Gmail unwanted label

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You receivedozens, maybe even hundreds, of email messages each day. But not all thoseemail messages are helpful or even wanted. Fortunately, Gmail has a pretty goodspam management system. Even so, there are still times that you”ll receivemessages you don”t want.

You are reading: Gmail unwanted label

Gmail unwanted label
Gmail unwanted label

Use Gmail to block unwanted messages.

It could be that you”re still on an email list from a former project,despite asking to be removed. It could be that someone you know hasbeen sending you distracting messages. Or maybe, you”ve subscribed to an emailnewsletter you no longer want to receive. Perhaps, the unwanted messages arespam—messages from a complete stranger.

No matter whatthe circumstances, if you”re receiving unwanted emails and you use Gmail thereare steps you can take to manage or even eliminate those unwanted messages. Inthis tutorial, I”ll explain how to block spam and filter emails in Gmail.

Before you go further into this tutorial, consider downloading our new eBook: The Ultimate Guide to Inbox Zero Mastery. (It”s available for FREE with the Tuts+ Newsletter.) Spam is just one of the many problems to address with cleaning up your email inbox. Learn more inside:

Your Quick Start Guide to Filter & Block Unwanted Emails (Spam) in Gmail(Video)

Are you ready to learn more about filtering and blocking spam messages in Gmail? Watch this quick screencast to learn all about how to manage unwanted messages.


Or, study the complete written tutorial below.

Why You Get Unwanted Messages

There arebasically two sources of unwanted messages:

contacts you know (or knew)contacts you don”t know

Unwantedmessages from people you know (or knew) can happen when you leave a job or project.Often, your email address stays on mailing lists associated with that job orproject. For example, after I left a corporate job I still received emailsrelated to that job.

A year after leaving the job I was surprised to receive anemail invite to their annual tradeshow. They didn”t really want me to attend,but I had gone the year before as an employee. The people putting the tradeshowtogether still had my name on their email list.

Sometimes, youreceive unwanted emails from people you don”t know. Spammers can get your emailaddress through various methods. Here are just a few:

Guessing – They may use an algorithm to generatevariations of an email. They then send the same spam message to every emailaddress generated.Hacking – Occasionally secure lists are hackedand details are leaked, including email addresses.Purchase – Some companies sell lists of emailaddresses. Often these lists are created when you respond to a free offer.Scraping – Spammers may use a tool to search theweb for email addresses posted online. They then send spam messages to theaddresses they have found.

Gmail already hassome pretty strong spam filters in place. Also, by using the techniques below, you furtherreduce your chances of receiving an unwanted message.

What About Cyberbullying?

Save the Evidence – If you receive a threatening email,don”t delete it. You need to save the message as evidence of what is going on. Createa folder or label and store the message there.Block the Sender – If they are on your contact list,remove them. Block future messages from them.

To learn moreabout cyberbullying, what it is and how to prevent it, go to the U.S.Department of Health & Human Services site,

1. How to Filter Messages From a Certain Sender

It”s not hard to learn how to filter emails in Gmail or block certain emails. You can keep aspecific user from sending messages to you. You can block their messages, or sendtheir messages straight to a folder. Here”s how to block an email address inGmail.

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Method 1. How to Block Messages From a Sender

Now we”ll review how to create a filter in Gmail to block messages from someone by email address. Start with amessage open from the sender you want to block. In this case, I no longer wantto receive these status reports.

Click the down arrow to display the drop-down menu.

Click the downarrow toward the upper right of the screen. A drop-down menu displays.

Select the Block option to block an email address in Gmail.

Select the Block “Sender Name” option. Aconfirmation message displays indicating that future messages from this senderwill be marked as spam. They will be sent to your Spam folder. Click the Blockbutton in the confirmation message.

To unblock asender, re-open the drop-down menu.


Click the Unblock option to unblock an email address in Gmail.

