Spam filtering, whitelists and blacklists

ProtonMail uses a smart spam detection system that automatically filters messages to your Spam folder or Inbox. At times, this system will make a mistake by placing a message in your Spam folder that you want delivered to your Inbox.   To ensure this does not happen again, you can customize your spam filtering settings by following the instructions here:

To access the Filter options you need to go to Settings and then Filters:

Here you can see all the addresses that are on the Whitelist or on the Blacklist, as well as edit these lists.

Whitelist 

The whitelist ensures certain emails are always delivered to your inbox. Email addresses on the whitelist will be delivered to your Inbox folder not Spam. All email addresses stored in your contacts are automatically placed on a whitelist. You can quickly add email addresses to the whitelist by selecting Not Spam for a message in your inbox folder.

To manually add other email addresses to the whitelist, visit the Filters tab under the Settings of your account and select ADD NEW FILTER under the Whitelist section.

adding email address to whitelist

Once an address is added to the whitelist, it will be displayed in the list below.

Whitelist and Blacklist filter appearance

You can use the Search bar at the top of the page to quickly find the email address.

To quickly move an email address from the Whitelist to the Black list you can select the Switch button next to the Delete button on the email address listing.

Blacklist

The blacklist allows you to mark specific email addresses as spam. Email addresses on the blacklist will be delivered to your Spam folder not your Inbox. You can quickly add email addresses to the blacklist by selecting Move to Spam for a message in your inbox folder.

To manually add other email addresses to the blacklist, visit the Filters tab under the Settings of your account and select ADD NEW FILTER under the Blacklist section.

How to add email addresses to the blacklist

Once an address is added to the blacklist, it will be displayed in the list below.

Whitelist and Blacklist filter appearance

Same as the whitelist, you can use the Search bar at the top of the page to quickly find the email address.

To quickly move an email address from the Blacklist to the Whitelist you can select the Switch button next to the Delete button on the email address listing.

Please also look at  these tips on how to avoid receiving spam messages: https://protonmail.com/support/knowledge-base/avoid-spam/.

 

Additional Spam Filter Customization

In addition to the whitelist and blacklist spam filtering, ProtonMail also provides custom filters to add more filtering parameters to your spam filtering. You can learn more about these filter options here: https://protonmail.com/support/knowledge-base/filters/.


If you continue to get spam and would like to report the issue to our team, you can reach our anti-spam team at abuse@protonmail.ch.

Rate This Article

(7 out of 15 people found this article helpful)
Post Comment

47 comments

  1. Christian Laferriere

    Was wondering if the Whitelist/Blacklist supported wildcards for entire domains like *@domain.com
    If not, would probably be a good idea to look at implementing this.

    thanks for a great….no sorry the BEST email service around !

  2. ProtonMail Support

    Thank you for your suggestion. We will consider this in the future.

  3. trab

    HI, so just spam filters? What about regular email filters? I want a filter to do something to emails; move to archive, add this label, etc.
    Just a white list does not help much in email organization. You are not implementing this?
    Thanks,

  4. prometheus

    i would like a button tht allows you to move a e-mail adress to the blacklist from the inbox direktly same aslike if i wanted to move it into the archive that would be great, thanks

  5. RAYMOND DOUW

    Why? trying to click “Helpfull” on this page above it refuses to accept? But “not helpfull greedily accepts, Why?

  6. ProtonMail Support

    You can only click one of the buttons at a time. If Helpful is not available, it means that it is already selected. If you click Not Helpful then that button will become unavailable and Helpful can be clicked.

  7. Maybe

    Please add domain blocking as well. Thank you

  8. David

    Could you please allow the ability to white list by domain?
    For instance, if I do business with Toyota I might want to white list @toyota.com rather than risk emails going to spam from individual employee addresses that have not been added yet, or are emailing for the first time.
    I believe anyone using ProtonMail for business emails would value this ability to white list their customers and suppliers.

  9. Dave

    Whitelists and blacklists are not enough. Your auto filtering needs to drastically improve. I’m getting a few hundred times more false positives and negatives compared to gmail. My custom domain was registered in 1999, so this is a fairly old email address.

    Further, whitelists and blacklists don’t really work very well. Spammers often harvest friends’ email addresses (by hacking them and gathering their address books), and send their spam to you so as to appear as if it came from your friends… or just simply from you. Getting my friends’ or my own email address auto-blacklisted when I move a message to spam is not very useful…

  10. Anonymous

    Please consider adding “Subject Line” filtering as well as email address filtering.

  11. Dimitar Dobrev

    This is great but how do we tell e-mails passing a certain filter to go to a separate folder? Is this in the works?

  12. ProtonMail Support

    We will release auto-filter on labels in the near future.

  13. Anonymous

    How do I list a complete domain?

  14. ProtonMail Support

    At this moment only separate emails are available to be added on the whitelist and the blacklist.

  15. Andrés

    I agree that those list are not very efficacious. Spammers fake email addresses and “disguise” themselves with aome of your legitimate contacts’ address so you think it’s your mother, or your boss who is emailing you. Gmail detects (most of the time) these spoofed addreses and sends their mails to the spam folder. I think that’s the way you shoud follow too.
    Of course blocking lists are always welcome: one may simply not want to receive mails from some “undesirable” persons, even if they are not spammers.

