Email Spam Filtering: How to Mark and Unmark Emails as Spam

This guide is intended to help you interact with spam in your Email Inbox and your email Junk/Spam folder.

What is Email Spam?

Email spam, also known as junk email, is unsolicited emails sent in bulk by an organization or individual. Oftentimes spam email is commercial in nature, however some spam messages are malicious and predatory.

The Junk or Spam folder in your email is set up by your IT team or email provider to filter out unwanted or harmful spam messages from your inbox. This automated process is called Email Spam Filtering. While spam filtering can be quite effective, it is not perfect.  Sometimes junk mail gets through the spam filter and ends up in your inbox. Conversely, emails you might need to see sometimes end up in your Junk/Spam folder.

What Does it mean to Blacklist/whitelist emails?

While Email Spam Filtering is set up automatically in most email platforms, you can manually decide if future emails from a specific sender will be sent to your Email Inbox or your Junk/Spam folder. “Blacklisting” is the process of manually marking an email sender as spam. “Whitelisting” refers to unmarking or allowing messages from a previously categorized spam email sender to send to your Email Inbox.

How to Whitelist an email:

As emails are placed in the Junk or Spam folder, you can check for legitimate emails that are incorrectly flagged as spam.

1) Navigate to the Junk / Spam Email Folder

In Microsoft Outlook, the “Junk Email” folder is found on the left side of the Outlook application. Click to view the emails in this Folder.

Note* In Gmail, this folder is called “Spam” and can also be found on the left-hand side of the email platform. If you are using an email service other than Outlook or Gmail, the junk or spam folder should be named similarly and may be found in a different area of your email platform. (More on managing spam in Gmail)

2) To prevent recurrences with this sender, in Microsoft Outlook, find the email you'd like to unflag as spam and simply right click on the email and hover over "Junk" for additional options and then select Never Block Sender

Note* in Gmail, right click on the sender’s message and select “Not Spam” to complete this function. In other email platforms this process should be similar to Outlook or Gmail.

Blacklisting (Blocking) Spam Messages:

While the spam filter will prevent much of the spam from making it to your inbox, some messages will be passed through.

For Outlook, If there is an email that you no longer want to receive messages from this sender, right click on the email and hover over Junk for additional options and then select Block Sender.

Note* for Gmail, right click on the email hover over “Move To” and then select Spam. For other email platforms, this process should be similar.

Avoid Whitelisting entire domains:

Please be careful when allowing or blocking entire domains such as versus a specific sender such as 

If you have any questions please contact SWICKtech, (414) 257-9266, option 1 or

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