How to block senders in Apple Mail — quickly and effectively

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I get so much email throughout the day and a large percentage of it is unwanted, unsolicited and unnecessary. Depending on what email client I use, these emails may or may not go to the junk folder.

The problem is twofold: spammers are getting better at tricking junk systems, and junk systems have always been pretty bad at doing what they’re supposed to do.

Also: How to Quickly Fix Apple Mail When It’s Not Working

It can be frustrating, to say the least. And with Apple Mail, the junk system is just as unpredictable as with most email clients.

Of course, you can manually mark an email as junk and hope that Mail learns from this action to automatically mark new email from that sender (or with a specific subject) and move it to the Junk folder. Unfortunately, it cannot be taken for granted.

Marking a message as junk in Apple Mail is easy, but is it effective?

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

What do you do when Apple Mail’s junk system fails you and you keep getting emails from a certain sender that you don’t want to see?

you block them

Just like social media, you can block an email address from ever reaching your inbox. It’s very easy to do. Even better, it’s actually effective. Undoubtedly, blocking a sender is much more reliable than Mail’s junk filtering system.

Also: How to create rules in Apple Mail so as not to miss important messages

Let me show you how it’s done.

How to block emails from specific senders in Apple Mail

What you will need: All you need is a macOS device with Apple Mail configured for your email account. That’s it.

The first thing you need to do is open Apple Mail. After opening Mail, find and select an email from the sender you want to block. Remember, once you’ve done this, you won’t see any emails from that sender, so choose wisely.

At the top of the preview pane (on the right side of Mail) you should see the sender listed. Hover your cursor over the sender’s name and a drop-down arrow will appear.

Also: How to block tracking pixels in Apple Mail

Click the drop-down menu and then click Block contact from the list. This marks that sender as always blocked.

Marking a contact as blocked is very easy in Apple Mail.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

How to change the default behavior

The default behavior for blocked contacts is to automatically mark them as blocked and move the email to the trash. This is probably the behavior you want (why else would they block?). However, you can change this behavior to mark emails from the sender as blocked but leave them in your inbox. To do this, click the Settings button that appears when you block a contact.

Once you have blocked a contact, the Settings button will appear.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

In the Settings window, you can change the default behavior and even manually add other email addresses to block.

Also: How to encrypt your email and why you should do it

If you decide you need to unblock a contact, go to Settings > Junk Mail > Blocked, select the email address you want to unblock and click – in the lower left corner of the window.

You probably don’t want to change the default behavior for blocked contacts.

Screenshot by Jack Wallen/ZDNET

And it’s that easy to block an unwanted sender’s email from reaching your inbox. Although this method is far more reliable than the junk system, using both systems almost guarantees success in blocking unwanted emails from reaching your inbox.

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