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Customize spam filter settings

If you have the legacy free edition of Google Apps, upgrade to G Suite to get this feature.

Mail sent to your domain is subject to Google's spam filters. By default, the filters automatically move messages detected as spam into a user's Gmail spam folder. Spam settings and filters apply to all users in an organizational unit. Users in child organizations inherit the settings you create for the parent organization.

You can further customize an organization unit's spam filters to

  • Be more aggressive for more stringent filtering of bulk email.
  • Bypass mail sent from your domain.
  • Use approved sender lists.

Create and use an approved sender list 

You can create an approved sender list (based on email or an entire domain) to bypass any spam filters. This setting only applies to incoming messages. In addition, approved sender lists can be used in the following ways:

  • Reuse approved sender lists across different settings. For example, you can specify the same list in the Spam setting and the Blocked senders setting to modify the behavior of both settings.
  • Gmail checks the addresses or domain names that you enter against the From part of the message header, and not the Return-Path part of the message header. For this reason, From must match an address or domain you entered in the list.

  • In some cases, a message that's blatantly spam,  although sent from an approved sender, can still be marked spam and delivered to a recipient's spam folder.

  • If a message from an approved sender contains a virus or is part of an email attack, Google's virus filters will prevent it from reaching your users.

  • A message from an approved sender will still be blocked if directed to do so by the sender's Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC) policy.

Customize a spam filter 

  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 dashboard, go to Appsand thenG Suiteand thenGmailand thenAdvanced settings.

    Tip: To see Advanced settings, scroll to the bottom of the Gmail page.

  3. (Optional) On the left, select an organization.
  4. Scroll to the Spam section, hover over the Spam setting, and click Configure. If the setting is already configured, hover over the setting and click Edit or Add Another.
  5. For a new setting, enter a unique description to identify it.
  6. (Optional) To configure more aggressive spam filtering, check the Be more aggressive when filtering spam box. If you select this option, it's likely that more messages will be marked spam and sent to your users' spam folders.
  7. (Optional) To bypass spam filters for messages from users within your organization, check the Bypass spam filters for messages received from internal senders box.

  8. (Optional) To bypass spam filters for messages from specific email addresses, or from entire domains, check the option to use an approved sender list. You can use an existing list, or create a new one.

    Learn more about sender lists, including how to edit, search, download, or delete a list.

    To create a new list:

    1. Click Use existing or create a new one, enter a new list name, and click Create.
    2. Hover over the list name, click Edit, and then click Add.
    3. Enter one or more email addresses or domain names, separating each entry by a comma or space.
      Note: The Require sender authentication option is turned on by default for each address or domain. This is recommended because turning authentication off can lead to spoofing. Learn more.
    4. Click Save.
    5. Repeat the steps to add more email addresses or domains to the list.
  9. To send filtered messages to Admin Quarantine for review, check the Put spam in administrative quarantine box. If you select this option, spam messages are never directed to users' spam folders. If you are using the Message Center, spam messages aren't directed to the Message Center. A message that's released from quarantine is delivered directly to the user's Gmail inbox or non-Gmail mailbox.
  10. Click Add Setting; then click Save.

It can take up to an hour for your changes to take effect. You can track prior changes with the Admin console audit log.

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