Control Gmail external recipient warnings

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

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

Gmail does not show a warning if the external recipient is in your organization's Directory, personal Contacts, or other Contacts. You also will not see a warning for secondary domain or domain alias addresses.

How this feature works

When this setting is On, your users will see an image or colored border around the external address in Gmail. They will see a warning if:

  • An email thread includes external recipients (not available on iOS).
  • They reply to an external recipient.
  • They compose a new message to an external recipient (web only).

Turn external recipients warnings on or off

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

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. 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. 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.

It can take up to 24 hours for your users to get warnings after you turn them on. 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.


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