Spam filtering, Allow Lists, and Block Lists

ProtonMail uses a smart spam detection system to automatically filter messages to your Spam folder or inbox and custom folders. We are constantly improving our spam filtering system, but some spam messages may slip through our filters, and some legitimate messages may be mislabeled as spam.

You can enhance and customize our filtering system using Allow Lists and Block Lists. In this article, we explain how. 

The amount of spam you receive often depends on where you use your email address. For example, if you subscribe to certain websites or services, your email address may be abused. However,  you can sometimes be targeted at random.

Please see How to avoid receiving spam for tips on how to avoid receiving spam messages, and our dedicated article on How to block email stalkers if you are a victim of this form of abuse.

Spam filters

To view all custom existing spam filters and Add new ones, log in to and go to SettingsFiltersSpam filters.

Image of spam filters

You can search for rules in your custom Allow Lists and Block Lists using the Search bar provided. You can move () rules from the Allow List to the Block List and vice versa, and delete rules. 

Allow List

The Allow List lets you specify individual email addresses and domains that will always be delivered to your inbox or custom folders. Messages from email addresses or domains in the Allow List will never be sent to your Spam folder.

To add an email address or domain to your Allow List:

1. Go to SettingsFiltersSpam filters → Allow List → Add.

Image of Allow list

2. Select whether you want to add an individual Email address or an entire Domain to your Allow List, enter the address or domain, and click Save.

Image of spam Add to Allow List

Block List

The Block List lets you specify individual email addresses and domains that will never be delivered to your inbox or custom folders. Messages from email addresses or domains in the Block List will always be sent to your Spam folder.

To add an email address or domain to your Allow List:

1. Go to SettingsFiltersSpam filtersBlock ListAdd.

Image of Block List

2. Select whether you want to add an individual Email address or an entire Domain to your Block List, enter the address or domain, and click Save.

Custom filters

In addition to White List and Block List spam filtering, ProtonMail also provides custom filters feature that can be used for advanced spam filtering.

Learn more about how to use custom filters

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  1. Christian Laferriere

    Was wondering if the Whitelist/Blacklist supported wildcards for entire domains like *
    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?

  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


    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 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

  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:, at or

  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 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.

  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.

  48. Mike S.

    I was trying to sign up for a service and apparently Proton Mail completely blocks the confirmation email they send altogether (which I need to click the link to verify).

    I confirmed this with their tech support. They said they use SendGrid, which when they looked they told me SendGrid gives them a “Deferred” message saying that Proton Mail is kicking it back…. So It’s not even getting to my spam folder here.

    I did a separate enrollment on my Gmail account and it worked fine.

    I’d like to use Proton Mail but I need to know I can receive emails and not have it blocked at a level before I can make judgements whether I want to receive emails or not. Is there a way to let ME decide whether I can receive emails or not?


  49. ProtonMail Support

    Please contact our support team using the support form at

  50. joe

    I wrote a simple sieve script to blacklist domains. script:
    # simple domain blocking script for blacklisting an entire domain.
    if header :contains [“from”] [“”]

  51. ProtonMail Support

    Note that with our new implementation of Sieve, you will also need to comment out the code that is automatically added to prevent filters from running on Spam messages (if you want emails classified as Spam to also be discarded).

    /* if allof (environment :matches "vnd.proton.spam-threshold" "*",
    spamtest :value "ge" :comparator "i;ascii-numeric" "${1}")
    } */

    if header :contains "from" ""

    There’s no need for brackets [] when you are only passing one argument.

  52. Suren

    I accidentally deleted a spam email, I was trying to move it to the inbox. But it is not in the Trash. Am I able to retrieve this email somehow? Thanks.

  53. ProtonMail Support

    Messages from the Spam folder are deleted immediately, they are not moved to Trash. Unfortunately, you will not be able to recover this message.

  54. Carlo Colombo

    Because I use Protonmail only with Thunderbid desktop version, I would be able to disable the coarse spam filtering of ProtonMail, but I don’t find any switch to disable spam filtering.

  55. ProtonMail Support

    Our support team may be able to assist you:

  56. Mark Leiter

    Can I set my spam folder to automatically delete emails after a certain amount of time? Say after 30 days they get auto deleted? I have not been on top of mine and I have almost 2,000 emails in the spam folder right now. Deleting them all one page at time is a pain.


  57. ProtonMail Support

    At the moment, no, but there is an Empty Spam option which you can use.

  58. Will

    Curious if there is anything we can do to not have our emails sent by protonmail accounts go into other people’s spam folders. Hasn’t been an issue with my older email accounts but I have had three different people in last few weeks tell me my emails went to their junk or spam folder. That is frustrating.

  59. ProtonMail Support

    Please contact our support team: We’d like to check if ProtonMail is being blocked so we can rectify this.

  60. James

    what about blocking different address? i mean the blacklisting just goes to spam yeah. i want them removed without ever seeing them! can that be done?

  61. ProtonMail Support

    This can be done with a custom Sieve filter. Please contact our support team:

  62. GS

    Why don’t you add a button or link while I’m viewing the spam folder to mark an email as “not spam” so I don’t have to manually enter it in the whitelist.

  63. ProtonMail Support

    If you use the Move to Inbox option, the sender’s address will be whitelisted automatically.

  64. Joe

    Is there a way to turn off your spam filter all together? I just went thru my spam folder and found emails from my parents, my bank, and numerous other business sources. Clearly the filter you are using is junk and I’d like to turn it off. If that’s not an option, you at least need a feature where I can pull up a spam email and easily indicate that it is not spam.

    I have a visionary account and plan on adding at least a dozen additional email accounts in 2020. If you want my business, please fix this.

  65. ProtonMail Support

    Moving a message from Spam to Inbox will automatically whitelist a sender. You can also contact our Support Team for a custom filter for Spam messages:

  66. Rusty

    I don’t have a “Filters” option under Settings. How do I turn off the whole damned Spam filtering process? I get more false positives than positives.

  67. ProtonMail Support

    Filters are only available in the web client. If you’re using on of our mobile apps, the option isn’t there.

    You can contact our Support Team for assistance with bypassing the global Spam filter:

  68. Richard

    Your system recognises that emails are coming from a list, although the senders are the authors, not the list. But when some of the messages are marked spam, the list can’t be whitelisted, just the individual senders?

    ‘You can quickly add email addresses to the whitelist by selecting Not Spam for a message in your inbox folder.’ Yet ‘Not Spam’ does not appear in the options for the message?

  69. ProtonMail Support

    That should be: Select Move to Inbox for a message in the Spam folder. This will whitelist the sender’s address in the From field. If you’re having trouble with messages from a specific list going to Spam and they shouldn’t, you can contact our Support Team for help with creating a custom filter to avoid this:

  70. Donthelpme

    Why can’t I disable spam filtering? I’ve been messed up multiple times by this “smart” thing you have cooked up. Stop trying to help me. Just give me what i want.

  71. ProtonMail Support

    Please contact our Support Team: They can assist you with setting up a filter for this.

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