Having an inbox full of email from unknown and unwanted spammy messages is frustrating not to mention time-intensive to clear out!
The good news is that Apple offers different ways to block folks from sending all that junk to your email’s inbox. And starting in iOS 13 and iPadOS, we have even more options to block specific email senders.
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- Customize Your iPhone Mail Attachment Options
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- Blocking unwanted emails on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod
- Using iOS13+ or iPadOS–blocking email addresses just got a heck of a lot easier!
- Blocking email addresses for iOS12 and below
- Set Up a Rule for your Mac’s Mail
- Block email at the root level with filters
- It’s easy to Unsubscribe from email on iPhone & iPad
- Blocking Unwanted Text Messages
- Blocking from FaceTime
Blocking unwanted emails on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod
The way we communicate today is dramatically changing with the advent of new technologies. iPad and iPhones are great communication tools in that they allow you to communicate via emails, Messages, Facetime and occasionally even a phone call via VOIP applications that vary from Skype, Whatsapp and others.
However, the price we pay for having all these various channels of communication is that it opens us up to even more spam messages as unwanted communication.
With iOs 13+ and iPadOS, you can now ignore your blocked senders using two features (Blocked and Blocked Sender Options) in Settings > Mail. This blocked contacts list is shared with Messages, FaceTime, and Phone and you can make changes in those app settings too!
Using iOS13+ or iPadOS–blocking email addresses just got a heck of a lot easier!
- Verify that the email address you want to block is in your Contacts app
- If the address isn’t in your Contacts app, add it either to an existing contact or create a new contact card
- Once the email address is in Contacts, open your Settings app
- Tap Mail
- Under the Threading options, tap Blocked Sender Options
- Choose what you want to do with any mail from a blocked sender. Choices include None, Mark as Blocked Leave in Inbox or Move to Trash
- After you toggle that setting on, tap Blocked and choose Add New
- Tap on the contact you want to block
- If you enable Mail in iCloud, blocking a sender works across all your Apple devices
You can also block email from the Mail app
- Open an email from a sender you want to block
- Tap the name of the sender
- Then tap the name listed next to From in the header
- Choose Block This Contact
- Confirm you want to block the contact
- iOS and iPadOS add that contact to your Blocked list
Once you block a contact via the Mail app , you won’t see email from that contact again in your Apple Mail app (you will still see it in your email provider’s app or when using a web browser.)
What happens to the blocked email?
When you block a specified sender, that email is automatically moved to the trash.
How do I unblock a contact?
To unblock a contact, open Settings > Mail > Blocked and swipe on the contact you want to unblock. Then tap unblock.
You can unblock contacts from the settings menu for Messages, FaceTime, and Mail. Or open the Contacts App and unblock contacts there.
Additional blocking features in iOS13
Blocking unknown callers is also a lot easier in iOS 13.
Open Settings > Phone and toggle on Silence Unknown Callers.
For more about blocking callers and folks that message or FaceTime, see this post How to block unknown numbers and robocalls on your iPhone.
Blocking email addresses for iOS12 and below
There’s no easy way to blocking specific email addresses on your iPhone, iPod, or iPad using iOS12 and below. But by marking spam emails as junk on the email rules, you can train your iDevice to move these into the junk folder automatically.
Google recently made changes in its Gmail application to help users with blocking specific email addresses. If you use Yahoo mail, there are also a few options that we will highlight in this article.
First, let’s cover the basics:
The most important thing to do is not to open emails from senders that you don’t recognize. And be wary of attachments in these emails and refrain from clicking on any of the attachments. When you see the spam email on your Mail app on your iPad, swipe it to the left. You will see three options: “More | Flag | Trash.”
Tap on the “More” option. You will see various options that show up on the right-hand side. We will use the last option marked “Move Message..” Tap on this, and you will see a new panel on the left showing all the various folders to which you can move this message to. Tap on the Junk folder, and the email moves to Junk.
Moving the message to Junk Folder.
If you have already opened the email, you can very quickly move it to the Junk folder by clicking on the little “Folder” icon on top right hand and then choosing the “Junk” folder on the subsequent screen.
Set Up a Rule for your Mac’s Mail
Luckily, Apple’s Mac Mail App makes it simple to set up rules!
And we can quickly set up a rule to automatically put emails in the Trash or Spam folders.
Rules don’t block an email from being sent, BUT it does prevent an email from being read! Unfortunately, this function is only available on Macs–not yet on iDevices.
Setting up a “Block” Rule for Mac Mail
- Open your Mail App
- In the Top Menu choose Mail > Preferences
- Select the Rules Tab
- Choose Add Rule
- Name Your Rule
- If blocking a particular email address, use this as the rule name
- Select your parameters
- Choose Delete Message from Perform the following actions:
Block email at the root level with filters
Since Gmail is one of the most popular email applications that is used by our users, let’s explore the “Block” feature from Google.
- Open your Gmail account using an internet browser, not an app
- Go to your Inbox (or whatever folders you established)
- Open a message from a sender you wish to block
- Navigate to the top right-hand corner of a message,
- Tap on the More button (usually three verticle dots or a triangle)
- Choose Block “Sender” (sender is the name/email address you wish to block)
- Press Block to confirm you want to block that sender
- Future emails from those blocked addresses go directly into your spam folder
- Periodically clean your spam folder to remove all those emails–we suggest at least once per month
“Blocking” sends an email from a particular email address to the spam folder. The email continues to live on in the spam folder.
Make an automatic filter to block email addresses
It may be a better option to just delete the email when it arrives by setting up an automated filter so that it moves to “Trash.” Please follow the steps below:
- Step -> 1. Log into your Gmail account on your computer. In your Inbox, select the message by clicking on the little checkbox and then click on “More.” You will see a list of dropdowns. Choose “Filter Messages like These.”
