How To Tell Gmail An Email Is Not Spam
Last Updated: September 15, 2020
Gmail’s powerful spam filter blocks most nasty, unwanted mail from ever polluting your inbox, but sometimes it blocks legitimate email too. Here’s how to train Gmail to mark specific email messages as not spam.
It can be quite frustrating when an email we’ve been waiting for never arrives in our inbox, only for us to discover that it’s been sitting in our spam folder all this time. While Gmail’s robust spam filter is able to tell real email messages from spam messages, a few still fall through the cracks and end up in the Spam folder.
However, it’s easy to tell Gmail when an email is not spam, but you’ll need to fiddle with the settings a bit to get things up and running. Here are two ways to train Gmail to flag an email as not spam that you can do either on your computer or mobile phone.
Report Emails as Not Spam
This is easy to do either from your computer’s web browser or the Gmail app on your phone.
On your computer
Sign in to your email account on gmail.com. Click on the More dropdown section under your Inbox to access the rest of the labels and folders.
Go to your Spam folder to find the email that you need to move to your primary inbox folder.
Open the email message that’s definitely not spam. Click on the Report not spam button at the top to move this message to your inbox. In this example, this email message was a regular marketing email that got flagged as spam for some reason.
Notice how the message looks broken, with images not loading completely. This is a security precaution against spam messages that may contain malicious links or malware.
As soon as you click the Report not spam button, the message will be transferred to your inbox, and you’ll see a confirmation at the bottom with an option to undo the action.
Clicking on the email message in your inbox will load the message complete with proper images and links.
On your phone
The process is practically the same on your phone, but instead of opening a browser to access Gmail, you need to open the Gmail app and log in to your account. Go to the Spam folder and look for the email message that you need to move.
Open the message and click on Report not spam.
You’ll receive a confirmation once the message has been transferred back to your inbox. You can also undo the action if you need to.
Once back in your inbox, the message should load correctly, and Gmail should learn to flag all incoming messages from this sender as not spam.
Set Up a Filter on Gmail
To make sure that Gmail doesn’t make the same mistake with future email messages from a specific sender, you can set up a filter that will instruct Gmail not to send these messages to the Spam folder.
You’ll need to log on to Gmail on your computer’s browser to do this, as the feature is not yet supported on Gmail for mobile phones.
Setting up a filter can be done while a message is still in the Spam folder or already in the Inbox folder. In this example, we’re setting up the filter after moving the message to the Inbox folder.
Click on the three vertical dots at the end of the toolbar on top of the message. On the dropdown menu, choose Filter messages like this.
On the filter parameters window, fill up the necessary fields then click Create filter.
The next window shows options that Gmail can implement with the filter. You can choose to Never send to Spam any incoming message to ensure that no new messages fall through the cracks. If you have other emails from the same sender, you can also choose to apply these parameters to the other messages. Click on Create filter when done.
To check or edit your existing filters, go to your Settings. First, click on the gear icon to access the Quick Settings. Click on See all settings for the rest of the settings.
Go to Filters and Blocked Addresses to check the settings on your newly created filter. This particular filter was initially created with only the parameter Never send it to Spam. If you want to update or add other parameters to this filter, simply click on the Edit link to make changes. You can also choose to delete the filter.
With these steps, no incoming email messages should ever stray into the Spam folder again. Do this with any other errant messages that shouldn’t be in the Spam folder so that you don’t miss important messages again.