If you’re receiving unwanted emails from one person in particular or have somehow been signed up to a newsletter that holds no interest, you’ll want to put a stop to these deliveries. Gmail has a feature that allows you to block certain senders, and it’s very simple to get the filter set up. Here's how to do it.
How to block a sender in Gmail
The web version of Gmail works the same way on PCs, Macs and Chromebooks. It's also easy to block people in Gmail in this version.
Open your web browser and navigate to Gmail, log in, then find an email by the person or organisation that you wish to silence.
With the email open, you’ll see three dots in the top right corner next to the Reply and Star icons. Click this and then select Block ‘[Person’s Name]’ from the menu.
If you find yourself on a newsletter or promotional email list, this can be removed in a slightly different way. Open the message and look just to the right of the sender’s address.
You should see the option to Unsubscribe or Change Preferences. Click this and you’ll be removed from the regular emails but can still receive occasional ones. To remove them completely, use the blocking method described above.
It should be noted that the person can continue to send emails to you, but those messages will now always be directed to your Spam folder instead, so you'll never see them.
How to block people in Gmail on iOS
For iPhone and iPad users, there’s no direct way to block people from the iOS Gmail app itself. Instead you’ll need to use the steps outlined above and do so from a PC, Mac or Chromebook.
You can remove newsletters and promotional emails by following these steps.
Open the Gmail app, find and open a message from the sender you want to block, then scroll down to the bottom of the message until you find the option to either Unsubscribe or Change Preferences. Tap this and then follow any relevant instructions.
It might take a few days for the changes to take effect, but after that all further emails will hopefully cease.
How to block Gmail senders on Android
Open the Gmail app on your Android phone or tablet, then find a message from the person causing you grief. Open the message, then tap the three dots icon that appears in the top right corner.
This opens up a menu of options, one of which is Block ‘[Person’s name]’. Tap this and any future correspondence will be filed away in the Spam folder.
As with iOS, you can prevent circulars and promotional emails by tapping the Unsubscribe option that you’ll find at the bottom of the message instead.
How to report serious threats and harassment
For the most part, this guide covers annoying emails, but if you're receiving threatening messages, being harassed or bullied in any way, or think you might be in some kind of danger, then it is very important that you bring this to the attention of the authorities.
In the UK you can visit Get Safe Online for more advice on the steps that can be taken to stop internet abuse, while US readers should contact their local law enforcement service with details of the harassment.
With modern technology it’s a sad truth that people are a lot easier to find than they might have been a few years ago, so online threats should be taken very seriously.
Be sure to contact the services on which the messages were sent – Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, emails, etc. – so that the provider can investigate the problem. Your actions might help prevent others from suffering the same discomfort as those you are currently experiencing.