How to Whitelist in Gmail

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One of the most often asked questions about Gmail is how to whitelist something, or how to whitelist someone, in Gmail. It’s not difficult to whitelist with Gmail – in fact, it’s much harder to figure out how to whitelist with Gmail than it is to actually do it!

Here’s how to whitelist with Gmail:

To whitelist all email to a certain address, from a certain sender, or with a certain subject:


1. Select the “create a filter” link, which is up to the right of your search box:

2. Fill in the “to” line, or the subject line, or whatever it is that you want to whitelist. In our example, we are whitelisting all email from our free email alerts service,
3. Click “next”

This brings you to the next and final screen for creating a filter:

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4. At this point you can choose to archive it (skip the inbox – this works well if you are collecting email from Gmail via pop, rather than reading it through Gmail), have the email starred, apply a label to it, etc..

Alternatively, if you want to quickly whitelist a particular sender:

1. Click on and open an email from the sender that you want to whitelist.

2. Click on the little down-pointing-triangle-arrow next to “reply”:

3. Click “Add (sender name) to contacts list”:


That’s it! You’re done!

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How to Whitelist in Gmail

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9 Replies to “How to Whitelist in Gmail”

  1. Google mail is the MOST non-intuitive app that was ever written. I log into the same year-old list of email every time. People say they sent me mail, but I never see it.

    The best solution? hotmail. Just don’t use gmail to verify hotmail. when they send a code, it will never arrive…..

  2. I cannot send to users from my Outlook 2010 through gmail. Will the White List concept work for this and how is it done?

  3. A “white list” (in the sense that only those filtered can be received) can only exist if a “blacklist” blocks EVERYTHING else, otherwise its just another filtered list. Is there anyway to block ALL emails except a select few in gmail? thanks

  4. How do you remove a whitelisted email address — esp. if you’re not sure you’ve whitelisted them? I don’t show any filters and the contact is not in my contact list, but a message was in my Inbox, but not my friend’s Inbox — from the same sender.
    — Confused

  5. JEG,
    I must be missing something. Won’t the “I hate Georgia Tech” filter delete everything including the whitelisted emails? How do you make this an “or” statement?

  6. If I am setting up numerous (over 1000 accounts and want to whitelist a certain email address or addresses can I do this for all 1000 or does each of the 1000 users have to do this themselves?? THanks for the help

  7. Someone asked me how to do this, and I stumbled on this post. So simple even a non-techie could figure it out easily. Thanks for the informative how-to.

  8. abhay,
    Don’t know if you fixed your problem yet but here is what I do. Whitelist everybody I want then add a filter “Doesn’t have” and just add a simple phrase you can remember like “I hate Georgia Tech”. Now any email that is not from your whitelist or does not contain that phrase in the body will be set to the trash. Hope this helped you. Later.

  9. i want to recieve mail only from people in my contact list and block all the other mail. Is it possible to get this facilty in Gmail?

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