Control Gmail external recipient warnings

Who this article is for

This article is for Google Workspace administrators, and people who use Gmail for work or school. External recipient warnings aren't available for personal Gmail accounts. To manage your personal Gmail account, go to the Gmail Help Center.

As an admin for your organization, you can turn alerts on or off for messages that include external recipients. External recipients are people with email addresses outside of your organization. These alerts help people avoid unintentional replies, and remind them to treat external messages with caution.

When this setting is on, Gmail messages with external recipients display:

  • A warning banner
  • An image or colored border next to external addresses


When do warnings show

When this setting is on, Gmail shows warnings when:

  • An email thread includes external recipients.
  • Replying to a message from an external recipient.
  • Composing a new message to an external recipient.

Gmail doesn't show a warning if the external recipient is in your organization's Directory, personal Contacts, or other Contacts. Warnings aren't displayed for secondary domain or domain alias addresses.

Turn external recipients warnings on or off

External recipient warnings are on by default. The setting to turn warnings on and off is available only for accounts that upgrade to Google Workspace.

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in

  2. In the Admin console, go to Menu ""and then"" Appsand thenGoogle Workspaceand thenGmailand thenEnd User Access.
  3. To apply the setting to everyone, leave the top organizational unit selected. Otherwise, select a child organizational unit.
  4. Scroll to and click Warn for external recipients
  5. Check or uncheck the box to turn warnings on or off.
  6. Click Save. If you configured a child organizational unit, you might be able to Inherit or Override a parent organizational unit's settings.

Changes can take up to 24 hours but typically happen more quickly. Learn more

You can monitor settings changes in the Admin console. For more information, go to Admin audit log.

Related topics

Google, Google Workspace, and related marks and logos are trademarks of Google LLC. All other company and product names are trademarks of the companies with which they are associated.


Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu
Search Help Center