How to Completely Block and Filter Emails from Specific Addresses in Gmail

Email can be a great communication tool, but sometimes you may receive unwanted messages from certain senders that you want to block or filter out. Gmail provides several methods to help you control which emails reach your inbox.

Why You May Want to Block or Filter Emails

There are a few common reasons you may want to block or filter emails in Gmail:

  • Spam – You get a lot of unwanted spam or marketing emails from a particular sender.
  • Harassment – Someone is sending you abusive, threatening, or harassing emails.
  • Irrelevant content – You signed up for a newsletter or mailing list that is no longer relevant to you.

Blocking or filtering allows you to take control of your inbox and minimize distractions from low-value communications.

Difference Between Blocking and Filtering

There are two main options in Gmail for dealing with unwanted emails:

Blocking – Emails from blocked addresses go straight to spam. The sender is unaware their emails were blocked.

Filtering – Emails that match your filter criteria can be labeled, archived, forwarded or sent to trash. The sender is unaware.

Blocking is more absolute, while filters give you more customizable options for managing unwanted emails.

Steps to Block an Email Address in Gmail

Blocking an email address in Gmail is simple:

  1. Open an email from the sender you want to block
  2. Click the More icon (3 dots) in the top right
  3. Select Block [sender’s email address]
  4. Confirm by selecting Block

All future emails from that address will now go straight to spam.

Tip: If you accidentally block someone, repeat the steps and select Unblock [sender’s email address] instead.

Steps to Filter Emails in Gmail

Filtering gives you more options for dealing with unwanted emails. Here’s how to create a filter in Gmail:

  1. Click the gear icon > See all settings
  2. Select Filters and Blocked Addresses
  3. Click Create a new filter
  4. Enter filter criteria
    • Sender’s email address
    • Subject keywords
    • Other options like size, date, etc
  5. Choose what to do with matching emails
    • Label, archive, forward, etc
  6. Click Create filter

Some examples of filter actions:

  • Apply label “Newsletters”
  • Archive it
  • Forward to another email address
  • Send it to trash

You can create multiple filters to precisely manage your incoming emails.

How to Edit or Delete Filters

To edit or remove a filter:

  1. Go to Filters and Blocked Addresses in Gmail Settings
  2. Locate the filter you want to modify
  3. Click Edit or Delete
  4. For edits, update criteria and actions then click Update Filter

Review your filters periodically to ensure they are still relevant and working as intended.

Advanced Tips for Filtering Emails

  • Use Boolean search operators like OR, NOT to refine filter rules
  • Filter based on words in email body text
  • Create filters for mailing lists using “+” address tags
  • Use filters to automatically label VIP emails for priority

Take some time to set up filters that make your inbox work for you. Reduce clutter and highlight important conversations.

Completely Blocking All Emails

While Gmail does not allow completely blocking an address to prevent emails from being sent or received, you can filter emails to be automatically deleted.

To effectively block an email address:

  1. Create a filter for the sender’s address
  2. Choose to Delete it for the filter action
  3. Enable the setting to Also apply filter to matching conversations

This will automatically delete all existing and new emails from that sender, providing the closest equivalent to completely blocking an address.


  • Use Gmail blocking to send emails from specified addresses directly to spam
  • Create filters to label, archive, forward or trash unwanted messages
  • Edit and delete filters when needs change over time
  • Set up automatic deletion to effectively block all emails from a given address

Controlling your Gmail inbox is easy once you know how to use blocks and filters. Set them up now to increase productivity and minimize interruptions.