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
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.
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.
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.
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 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 email@example.com. If you wanted to sign up for a website called Free Stuff Inc. but feared it might spam you, you could enter firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com) 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.
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.
4. Unsubscribe to Keep Subscriptions Under Control
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 Unroll.me 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. 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. 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 that arrive via email.