Whitelist Addresses or Domains in Gmail

This article provides basic information about your SPAM/JUNK folder and how you can mark addresses and domains as "Safe" in Gmail.

Before You Start 

You might need one or more of the following before you can complete this task: 

  • An active Gmail account
  • An email address or domain you want to receive mail from

SPAM, JUNK and Whitelists

Email domains (@gmail.com, @outlook.com, etc) have something called a SPAM filter that ensures untrustworthy or possibly malicious email doesn't make its way to your Inbox. Gmail provides basic SPAM filtering that will automatically move suspicious mail to your SPAM folder. Many email providers call this folder JUNK, so keep an eye out for either term. 

There is also an option to add specific addresses or domains as "safe" so they aren't automatically marked as SPAM by Gmail. This list is known as a "Whitelist". If you want to accept all email sent from Wharton, for instance, you can go into your settings in your Gmail inbox and add @wharton.upenn.edu (or another domain, for instance @seas.upenn.edu). This is something you have to do -- our Support teams can't do it for you.

Deciding Whether to Whitelist

There are a number of considerations to weigh when you are deciding whether to add a domain or address to your whitelist:


  • Reduces the risk that a legitimate email will wind up in your SPAM folder.
  • Messages in SPAM are automatically deleted after a month (and are not recoverable).


  • Email that is actually SPAM may end up in your Inbox.
  • Messages in SPAM are automatically deleted after a month, and are not recoverable.

Adding Addresses to Your Whitelist

Please follow the instructions below for adding a filter that will ensure specific addresses or domains will NOT be sent to SPAM:

  1. Log in to your Gmail at gmail.com
  2. Click the gear icon in the top-right, and select Settings.
  3. Click the Filters and Blocked Addresses tab. 
  4. Click Create at New Filter. 
  5. In the pop-up window, enter the email address you want whitelisted in the From field.
    • NOTE: If you want a whole domain whitelisted, you can just enter the domain (ie, "@example.com").
  6. Click Create filter.
  7. Check "Never send it to Spam".
  8. Click Create filter.


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