How to Block an Incoming Email

By Laurie Rappeport

Block or filter unwanted email.
i email @ image by Witold Krasowski from

Many people have come to rely on the ease and efficiency of emailing to conduct their professional and personal business. Emailing allows users to quickly send and receive needed information, as well as to exchange thoughts, plans and updates. Some users become frustrated when they receive emails from unwanted sources. They may feel that the sender's emails drain their time or disturb them unduly. Many email programs today offer their clients the option of blocking unwanted emails. The "block" or "filter" on an email program will prevent the email from ever entering your inbox.

Filters in Gmail

Click the box next to an unwanted message that entered your inbox.

Click "Actions" on the email toolbar and click on the "Filter messages like these" button. A "Create a Filter" page will appear.

Block messages by the email's sender or other emails with specified content by filling in the appropriate fields on this page. Note which emails Gmail will filter in the future by requesting that Gmail block emails from specified email addresses, emails with specified subject lines, emails that include certain words, emails that exclude certain words or emails with attachments. Click "Next Step."

Click the box next to the action that you want the Gmail filter to take. The options include moving the email to a selected folder/labeling it (choose the label), marking it as read, deleting the email or marking it with a star. Click "Create Filter".

Filters in Hotmail

Open your Hotmail inbox and click "Options" on the upper righthand corner. Click "More options" from the drop-down menu.

Choose the "Filters and reporting" option.

Find the option "Select the filter level you want to apply to incoming messages". Click "Exclusive". The Exclusive filter provides the highest level of filtering in Hotmail. The user can block any emails that don't originate from the user's approved contacts or previously noted safe senders.

Filters with Yahoo!

Open your Yahoo! inbox. Click click the "Options" button in the upper-right corner of the page. Select "Mail Options" from the drop-down menu.

Click the Spam button on the upper left side of the page. Click the checkbox next to "Automatically send suspected spam to my Spam folder option". Click on "Save Changes."

Return to the Yahoo! inbox. Check the box to the left of any unwanted message that comes into the inbox. You can click either before or after opening the message. Click on the "Spam" button on the inbox's toolbar. This marks the message as spam and in the future, Yahoo!'s SpamGuard will block the message and immediately send it into the spam folder.