How to Whitelist an Email Address

Did you know that nearly 55% of all emails wind up in a spam folder? When it’s a “get rich quick” scheme, malware, or a sender willfully violating the CAN-SPAM Act, your spam filter certainly earns your respect!  But spam filters notoriously overstep their bounds. A “check your email for …” message or a text reading, “Hey, did you get the email I sent you?” often leads to non-stop inbox refreshing and sheer panic. If it didn’t land among the tidiness of your inbox, where did it go? Right into your overflowing spam filter. So, let’s review what whitelisting is, how it relates to spam filters, and how it works on the top three email providers.

What Is Whitelisting an Email Address?

Whitelisting an email address is the exact opposite of blacklisting (i.e., Blocking). In other words, it gives a group of chosen senders practically unrestricted access to your inbox.  All you have to do is alert your provider to a “trusted” sender — likely one whose emails repeatedly get caught in an overactive spam filter. When that retailer, client, or friend fires off a future email, it’ll bypass your spam filter entirely and land in your inbox where it belongs. Do you need to whitelist every sender to avoid this hassle?  Absolutely not (but if you did, you might want to look into a new provider).  Does whitelisting help when you’re awaiting a confidential or high-stakes email? 100%. 

How to Whitelist an Email Address on Gmail

Sign in to your Gmail account and open up your inbox.

Add the Sender to Your Contacts List

If you’ve previously communicated with them:

  1. Open up an email from the sender and hover over their name at the top. 
  2. Select “Add to contacts.”
If this is a new sender:
  1. From the Gmail dashboard, click the nine dots arranged in a square.
  2. Click the “Contacts” icon.
  3. Select “Create contact” next to the rainbow plus symbol.
  4. Fill out your sender’s basic information (i.e., Name, email, phone number).

Mark Important Emails as “Not Spam”

To mark a single email as “not spam”:
  1. Open up a previous email from the sender that wound up in the “Spam” folder.
  2. A large grey box will appear, giving you the option to select “Report not spam” — click it.
To notify Gmail that multiple emails aren’t spam:
  1. Open up your spam folder.
  2. In the left-hand column, check the boxes from senders that aren’t spam.
  3. At the top of the page, select “Not spam.”

Create a New Filter For the Sender

Let Gmail know that all emails from a given domain aren’t spam:
  1. In the top right corner of the screen, click the gear icon.
  2. Select the “See all settings” option.
  3. Click over to the category for “Filters and Blocked Addresses.”
  4. Choose “Create a new filter.”
  5. Enter the sender’s domain in the “from” field.
  6. Select “Create filter.”

How to Whitelist an Email Address on Yahoo! Mail

Log in to your Yahoo! email account, and head on over to your inbox.

Add the Sender to Your Contacts List

If you’ve previously communicated with them:


  1. Open an email from the chosen sender.
  2. Click on the three little horizontal dots next to the “Spam” icon.
  3. Click “Add Sender to Contacts.”
If this is a new sender:
  1. Select the contacts icon.
  2. Choose the option for “all.”
  3. Click “Add a new contact.”
  4. Fill out the rest of their contact information (i.e., Phone number, email, name, etc.).
  5. Select “Save.”

Create a New Filter For the Sender

  1. Click on the gear-shaped icon in the top right corner to access the “Settings” option.
  2. Scroll down to the “More Settings” option — click it.
  3. Click on the “Filters” option along the left column.
  4. Select the “Add new filters” button.
  5. Create a name for your filter (i.e., The domain name).
  6. Add the sender’s domain name to the “From” field.
  7. For the “Then move the message in this folder” option, select “Inbox.”
  8. Click “Save.”

How to Whitelist an Email Address on Microsoft Outlook

Sign in to your Outlook account, and make your way over to your inbox.

Add the Sender to Your Contacts List

If you’ve previously communicated with them:
  1. Open a prior message from the sender.
  2. Right-click on their name to open their contact card.
  3. Select “Add to Contacts.”
  4. Fill in other details about the sender (i.e., Phone number, address).
  5. Click “Save.”
If this is a new sender:
  1. Near the bottom, select the “People” icon.
  2. Click on “New Contact” in the top left corner.
  3. Add any and all contact information that you prefer.
  4. Select “Save and Close” before exiting.
Add the Sender to Your List of “Safe Senders”
  1. Click the gear-like icon at the top of the screen to access the “Settings” menu.
  2. Select “All Outlook Settings.”
  3. Head over to the “Junk email” section and scroll down.
  4. Add your sender’s information to the “Safe senders and recipients” section.
  5. Click “Save.”


must be collecting overtime at this rate. It also takes the guesswork out of running an SEO agency and the daily flooded spam folder that tends to come with it.

Never miss a prospective client’s email again. Or let a hot lead slip right through your fingers without even realizing it.

When you’re awaiting a confidential or “deal enclosed” email, you know what to do: Whitelist the sender immediately! And don’t hesitate to send out a bulk email to all of your subscribers encouraging them to whitelist your domain too. That way, your clients will never miss a deal, newsletter, or feedback again.