  16. ProtonMail Support

    The spam filters are only for sending messages to the Inbox or Spam folders. We are working on adding custom filters in the future with more filtering options.

  17. Benj

    Hey that’s tricky, by default the “useful” feedback is active, and it’s button is grayed. A +1 is recorded without my consent. So it doesn’t give a real possibility to express oneself! It’s an absurd bias if you want accurate feedback…

  18. Anonymous

    why i see myself in blacklist?

  19. ProtonMail Support

    This may happen if you were doing tests and marked a message as spam. You can remove that in Settings>Filters

  20. Anonymous

    i think domain blocking is a basic feature

  21. Anonymous

    I don’t see custom filter in my account, just spam filter

  22. ProtonMail Support

    For now the custom filters are available only for the Visionary users.

  23. WInston Smith

    We like to be informed how long spam messages remain before permanently unretrievable as in the event something goes to spam but is actually not spame it is critical to be able to retreive it. This is still the best email around. It however also attracts more illicit hacker activity and some of it may be state-supported. The consequences of the hacking might lead to financial losses or even criminal liability on the basis of laws which may not be consistent with Western democratic values. Please give protonmail a break and remember that their priority has to be security and they are under daily attack by sophisticated cyber security experts who are paid by their governments which in some cases are criminal. Need I say more?Be patient and let’s keep our focus on security not convenience.

  24. Sarah Mann

    So what does the “Delete” button do? Can I still get email if I delete it from Blacklist? That is what I first thought moved it to the whitelist.

  25. ProtonMail Support

    The Delete button removes the address from the list. You will receive messages from that address in the Inbox, if you have removed it from the Blacklist. The Switch button moves the address to the Whitelist.

  26. Mike Hillman

    I would like to have a rule that deletes certain email automatically, not just move it to Trash or Spam.

  27. ProtonMail Support

    Thank you for your message and suggestion. We are looking closely to every suggestion our customers are reporting and try to implement it in the future updates to make ProtonMail more user-friendly.

  28. Michael

    I was also wondering if spam is automatically deleted after a certain amount of days, so that way I know I don’t have to clean it out or not. Thank you very much.

  29. ProtonMail Support

    No, we don’t automatically delete spam.

  30. Nicolas

    Is there anyway to share with protonmail when we think a domain or mail adress is a spam? I think it would be helpful for everybody if the users could directly report adresses they believe are spam to prevent the others from receiving them. (could be a feature with one specific button for ex. or a specific adress we could transfer the emails we consider to be spam)

  31. Anonymous

    It would be useful to easily report phishing or other trojan type spam with one click to protonmail for general blacklisting

  32. Babe

    I have made some observations:
    Do I have it correctly, that my spam filter analyses my Trash and therefrom get’s the impression, that frequently deleted mails should be treated as Spam?
    For example I frequently receive Newsletters, and after I am done with them I delete them.. (because there is no reason to archive them) only to witness that with time going by they tend to land in my Spam!

    Is this behaviour intended?

  33. ProtonMail Support

    No, that should not be the case. If other users receiving the same newsletter start marking it as spam, future messages from that sender may have a high enough spam score to be delivered directly to the Spam folder.

  34. Muhammad Danish

    no delete on spam

  35. Dirk Husemann

    Filtering on addresses is indeed a bit too simplistic. How about employing a system like SpamAssassin? That works fairly well.

  36. Proton Editor

    ProtonMail already uses SpamAssassin. This article refers to filtering messages that are mistakenly delivered to user Inboxes.

  37. Anonymous

    I would also like to be able to filter by entire domain. I still receive important emails in my spam which is very annoying.

  38. Tobias

    Yes, please add the option to whitelist a complete domain. Also, please vote for the feature at https://protonmail.uservoice.com/forums/284483-feedback/suggestions/17209559-be-able-to-disable-spam-filter-and-whitelist-entir.

  39. Anonymous

    The filters don’t actually Filter. I have restarted the app, restarted the computer, etc. No matter what I do the Filter to Folder do not work.

  40. ProtonMail Support

    Please contact our support team using the support form: https://protonmail.com/support-form, at contact@protonmail.ch or support@protonmail.ch.

  41. Anonymous

    None of the emails in my spam folder are actually spam. Whitelisting and blacklisting is great, but does ProtonMail use this info to improve spam filtering in the future? If not, how is ProtonMail using ML to improve future spam filtering?

  42. ProtonMail Support

    If legitimate emails are arriving in your Spam folder, please contact our support team at https://protonmail.com/support-form with more information.

  43. Ad

    Can you please implement a possibility to disable the spam filtering at all? It does make any sense always to look over two folders instead of one. Because, as we know, there can be always a possibility of an important e-mail landing in spam. I do knot want it. Is there maybe a possibility to disable the spam filtering?

  44. enough

    way way too much spam coming thru from russian phisher turds. this is very very very sad.

  45. ProtonMail Support

    Moving spam messages to the Spam folder will blacklist the sender and any further messages from that address will go directly to spam.
    https://protonmail.com/support/knowledge-base/spam-filtering/

  46. steph

    Why not providing the capability, when selecting mails in the spam folder, to mark it as “trusted” whcih would trigger the sender email or sender domain to be inserted in the white-list while moving the mail in your inbox?

  47. ProtonMail Support

    If you move a message from the Spam folder to the Inbox, the sender’s address is automatically added to your whitelist.

Leave A Comment?