This time themenu option reads Unblock “SenderName.” Select the Unblock”Sender Name” option. A confirmation message displays indicatingthat future messages from this sender will appear in your inbox. Click the unblock button in the confirmationmessage.

Method 2. Automatically Filter Out Messages From a Certain Sender

Let”s look at how to filter emails in Gmail automatically. You can also usethe filter to send messages from a specific sender straight to a certain label(folder). For example, perhaps I want to filter all messages from a formeremployee so that they automatically go to a certain label. Here”s how to do it.

Start with yourGmail open.

Display the Advanced Search box.

Click the arrowon the right of the Gmail search bar todisplay the Advanced Gmail search box.


When you are ready, click the Create filter with this search link.

Type the name ofthe sender whose messages you want to filter into the From field. You can be more specific with your filter by specifying moreinformation in the other fields. When you are done entering information, clickthe Create filter with this searchlink. The Create filter box appears.


Select an option and click the Create filter button.

This box asks youwhat you want to do with every message that meets the criteria you defined inthe Advanced Gmail search box.

Note that severaloptions, such as Delete it and Skip the Inbox, would keep these messagesout of your Gmail inbox. The Delete itoption, in particular, would keep an unwanted message from a sender out of bothyour inbox and Spam folder.

Today we aregoing to choose to send the specified messages to a label I created called Former Employees.

Check the boxnext to the Apply the label option.Click the arrows in the Choose labelbox. A drop-down menu displays showing the available labels.


Select a label. Click the Create filter button to create a filter that keeps unwanted messages from your inbox.

Click the labelwhere you want to file messages from a particular sender, in this case Former Employees. Click Create filter to create the filter. Amessage displays at the top of your inbox saying Your Filter was created. Learn more.

All messages from the specified sender will now be labeled and easy to see. Use the Move To icon (it looks like a folder) to remove these message from your Primary tab so you don”t have to see them.

See also: Why Am I Getting “Web Login Required” Message While Connecting To Gmail Via Imap?

To find out moreabout using the Gmail search utility, review this tutorial:

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2. How to Block Unwanted Group Emails

As a small owner, you may find yourself on an email list that you no longer wish to be on. Fortunately, most countries haveanti-spam laws in place that require the sender to provide a way for recipientsto opt out of future emails. To learn more about the laws surrounding email,review trend 4 in this article:

Step 1. How to Find Subscriptions Using Search

It can be hard to find messages that are subscriptions.That”s because they are likely spread over several folders or labels. You canuse Gmail”s search feature to find all messages with unsubscribe links.

With your Gmail inbox open, type “unsubscribe” inthe Search box at the top of the screen.

Type “unsubscribe” in the Gmail search box to find messages that are subscriptions.

Click the Searchicon next to the Search box (shapedlike a magnifying glass) to run the search. A list of all messages that containan unsubscribe link appears.


Click the Search icon to find email messages that are subscriptions.

You are now ready to begin unsubscribing from messages.

Step 2. How to Unsubscribe From a Message

In Gmail, you have several methods for unsubscribing tonewsletters and other mailing lists:

Use the Unsubscribe Email Link – You can still scroll to the bottom ofthe email and click the unsubscribe link. (This works on other email platformsas well.) The downside to this approach is that it forces you to scroll throughthe message to find the link.UseGmail”s Unsubscribe Feature – Gmail detects when an email has an unsubscribelink. An unsubscribe link displays at the top of the Gmail message, next to thesender”s name.

Let”s examine each of these methods.

Method 1. Find Unsubscribe Link

In most emails the unsubscribelink is at the bottom of the email. Here”s the unsubscribe link at the bottom of an email newsletter I receivefrom Envato.

How to Unsubscribe From a Message

Click the unsubscribe link to unsubscribe from an email.

Once you locate the unsubscribelink on the email you wish to discontinue, click it and follow the prompts.

Method 2. Use Gmail”s Unsubscribe Feature

Gmail can detect an unsubscribe button at the bottom of anemail. When this occurs, it displays an unsubscribe link at the top of theemail next to the sender”s email address. Here”s how Gmail”s unsubscribefeature appears on the email we examined above.

