How to Block on Gmail

May 16, 2022
How to Block on Gmail
Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Research suggests that up to 87% of marketers use email marketing as a distribution channel for content. This is likely one of the main reasons why the average person receives as many as 121 emails every day.

If you’re getting especially tired of receiving marketing emails from a particular sender, then blocking them could be the right strategy.

Not sure how to get started? We’ve got you covered. Keep reading to learn how to block someone on Gmail and the most important factors to consider when doing so.

An overview of blocking on Gmail

The process of blocking someone on Gmail is thankfully pretty simple. We’ll give you more detail in later sections, but here’s an overview of the process:

  1. Open up an email from an unwanted sender
  2. Click on the three dots near the reply button
  3. Click on “block {{sender}}”
  4. Confirm that you wish to block future emails from the sender

How to block on Gmail (desktop)

Step 1: Open an email from the sender you want to block

To start the blocking process, simply open up one of the emails that you’ve received from the sender that you no longer want to see in your inbox.

Step 2: Click on the three dots next to the reply button and hit “block”

When you open up the email, take a look at the top right corner of the screen. Next to your reply button, you’ll see three vertical dots.

Click on the dots and then choose “block {{sender}}” just like we’ve done in the screenshot above.

Step 3: Confirm the action in the popup menu

Now all that’s left to do is confirm the action that you’ve taken when prompted to do so. The menu will look like the one you see above.

That’s it! You’ve successfully blocked the person or company on Gmail.

They’re still free to send you messages. But now, those messages will go directly to your junk folder instead of showing up in your inbox.

How to block on Gmail (mobile)

You can also block emails from an unwanted sender from your mobile device. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Open up the Gmail app

Make sure to open up the Gmail app specifically – not a general mail app like the “Mail” app that many people use on their iPhones.

If you use a generic app instead of the Gmail app to access your email on mobile, then the instructions for blocking are going to be slightly different from the ones we’re providing here.

Step 2: Open up the unwanted email

Once you’ve opened up Gmail, tap on the email from the unwanted sender to bring it up on your screen.

Step 3: Click on the three horizontal dots in the top-right corner and hit block

You can see the placement of these dots in the screenshot above near the top right corner of the screen.

Tap on these dots and then hit “block” on the menu that shows up, the same way that you would’ve done on a desktop.

Step 4: Confirm your decision in the popup menu

You may have to confirm your decision to block the person in a popup confirmation window before moving on.

Unblocking on Gmail

After you’ve gone through the process of blocking someone, you may decide that you want to begin seeing some of their emails after all.

If so, you’ll need to unblock them before being able to do so.

The process for this is exactly the same as it is for blocking someone on Gmail – regardless of whether you’re on a desktop device or a mobile phone.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Open one of the user’s emails from your junk inbox
  • Click on the three bars near the reply button as you did when you blocked them
  • Click on “unblock” which now appears in the dropdown menu instead of “block”
  • Confirm your selection in the popup window

Things to be careful of when blocking on Gmail

Blocking someone on Gmail is an excellent way to clear up your inbox and save yourself time. However, there are a few potential pitfalls that you’ll want to avoid.

Here are three things to be careful of:

Forgetting to confirm your decision to block someone

We mentioned it above but it’s worth repeating. You need to confirm your decision to block someone after you hit the “block” button from the dropdown menu.

If you navigate away from the page before doing this, then the block won’t actually happen and you’ll continue receiving the messages that you want to avoid.

So make sure that you don’t navigate away from the block page too quickly, and confirm the block first.

Senders with multiple email addresses

Another thing to keep in mind is that some senders will share emails from more than one account. That means even if you block one of their addresses, your inbox may continue getting spammed with their messages.

Thankfully, there’s a workaround. You can fix this problem by creating a filtering rule for all addresses that share the same domain name.

We put together an article that gives a detailed look at how to do this, but here’s a quick overview of the process:

  1. Pull up your inbox and check the box next to one of the emails that you’ve received from the unwanted sender
  2. Click on the three horizontal dots at the top of your inbox and select “filter messages like these”
  3. When the menu pops up, the information will auto-populate with the email address that you’ve selected. You’ll want to add any other variations of the email address that you’ve also received emails from.
  4. Once you’ve gathered all the unwanted email addresses, click on “create filter” and choose an action like “delete it” from the menu that appears.

That’s it – you’ve successfully blocked each variation of an unwanted sender’s email address from making it into your inbox.

Muting instead of blocking

Finally, when you bring up the dropdown menu after clicking on the three dots, you’ll see an option that says “mute”.

Some people assume that muting someone is the same thing as blocking them, but that’s not quite true.

When you click on mute, you’re only making sure that any additional messages in that thread no longer show up in your inbox. You’re not blocking the user from creating new email chains by sending you more standalone messages.

Put simply, if you want to make sure that you no longer receive emails from someone in Gmail, blocking is likely a better option than muting.

Is unsubscribing the same as blocking?

When you open up a mass email, Gmail will usually show you an unsubscribe button near the top of the message. You can see what that looks like in the screenshot above.

If you want to stop receiving mass emails from a particular sender, then you can just click on that link. Doing so will tell the company to take you off of their email list.

If the company is reputable, they’ll honor the request and you won’t receive their mass emails anymore.

That means both blocking an email address and unsubscribing from a mass email campaign will remove unwanted messages from your inbox.

Just note that unsubscribing from a sender doesn’t actually block the address that you’ve been getting emails from. So a non-reputable company could ignore your request to come off of their email list and continue sending you unwanted emails.

If that happens, then the best solution is to block the email address using one of the methods shown above.

What if you can’t unsubscribe?

Sometimes, you won’t see the unsubscribe option appear at the top of a mass email for whatever reason. Don’t worry if that happens to you, the solution is to block them using one of the strategies shown above.

That being said, this will stop all emails from the sender from getting to your inbox, which is a step you may or may not want to take.

If you’d still like to receive some emails from the user and unsubscribing doesn’t work, then you may need to create a special rule for that address.

For example, you could set up a rule that only sends marketing emails from a user to your junk box by filtering out certain keywords.

Avoid getting blocked on Gmail with YAMM

All of this talk about blocking might be sounding a little worrying if you send out marketing emails yourself!

Before you panic, personalizing your mass emails while sending out content that users find truly valuable can help you bring down your block rate considerably.

YAMM’s mail merge add-on for Gmail makes that a lot easier to do. With YAMM, you can instantly personalize emails for your entire list without having to type them all out yourself – and plan your sending while you’re at it.

Plus, YAMM makes it easy to track the performance of your email marketing campaigns. That way, you can identify what’s not working for you and switch your strategy before getting blocked.

So why wait? You can get started with YAMM for free today.



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