Turn external recipients warnings on or off in Gmail

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

As a Gmail administrator, you can turn on alerts for messages that include external recipients. Gmail shows these alerts when you get a message from an external email address, and when you compose a new message or reply to an external address.

The alerts help people avoid unintentional replies to recipients outside your organization. They also remind people to treat external messages with caution.

An external email address is an address outside your organization that isn't in your organization's Directory, your personal Contacts,  or other Contacts

When this setting is on, Gmail shows:

  • External message warnings, when an email thread includes external email addresses.
  • External reply warnings when replying to an external email address.
  • External recipient warnings when composing a new message to an external email address (web only).

These warnings appear as an image or colored border around the external address.

Gmail doesn't show these warnings for secondary domain or domain alias addresses. Some warnings aren't available for iOS yet.

Turn external recipients warnings on or off

  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 thenEnd User Access.

    Tip: To see End User Access, scroll to the bottom of the Gmail page.

  3. Select your top-level organization.
  4. Scroll to the Warn about external recipients setting. 
  5. Click the checkbox to turn warnings on or off.
  6. Click Save.

It can take up to 24 hours for your users to get these alerts after you turn them on. You can monitor settings changes in the Admin console audit log.

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