How to Whitelist Emails So They Don't End up in Your Spam Folder

Let's talk about email white-listing.

More and more often these days different email providers are using algorithms to block unwanted email, often referred to as "spam".

Sometimes, however, these althorithms block email you actually want to get!

To be sure you receive emails from people you want to hear from, follow these quick steps below.

What's a whitelist

A whitelist is essentially a list of people, companies or contacts you want to hear from--or a list of email addresses or domain names from which an email blocking program will allow messages to be received.

Why is this important?

Unsolicited, unwanted advertising email, commonly known as "spam", has become a big problem.

It's reached such proportions that most email services and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have put some sort of blocking or filtering system in place--regardless of whether or not you want to hear from that person. Unfortunately sometimes the blocking system can get a little over-zealous and actually block legitimate emails you want to receive. For example, GMail now puts emails that are addressed to multiple recipients in the "Promotions" tab, but you may want to receive these emails in the "Primary" tab.

Fortunately there is something you can do about it!

You can whitelist!

Every email service is different but below are instructions for some of the more popular ones.

If yours isn't here, please contact your ISP's help ask for their instructions.


  • In your inbox, locate an email from the person you want to whitelist. Check in the "Promotional" tab if you can't find one.
  • Drag this email to the "Primary" tab of your inbox.
  • That's it! New emails from this person will go to your Primary folder in the future.

Yahoo! Mail

  • When opening an email message, a "+" symbol should display next to From: and the sender's name.
  • Select this and an "Add to contacts" pop-up should appear. Select "Save".

Mac Mail

  • Select "Mail" and "Preferences" from the top menu.
  • In the "Preferences" window, click the "Rules" icon.
  • Click the "Add Rule" button.
  • In the "Rules" window, type a name for your rule in the "Description" field.
  • Use the following settings: "If any of the following conditions are met: From Contains."
  • Type the sender's email address in the text field beside "Contains."
  • Select "Move Message" and "Inbox" from the drop-down menus.Click "OK" to save the rule.

Outlook 2003 & Later

  • Right-click on the message in your inbox.
  • Select "Junk E-mail" from the menu.
  • Click "Add Sender to Safe Senders List."
How to whitelist emails so they don't end up in your spam folder.

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