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.
When unsubscribing from a mailing list isn’t enough, blocking is an excellent way to help reduce the madness of unwanted messages in your inbox.
You will use the same drop-down menu you employed to block someone as you do to unblock them. Just select the Unblock [Sender’s Name] option from either interface. Either interface will also show a dark grey and white banner at the top of any email from a blocked sender. You can click the Unblock Sender button on this banner to unblock that address, too.
If you go to Gmail settings, you will see a tab entitled Filters and Blocked Addresses, which you can click on to see all the email addresses you have blocked and unblocked.
You may find yourself in the unfortunate and sometimes scary situation of receiving threatening or harassing emails. In that case, you can rest easy knowing this is a violation of Gmail’s Program Policies and can also be a violation of cyber harassment laws.
Not only should you block these email addresses, but you should also file a police report for harassment. Police near you can educate you on your local cyber laws and determine whether they apply to your situation.
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