My bank started offering a useful email alert feature. The problem was Google's email filter kept flagging the alerts as spam. Typically, I find the spam filter in Gmail accurate, but in this case, it repeatedly failed. I thought clicking the Not Spam button or adding my bank to my contact list would add an entry to some whitelist. In these cases, the solution involved creating a simple email filter.
Filter Rules to the Rescue
Like many email programs, Gmail has a series of settings, filters and rules that allow you to whitelist people. If you're not familiar with whitelisting, it's means of telling an email program that it's OK to get email from a specific email address. One difference with Gmail is the process isn't as transparent as other programs.
The good news is once you get the gist, you can create filters for:
- Single email address
- Multiple email addresses
- Domains (e.g. @timeatlas.com)
- Names (e.g. John Doe)
Whitelist an Email Marked As Spam
In this example, I'll start with an email that was flagged as spam.
- Open the email that Google flagged as spam.
- Click the More triangle button on the right side and select Filter messages like this.
- Adjust your filter criteria if needed and click Create filter with this search. In the example below, Gmail filled in the From: field using the data from the email I opened.
- Check the box labeled Never send it to Spam.
- Click Create filter.
Additional Whitelist Filters
Sometimes, you might want to whitelist a domain such as your employer. As before, an easy way to set the filter is by finding an example. Below, I've combined the from: field with my domain preceded by the @ symbol. This will show all the email I've received from the domain.
If I click the Show search options button, I'll get the familiar dialog where I can refine my filter criteria. If youre not sure if you have any matching emails, you can click the magnifying glass icon  in the bottom left to test your search before creating the filter .
You can also set a filter for multiple email addresses. Just add the pipe sign (|) between them. The example below shows 2 email addresses from Amazon.
Lastly, sometimes you may want to whitelist a person but use their name instead of email address. This is handy if the individual has multiple email addresses. The example below would filter from any email address that Jesse has associated in my Google Contacts.
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Last Updated (Saturday, 05 May 2012 09:59)