- Step->2. You will see a new window with the email address in the From field. At the bottom of this window, please click on “Create Filter with this Search” and choose the “Delete” option in the next screen as shown below. When an email arrives from this particular sender in the future, it will automatically get deleted and go to your “Trash” folder.
- Step->3 Blocking the Sender in Gmail
- If you have opened the email, click on the down arrow and you will see a list of options as shown in the image below. You can choose to Block the Sender by selecting the Block Option.
- Step->4 You can periodically review your blocked and Automated Filter Settings for Gmail. You can do this by clicking on the gear icon on your Gmail at the top right side and then choose Settings > Filters and blocked Addresses.
Block Outlook Mail
Instructions for Outlook for Outlook.com, Microsoft 365, Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013, Outlook 2010, Outlook 2007
- Open your Outlook email
- Or use Outlook.com via an internet browser
- Right-click on a message from the sender you want to block or choose Message from Outlook’s menu bar
- Choose Junk > Block Sender, Junk Mail > Block Sender, or Block
- All future messages from that email sender go to your Junk Email folder
When you block a sender, that email address can still send you mail, but all email from that specific email address is automatically and immediately moved to your Junk Email folder.
Remember to periodically clean and delete all emails from your Outlook’s Junk folder!
If you receive a lot of unwanted emails from a particular sender or domain, block that email address and domain using Outlook’s blocked senders’ list. This list automatically moves any email message directly to your Junk Email folder.
You can also add email addresses and domains to Outlook’s Block Senders list
- In your Home tab, go to your Delete group and choose Junk
- Choose Junk E-mail Options
- In the Blocked Senders tab, click Add
- Enter the email address or internet domain you want to block
- Click OK
- Repeat to add additional email addresses or domains
- You can block up to 1,024 addresses or domains in the blocked senders list
Use Outlook on the web?
- Tap on your Outlook’s Settings (gear symbol)
- Tap View all Outlook settings
- From the Sidebar, select Mail and then Junk email
- Under Blocked senders and domains, tap the Add button and enter the email address or domain
- Tap Save to make these updates
Learn more in this Microsoft Outlook support document
Block Yahoo Mail
If you are using Yahoo Mail, please check this article. Yahoo allows up to 500 different senders to be blocked.
By configuring the blocking and filtering rules on your favorite email service provider, you can limit the number of unwanted emails coming into your inbox on your iPad and iPhone. By using the Move to Junk option on your iPad, your iPad will keep track of these senders and will move them into junk.
Block AOL Mail
- Log in to your AOL account
- Go to AOL Keyword: Mail Controls. For versions 10.1 and higher, click on the “Mail” icon followed by “Settings” and then “Spam Controls.” Click “Edit Spam Controls” to launch AOL Desktop 10.1’s mail controls
- In Sender Filter, click the Block mail from addresses I specify option
- In the text box, type the email address that you want to block. Add multiple email addresses by separating each email address with a comma
- Click Save
With AOL, you can block a maximum of 1000 email addresses and domain names.
It’s easy to Unsubscribe from email on iPhone & iPad
If filtering or setting up rules is just not your thing, another option that works for mass email lists is to unsubscribe.
You won’t see this option for all your email but it shows up on quite a lot of mass emails, newsletters, and spam emails.
- Open the Mail app
- Tap on an email from a website or company you don’t want to receive emails from
- At the top of the email, look for blue text that says unsubscribe
- Tap unsubscribe
- Confirm that you want to Unsubscribe
- Sometimes you are taken to a site for feedback, other times you aren’t
After unsubscribing, you may still receive emails from that provider for a few days or weeks.
Blocking Unwanted Text Messages
Getting harassed by unwanted text messages can be a major nuisance. Sometimes these are adverts from companies while there could also be those occasional contacts that you don’t want to be social with any longer. Here’s how to add these gentle souls into your blocked list:
Step ->1 If the message is open, tap the Details link in the top right corner of the message.
Step->2 On the following screen, tap the “i” icon. You will see a list of options. Select the last one, “Block this Caller.”
Step->3 You will be asked to confirm on the next pop-up window. Once confirmed, you will no longer receive phone calls, messages or FaceTimes from this contact.
Step->4 You can periodically review and edit the list of numbers you have blocked by going to Settings > Messages > Blocked.
There is also another option in iOS that merits mention in this section.
You can also filter out iMessages from people not listed in your contacts.
Go to Settings > Messages and turn on Filter Unknown Senders. When you open Messages, you’ll see a new tab for Unknown Senders. When you turn on this option, you won’t get notifications for iMessages from Unknown Senders.
Blocking from FaceTime
Facebook blocking is very similar to the prior step. In the App, you will see each of the calls received is listed and has an “I” icon next to it. Tap the “I” next to the person you want to block and confirm your action on the subsequent pop-up window.
You can review and edit your blocked list in your Settings by Settings > FaceTime > Blocked.
Certain carriers also provide for additional features when it comes to spam control and blocking “Restricted” numbers et al. Please feel free to check with your carrier.
We have provided the link to Verizon here as an example.
Although the multitude of options that we have provided in the article may seem to be a little daunting for the newbie, we certainly think that it is worth exploring these options.
A cluttered email inbox not only appears less appealing but it can also hinder your productivity. By choosing to use some of the Automated Filter options on your email, you can easily organize your emails and make the best of your time.
Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the original editorial direction of AppleToolBox. He is based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Sudz specializes in covering all things macOS, having reviewed dozens of OS X and macOS developments over the years.
In a former life, Sudz worked helping Fortune 100 companies with their technology and business transformation aspirations.