Block messages from an email address or domain

As an administrator, you can help prevent spam and malicious email by adding email addresses or entire domains to a blocked senders list. This way, you’re automatically rejecting messages from them. 

A blocked senders setting applies to users depending on their organizational unit. You can block messages by address or domain for everyone in your organization. Or, you can create different settings for different departments.

Groups: Blocked senders settings don't necessarily apply to messages posted in Google Groups for Business. If the blocked sender sends to a group, members of the group might receive the message. It depends on their notification or email settings for the group.

Address lists and Gmail settings

To create a blocked sender setting, add one or more address lists to the setting. Address lists are managed independently of settings in your Google Admin console. Learn more in Using address lists in Gmail settings.

Create a blocked sender setting

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Step 1: Create or select an address list for your blocked senders rule
  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. From the Admin console Home page, go to Appsand thenGoogle Workspaceand thenGmailand thenSpam, Phishing and Malware.
  3. To apply the setting to everyone, leave the top organizational unit selected. Otherwise, select a child organizational unit.

  4. Scroll to Blocked senders and choose an option:

    • To edit an existing setting, click Edit next to the rule. The Edit setting box opens.

    • For a new blocked senders setting, click Add another rule. The Add setting box opens.

  5. Enter a description for the blocked senders setting.

  6. Click an option:

    • Use existing list: Select one or more address lists in the Select address lists box. Then, go directly to Step 2: (Optional) Edit the default reject notice.

    • Create or edit list: The Manage address lists window opens in a new browser tab.

  7. In the Manage address lists window:

    1. Click Add Blocked list.

    2. Enter a name for the new list.

    3. Click Add Address to add email addresses or domain names to the list. 

    4. After you've added all addresses and domains, click Save.

  8. Return to the Add setting box on the original browser tab.

  9. (Optional) To add more address lists to the blocked sender setting, repeat Steps 6–8.

For details on how to use address lists, go to Using address lists in Gmail settings.

Step 2: (Optional) Edit the default rejection notice

Under Edit the default rejection notice, add custom text for a rejection notice. Blocked senders get this notice when their message is rejected.

Step 3: (Optional) Add exceptions to your list

You can add a list of exceptions to your blocked senders setting. Messages sent from domains or addresses in your exception lists are delivered to recipients normally.

Notes for exception lists:

  • Other Gmail settings can still block messages from domains or email addresses on the exception list.
  • If a message from an approved sender has a virus or is part of an email attack, Google's virus filters block the message from recipients.
  • Gmail checks the addresses or domain names against the From: part of the message header. Gmail doesn't use the envelope sender, or Return-Path part of the message header, for matching. The From: sender must match an address or domain in the list.

To create an exception list:

  1. In the Add setting window, next to Options, check the Bypass this setting for messages received from... box.

  2. Choose an option:

    • Use existing list: Select one or more address lists in the Select address lists box. Then, go directly to Step 4: Add and save the setting

    • Create or edit list: The Manage address lists window opens in a new browser tab.

  3. In the Manage address lists window:

    1. Click Add address list.

    2. Enter a name for the new list.

    3. Click Add Address to add email addresses or domain names to the list. 

    4. After you've added all addresses and domains, click Save.

  4. Return to the Add setting box on the original browser tab.

  5. (Optional) To add more address lists to the exception setting, repeat Steps 2–4.

Step 4: Add and save the setting

In the Add setting box, click Save.

It can take up to 24 hours for changes to take effect. You can track changes in the Admin audit log.

Related topics

Apply Gmail settings to specific senders or domains

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