Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Blocking a Sender in Gmail (2014)

Every now and then a person must deal with an acquaintance or family member who is sick and no longer communicates properly. Alternately, you may be in a dark place yourself. In either case, you may find email from certain parties to be inflammatory.

Recently a friend of mine complained about emails from a certain party, and mentioned that he hadn't figured out how to make them disappear from his Gmail properly.

I went into Gmail's settings and figured out what I think his solution would be.

This walkthrough will quickly demonstrate how to:

  • Create a Filter (or rule) in Gmail
  • Make emails from a known sender never appear in your inbox
  • And never give you a notification of it
  • And make it go away forever (you will not be aware that you were emailed!)
  • And not tip off the sending party that their messages are going in a black hole

Here we go. Start your engines and sign into your Google Accounts.

If you go to your main Gmail page in a desktop browser, you should see a gear below your user name in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.

Click the Gear icon, and then Settings in the drop-down box. You should now see the tabbed Settings page of your Gmail account.

Choose the Filters tab.

Conceptually, Gmail filters do two things;

  1. Match this kind of email
  2. Do this thing to it

With these two very basic tools in hand, we can do a lot of complex things. In this case, all we're doing is feeding the matching query the email address that needs blocking, and disappearing the (future) emails from there.

You can choose your own settings based on need. The settings shown here will make emails from the set party simply disappear, though you can make your rule send them to a folder for later perusal. This may be prudent if you have legal arrangements with the party and have to keep the emails even if you don't read them. Remember that the settings shown here will make you completely unaware that an email came from the sender in question!

After you get to the Filters tab, scroll all the way to the bottom (if you already have filters set up, it could be a long list) and click the text that says Create a new filter.

As you can see, we don't need much here. If all you want to do is block one sender, then all you need is that sender's address. In step one above, we've identified the sender we want to block.

Step two, the 'Do this thing to it', is below.

You'll note that I have checked above, Skip the Inbox (Archive it), then Mark as read, and then Delete it.

I'm probably doing more than I have to here. I want to make sure I don't get a notification in the middle of the night from Zaphod, so I'm making the Inbox completely ignore the email even though it's getting deleted.

Create your filter, and no more sleepless nights. Hope this helps.

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