Email is a powerful tool in the modern world. It’s not only used for professional correspondence, but for a variety of other purposes as well, including messages from your school or university, keeping in touch with distant friends or family, sending digital files, or just generally keeping track of your online accounts and purchases. The ease of sending email, and the fact that most people have more than one email address, means your inbox(es) can quickly fill with spam.
While you can unsubscribe from mailing lists through Google, you might still receive unwanted emails. Gmail users who want to shut out this noise can do so with just a few clicks. Here’s how to block an email address in Gmail.
Blocking a particular email address through Gmail means you will no longer receive messages from that account in your inbox. It’s an all-or-nothing kind of thing. If you want to receive certain messages from that address but not others, you’ll have to put up with deleting a few emails every now and then.
If you are on a computer
Step 1: First, navigate to your Gmail inbox, and open an email from the sender you would like to block.
Step 2: In the upper-right corner of the email — on the same horizontal plane as the sender’s name and address — is an icon made up of three vertically stacked dots. Click on the Dots icon to open a drop-down menu. From this menu, select Block [Sender’s Name], which should appear near the middle of the list.
It’s that easy! Now, any messages that address sends you will automatically be directed to your spam folder.
If you are on a smartphone
Step 1: The process works the same on smartphones, although the interface looks a bit different. First, open the email from the sender you want to block.
Step 2: In the upper-right corner (of the message, not the app itself), there will be a button marked with three vertical dots. This button is also located on the same horizontal plane as the name of the email’s sender. Select the Dots button to open the drop-down menu.
Step 3: Next, choose Block [Sender’s Name]. You’ll now no longer receive messages from that email address.
Blocking is a great way to reduce the chaos of unwanted messages in your email inbox — sometimes, unsubscribing from mailing lists just isn’t enough.
Of course, it’s possible that you may change your mind and want to unblock someone. You can open that same drop-down menu in either interface and select the Unblock [Sender’s Name] option. Both interfaces should also display a dark gray and white banner message at the top of an email from a blocked sender that also features an Unblock Sender button you can click to unblock an address. You can also view and unblock any previously blocked addresses from the Filters and Blocked Addresses tab in your Gmail settings.
If someone emails you in order to intimidate, threaten, or harass you, that’s a violation of Gmail’s Program Policies, and you can report the harasser. However, call the local authorities instead of simply blocking their email address if you think you’re in danger. You can also ask police about the local cyber harassment laws to see if any apply to your situation.