Gmail marks valid email messages as spam

Sometimes Gmail might incorrectly mark messages coming from senders outside of your domain as spam. As an administrator, there are a few things you can do to quickly fix this problem and prevent it from happening in the future. 

Take the following actions when Gmail incorrectly marks some or all of your external incoming email as spam.

Troubleshooting tips

Actions all users should take

Follow these recommendations and encourage all your users to do the same:

Mark incorrectly classified messages as Not spam 

Gmail uses machine learning to better understand your preferences and what constitutes spam. When you manually mark a message as not spam, you teach Gmail how to handle messages addressed to you. 

Add trusted senders to your personal contacts list

Users in your domain can manage their personal contacts list in Gmail. When a user adds an external address to their contacts list, it lets Gmail know to not mark their email as spam.

Action for admins to take

Add trusted senders to the spam bypass filter

Whitelisting is adding a domain to a list of approved senders bypassing Gmail spam filters. Adding a domain or specific email addresses to your spam filter reduces the risk of future email from the sender not arriving to your users’ inboxes.  

Action external senders can take

Tell your trusted customers, suppliers, and others that they to authenticate their sent email. Google uses these email protection standards to verify that messages are authentic.  

Best practices for email authentication

We recommend you always set up these email authentication methods for your domain:

  • SPF helps servers verify that messages appearing to come from a particular domain are sent from servers authorized by the domain owner.
  • DKIM adds a digital signature to every message. This lets receiving servers verify that messages aren't forged, and weren't changed during transit.
  • DMARC enforces SPF and DKIM authentication, and lets admins get reports about message authentication and delivery.
For detailed steps, go to Help prevent spoofing, phishing, and spam.

Follow Gmail bulk-sender guidelines 

For surveys, flyers, or other mass communications through Gmail or a third-party email system, see Prevent mail to Gmail users from being blocked or sent to spam

Still need help?

Contact Google Workspace support.

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