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"How to Whitelist Email Addresses"
Whitelisting prevents spam filters from misdirecting emails
by Ryan Dube
Updated on April 28, 2020
The simplest thing to do is to add our email address to your address book. For GMAIL, YAHOO, OUTLOOK, COMCAST/INFINITY users, there is more detailed information below.
The best way to make sure the emails you really want to see don't end up in the spam box is to create a list of email addresses from people you know. While this is typically called a whitelist, the modern term is safelist.
The safelisting procedure differs slightly different from one email service to the next.
Information for GMAIL, YAHOO, OUTLOOK, COMCAST/XFINITY below:
▷ Gmail Safelist Procedure
There is no quick checkbox in Gmail to add a sender email to an actual list of friends you want to keep out of the Spam box. However, there are several effective ways to safelist your friends in Gmail.
ADD EMAIL ADDRESSES TO CONTACTS
On the Google Contacts page, select Create contact and fill out the Create new contact form. Google will send any incoming emails from your contact list directly to your inbox.
SAFELIST SPAM EMAILS
Sometimes, a friend may send you an email that ends up in the Spam box before you've had a chance to safelist their email address. There's a quick way to fix that as well.
Open your Spam box by selecting Spam from the navigation bar, and find your friend's email. You'll see a Spam label at the top of the email. Click the x next to the label to remove it.
ADD A NON-SPAM FILTER
One way to guarantee that your friend's incoming emails will never end up in the Spam box is to create a filter.
Select the gear icon at the upper right of your inbox and click or tap Settings.
Select Filters and Blocked Addresses from the navigation links at the top. Scroll down and select Create a new filter.
In the Search mail form, enter either an entire domain you want to safelist or a specific email address. Use domains to safelist anyone from a specific company. When you're done, select Create filter.
On the next form, select Never send it to Spam. Finally, click or tap Create filter.
Once you're done, you'll see the new filter show up in the list of filters.
▷ How to Safelist Yahoo Emails
Safelisting an email address in Yahoo is similar to Gmail. Either add the email address to your Yahoo contacts or create a filter.
ADD A YAHOO CONTACT
In Yahoo Mail, select the Contacts card icon in the upper right corner of your Inbox. Select New Contact in the left navigation pane
Complete the Add Contact form with your friend's name and email address. Select Save to save the new contact. Yahoo will no longer place incoming emails from this email address to your Spam box.
ADD A FILTER IN YAHOO MAIL
Another way to keep your friends' incoming messages from Spam is to add a fliter that ensures the email lands in your inbox.
Select the Gear icon in the upper right corner of your inbox and click or tap More Settings.
Select Filters from the left navigation menu then Add new filters.
In the Add a new filter form, give the filter a name and fill out the domain or the email address you want to safelist. Select Save twice to activate the new filter.
The filter now appears in the list of filters in the Filters window.
This filter move the incoming email from that address directly to your Inbox by default.
▷ Outlook Safelist Procedure
If you're an Outlook Online user, safelsiting your friends is similar. Add Contacts to safelist friends or use the Safe Senders feature.
ADD CONTACTS IN OUTLOOK.COM
Adding contacts is just as easy as Gmail or Yahoo. Open your Outlook Online contacts by clicking the Applications icon at the upper left corner of the window then select the People application.
Type the First Name, Last Name, and Email Address. When you're done, select Create to create the new contact.
Any email address listed in your Outlook contacts won't go to the Spam folder.
ADD CONTACT TO SAFE SENDERS
Adding Safe Senders is a guaranteed way to keep friends out of your Spam box.
Select the Gear icon in the top right corner of the window then select the View all Outlook settings link at the bottom of the list.
In the Settings window, select Mail in the left navigation pane then Junk email in the navigation pane to the right of that. Under Safe senders and domains, click or tap Add.
In the pop-up field, add an email address or entire domain to add to your Safe Senders list. Press the Enter key when you're done. Click the Save button to finish.
Any email from an address or domains in the Safe Senders list go directly to your Inbox.
▷ Comcast/Xfinity Email Safelist
Comcast, otherwise branded as Xfinity, is one of the most popular Internet Service Providers in the country. For this reason, many people may need to safelist their friends using that service.
If you sign up for it, Xfinity provides customers with a free email account. There are several ways to safelist your friends with Xfinity.
ADD AN XFINITY CONTACT
Like the other email providers listed above, an easy way to keep friends out of the Spam box is to add them to your contact list.
To add an Xfinity contact, log into your email account and select Address Book in the top menu. Then, select the Create Contact icon. Complete and save the form.
An even faster way to safelist emails of all of your friends is to import contacts from your other accounts.
When you click on Address Book, you'll see an Import contacts link in the left navigation pane. Click Get Started, and walk through the wizard to import existing contacts from your other accounts like Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, or even a text file.
ADD A SAFELIST EMAIL FILTER
Like Gmail and Yahoo, the best way to safelist friends in your Xfinity email account is to create a filter that guarantees the incoming email will go to your Inbox.
Select the gear icon in the upper right corner and click or tap Settings.
Select Filter Rules, under Mail in the left navigation pane, then the Add New Rule button.
Make the Rule Name your friend's name. Select Add condition and choose Sender/From. In the Contains field, type the email address or domain to safelist.
Select the Add action link then Keep. Save the new rule.
Once you're done, you'll see your new filter show up under Mail Filter Rules in Xfinity Mail settings.
EMAIL SAFE LIST
In Settings, if you select Advanced Settings under Mail in the left navigation pane, you'll see a section titled Email Safe list.
If you enable Use email safe list, only emails that are on your email safe list will show up in your inbox. Every other incoming email will be discarded.
This appproach is ideal if you're only looking to use your Xfinity email account to communicate with a limited set of people. However, enabling this feature prevents anyone else from ever being able to send you an email.
This may be a great way to eliminate all forms of spam, but it also drastically reduces the usefulness of your email account.