Click the Unsubscribe link to unsubscribe from the email in Gmail.

To unsubscribe from the email, click the Unsubscribe link. Follow the prompts,which ask you to confirm your decision.

3. How to Report Spam Messages

Gmail has sophisticatedalgorithms in place to send some messages straight to your spam folder. Hereare some examples of types of messages that go directly to your spam folder:

messageswith no contentmessageswith misleading email addresses that appear to be from a well-known company,but are notmessagesthat appear to be phishing for your personal or financial information (more onthis later)

Google has acomplete list of email types they consider to be spam on their support page.

Here is how toblock spam in Gmail.

Step 1. How to Flag a Message as Spam

You can flag anunwanted message as spam. Doing this helps Gmail to “learn” whattypes of emails you consider to be spam. Here”s how to flag a message as spam.

Start with yourGmail inbox open. Don”t open the suspected spam email. Instead, click thecheckbox next to the message. Then click the Report Spam icon above your messages.

How to Flag a Message as Spam

Click the Report Spam icon to report a message and to send it to your spam folder.

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The message issent to your spam folder. Your action also provides feedback for the overallGmail spam filter.

Step 2. Retrieve a Message Fromthe Spam Folder

If you”d like toretrieve a message from your spam folder that you accidentally sent there,here”s how to do it.

Start with yourGmail open. Click on the Spam folderin the list of folders on the left.

Retrieve a Message Fromthe Spam Folder

To select a message, click the checkbox next to it.

With the Spamfolder open, find the message you wish to retrieve. Click the checkbox next tothe message. Click the Not spambutton above the messages.



Click the Not spam button to retrieve a selected message from the Spam folder.

A messagedisplays confirming that the message has been unmarked as spam and moved to theinbox.

4. How to Report Scams and Phishing Messages

There is aspecial category of spam messages that are particularly harmful. These are scamand phishing messages.

A scam messagecontains an offer that is false. A phishing message goes one stepfurther. It uses the email to gather your personal or financialinformation.

An example of ascam message is a message that claims to be selling a product. If you buy theproduct through a link in the message and never receive it (or receivesomething other than what was promised) the message may be a scam.

Phishing messagesoften appear to come from a reputable source such as a government agency or afinancial institution. An example is a message that claims to be from your bankasking you to click a link and enter your account number.

In mostcountries, email fraud is illegal. It”s also a violation of most internetprovider”s terms of service and of Google”s policies. You can report a fraudulentmessage to Gmail using this form.

You should alsoreport email fraud to the proper authorities. Reporting fraud prevents otherpeople from becoming victims. In the United States, you can contact the FederalTrade Commission (FTC) using the FTC Complaint Assistant. In the United Kingdom, use the links on this website.


As a small owner, you shouldn”t have to worry aboutunwanted emails.

You can reduce the number of unwanted messages you receiveby making use of Gmail”s filtering and blocking capabilities. You can alsoreduce the number of dangerous scam and phishing emails that you receive, ifyou know what to do.

Knowing how to stop spam in Gmail and how to filter or blockother unwanted messages is an important part of making your Gmail more secure. It also helps keep your Gmail inbox organized, so you can work productively in Gmail, responding only to the email messages that you do want.

More Great Email Resources to Help You Out

Keep in mind though, there are a number of additional problematic issues than just Spam to address that can add a ton of clutter to your inbox. 

Learn the best email inbox management techniques in our new eBook: The Ultimate Guide to Inbox Zero Mastery (grab it now for FREE). Get your email inbox organized quickly and you processing your most important emails like a pro.

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More Great Email Resources to Help You Out

Also, ifyou”d like to learn more about computer security, review these tutorials:

If you would like to learn more about how to work with Gmail, from getting started to using it”s most productive features, then jump into our multi-part Ultimate Beginner Guide to Gmail.

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