, say your email address is If you wanted to sign up for a website called Free Stuff Inc. but feared it might spam you, you could enter as your email address on the site. All messages from that sender still arrive in your inbox, but you can use filters as described above to weed out spam from that source.

To do so, walk through the steps in the above section. However, instead of filtering by the From field, filter by To. Enter your alias address (such as here, and you can send all messages sent to that alias to your spam or another folder. You don’t even have to know the address that the sender uses.


Gmail Filter By To Address

If you use a unique alias for every site you sign up for, you can check how much mail each one gets. This helps you determine which sites are the worst for spamming. And if you want to dive deeper, you should know that Gmail aliases have other uses too 3 Ways to Use Email Aliases in Gmail to Your Advantage Gmail email aliases let you create new email addresses for yourself in an instant. Use these tips to use them to your advantage. Read More .

4. Unsubscribe to Keep Subscriptions Under Control

Gmail Unsubscribe Link

In many cases, an overflowing inbox isn’t caused by excess spam, but too many newsletters and other automated messages that you signed up for. It’s easy to sign up for email lists to get exclusive shopping offers, news on your favorite bands, and similar, but how often do you actually read those?

Take some time to look through your email subscriptions. If you haven’t opened a message (let alone acted on it) from a sender in months, you should unsubscribe to cut down on the noise. In the future, watch out for pre-checked boxes that sign you up for newsletters that you don’t care about.

Most legitimate email newsletters include an Unsubscribe link at the bottom that makes the process easy. In case you don’t see one, click the dropdown arrow beneath the sender’s name and look for an Unsubscribe from this sender link.

5. Try Email Management Apps

If you have hundreds of subscriptions, you might like to use a service that’s built to help you manage them. An app like lets you easily unsubscribe in bulk, while also letting you “roll up” subscriptions into one daily email instead of trickling in all day.

You can choose what time the rollup arrives, making it even more convenient. Just be aware that these services scan your emails and use the information for marketing purposes. For privacy-friendly alternatives, go with these apps to manage your newsletters 5 Apps to Manage Good Email Newsletters and Unsubscribe Junk Do you like subscribing to newsletters? These tools help you manage them in your inbox and unsubscribe the ones you don't want. Read More . If you want an open source alternative, try Gmail Unsubscribe.

6. Protect Your Email Address

One of the most important ways to stop spam emails on Gmail is preventing them from reaching you in the first place. Think twice before entering your email address on a website that you don’t fully trust. Consider setting up a separate account that you use for general websites and using your Gmail account for personal messages only.

If you want to go further, you can also try using disposable email services Need a Disposable Email Address? Try These Great Services Need to send or receive an email without using your real address? Here are some great services that let you do just that. Read More . These let you access a short-term temporary inbox for confirmation codes or other quick messages. Doing so keeps your actual email address private while still letting you get through login prompts or similar.

Too Much Spam in Gmail? Not Anymore

Now you don’t have to wonder how to stop spam emails in Gmail. These practical tips help you get less spam, block the worst offenders, and filter potential junk that does get through. If you have an extreme spam problem, it may be best to start over with a fresh address. But that’s only necessary in the worst cases.

Unfortunately, spam isn’t the only possible problem your inbox can pose. Make sure you don’t fall victim to Bitcoin adult website scams Adult Website Email Scam: Don't Give Bitcoin to Thieves Received an email from someone claiming to have access to your account? Here's a breakdown of the adult website email scam. Read More that arrive via email.

Related topics: Email Tips, Gmail, Google Inbox, Spam, Subscriptions.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Alan
    November 13, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    ALL readers above me are highly critical of this article... and with some reason.

    On the other hand, I find the info on Gmail ALIASES to be valuable and useful... because this tactic makes it simple to identify websites that violate privacy protocols... sell their email lists... and SPAM.

    Kayla... although late to find this article, ALL is not lost... you just found (1) reader who found actionable value in this article.

    The good news is... there's always room to IMPROVE... and readers who have such big brains... can be more thoughtful and considerate making concrete suggestions to improve the article... instead of being reckless barbarians slinging axes and spears.

    Thank youl

    • dragonmouth
      July 8, 2019 at 9:14 pm

      "here's always room to IMPROVE"
      Yes, there is. Unfortunately, Google's idea of "improving" GMail is to make it prettier rather than to add functionality.

      "readers who have such big brains... can be more thoughtful and considerate making concrete suggestions to improve the article"
      You've got it wrong. It is not the article that needs improving, it is GMAIL. I've been making concrete suggestions to Google on what improvements I would like to see for at least 10 years. Never got ANY response, not even a suggestion to go fly a kite. However, over that time span, GMail has received many glitz, glitter and eye candy changes.

      One concrete change I would like to see is an addition of "PERMANENTLY Delete" option to Filter Actions to automatically get rid of any undesirable email I so designated. Is Google hoping that I will change my mind and open up undesirable email(s)???
      BTW - I had that option in AT&T's WorldNet more than 20 years ago. So, apparently, it cannot be that hard to implement.

  2. Bent Rasmussen
    May 13, 2018 at 10:01 pm

    Clickbait. Useless. Waste of time. Too bad, because you write well, Kayla. Please try to find another gig.

  3. GFY
    April 4, 2018 at 9:09 pm

    Waste of my time. Agree with all comments/people who posted them.

    Everything google pukes out is a joke (not to mention nothing more than a anti-privacy/stalking mechanism);
    MUO offers nothing of use.

  4. dragonmouth
    September 25, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    Agree with Ahmed. Clickbait title.

    "Finally Clean Up Your Gmail Inbox "
    You're not 'cleaning it up', you are just redistributing the emails.

    "Stop Spam Forever"
    Unfortunately GMail refuses to automatically block or delete any SPAM no matter how many times you designate it as such. It just keep sticking it in the SPAM folder.

  5. Steve W
    September 24, 2017 at 11:52 am

    Does inbox support Gmail alias addresses in the same fashion? Or will I have to change from inbox to Gmail?

    September 23, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    Why do you recommend UN.roll without mentioning its privacy implications and malfeasances?

  7. Ahmed
    September 22, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    I have been doing these for years. Click bait title. MUO lost a reader.

  8. Ahmed
    September 22, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    Wow, such a lame article.
    I have been doing these for years now. Yet I thought this FINALLY NO SPAM article will be good.
    So long MUO, you lost a reader.