Spam not working properly (whitelist, blacklist, smart filter)

Currently ProtonMail leans heavily on one of the most widely used open source spam filtering technologies on the internet. We are working on developing more complex algorithms and machine learning to ensure the emails you want to see are delivered to your inbox, and the one’s you do not want to see are sent directly to your spam filter.

Unfortunately at this time there will be mistakes in our spam filtering. These are some things you may see:

  • Messages you are expecting to see in your inbox are delivered to your spam folder.
    • Messages from people in your contacts.
    • Replies to messages you sent.
    • Messages from people you have given your email address to.
  • Messages you expect to be delivered to the spam folder are being delivered to your inbox.
    • Advertisements that you did not request.
    • Advertisements that you no longer wish to receive.

To better customize your spam filtering, ProtonMail provides a Whitelist and Blacklist spam feature that allows you to specifically mark email addresses as spam or not spam. You can learn more about how to filter your emails here:

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  1. Terry Fickes

    I would like to see emails that are in my inbox and I mark it spam to be automatically blacklisted. Also the reverse.

  2. Chris

    please give us a way to mark unwanted e mail as spam. the spam function is not working and i am getting unwanted advertising

  3. Anonymous

    It would be really nice to have a personal (editable) black and white lists for outside senders. And it’d be really great if regexps were supported in those lists.

  4. rev

    I would like to find a way to move mistaken spam into my inbox.

  5. Peter

    I would like to see an exclusive whitelist function,
    i.e. only accept email from pre-approved senders.

  6. Ann

    How can I move emails which have been marked spam but are from my contacts, from the spam folder to my inbox folder? I could not find anything from the dropdown menues. Thank you for your help!

  7. Victoria

    A white list would be most useful. I often get messages from one sender and they always go to spam (I assume it’s because they are sent as SMS). I wish I could put his address into the white list, otherwise I have to manually check my email every 30-60 mins.

  8. Matt

    Just give a a way to mark certain domains as spam.

  9. Scott

    I’m curious…How can the server do Spam filtering w/o processing the unencrypted contents of the email? This would seem to violate the “we don’t read your email” rule.

  10. Ravi R

    Without spam list, I literally have to beg people to stop sending me spam. As far as I have found, nobody listens.

    Why is this not in the top of the requirement list? Is protonmail opening up the code base so others can go and implement a functionality?

  11. DrMom

    After I have sent something to spam, I want it to be black listed and never show up in my inbox again.
    Thank you.

  12. Robert

    I really appreciate how you’re trying not to keep user-specific data like blacklist preferences, but I don’t see how a blacklist would in any way be a security/privacy concern. I and many others have made PM our primary email provider because of the wonderful service you guys provide, but we need a working spam filter. I’ve marked lots of things as spam and nothing has ever been automatically moved to my spam box.

    Also, the way you’ve got this page being open in a new tab and you must be logged in to vote, it’s impossible to vote on the other comments. I’d like to +1 “Anonymous”‘s comment that regex support would be cool.

  13. sfa

    Currently, the spam filter is detecting about a third of my total spam. The rest is deposited into my inbox. The expectation is that if I mark these messages at spam (by putting them into the spam folder) then the algorithm will “learn” what is spam (that’s how spamassassin works, for example). It doesn’t seem to be doing this, however. Any way I can get the algorithm to learn what is, and what is not spam?

  14. VA

    I would like for the emails that I indicate as spam to automatically be added to a black list so I don’t get the same emails every day.

  15. David

    Need a Whitelist!! The spam filter is being too aggressive. And how does the spam filter even know what it is handling if my mail is encrypted?

  16. Nathan

    I only use my e-mail address for personal e-mails, so I don’t have a problem with spam. Unfortunately, e-mails from my family that are completely legit keep ending up in the spam box. If they’re on my contacts list, they should not be going to spam. A whitelist and blacklist would be helpful, of course, but at least starting with the ability to add a setting like “IF Contact THEN NOT Spam” would be awesome.

  17. Anthony


    Thank you for a great product.

    My wife’s email address is getting flagged as spam. She is at (TW Roadrunner). Can this be fixed by you? It’s a fairly common domain.

    Thank you!

  18. Starwater

    Please put into an email to all PM account holders a list of things they can do to prevent spam, of more benefit to new account holders. Offer tips, such as when signing up for online services use another non-PM email account set up for that purpose, the idea is to limit your PM email address footprint online. Also, when notifying others of your new PM account, do so encrypted, and ask them to not store your email address electronically in contacts. The goal isn’t that prevention measures can stop all spam, but it can reduce it.

  19. Anonymous

    I am getting a lot of advertising spam. Please, no one wants vulgarity to be delivered to their inbox. No, I do not suffer from erectile dysfunction, shop for drugs online etc. These emails that I mark as spam should be blacklisted so I do not continue to received them. Very annoying!

  20. Xerxes

    Please lighten up on domains that’s got SPF records configured properly. I know it can still be abused but if there is anyway to score them a little higher that would help. Thanks.

  21. Anonymous

    I think having the ability to add a problem email addresses to a working blacklist would go some way of helping us deal with rogue spam emails. I’ve had a ton of emails that I’ve constantly marked as Spam but future emails from the same place always seem to find their way back into my Inbox.

  22. B.M. van Reen

    Is a blacklist option going to be implemented ever because I can’t find any information regarding the future of this possible feature.

  23. ProtonMail Support

    We have implemented this feature, you can read more about it on this link

  24. Diane

    So far I’m finding the spam filter a little over-sensitive. Two legitimate emails, one with a subject line all in caps, the other with the words “pretty piece” as the subject line, were marked as spam. I wish there was a way to mark future mail from these addresses as benign, especially since they are already in my contact list. Thanks.

  25. ProtonMail Support

    We have added Spam filters, you can read more about that here

  26. Czerno

    Most wanted feature – I guess, for so-called “power” users at least – would be versatile and USER configurable REGULAR EXPRESSION based filters allowing one to trash, delete or divert messages to specific folders in accordance with message TEXT and any HEADER contents, message SIZE, presence and name of ATTACHMENTS, numeric SCORE result of Protonmail’s Spamassassin (or similar), SCORES off DNS BLOCKING lists, etc…
    This custom filtering should be able to replace or supplement (per user choice) standard base filtering by Proton.
    THANKS !
    P.S. There exist free libre scripts that run on your (mail providers’) mail platform and can help you implement the suggested.

  27. ProtonMail Support

    We have added the spam filters feature. You can read more about that here

  28. Dom

    As others mentioned, a way for us to individually create black/white lists is a feature much needed. But I am here to say please NEVER create a spam filter that automatically rejects email if it thinks it is spam. Outlook does this, and I find many important emails going to NEITHER my inbox nor my spam folder–they just get lost between the sender and myself. So just keep that in mind. Thanks.

  29. ProtonMail Support

    We have added spam filters feature. You can read more about this here:

  30. ikolor

    You Just ask people who know who to fight with spam

  31. Adrian T.

    Whitelist +1

  32. Sekreta

    I’d really like to be able to block spam coming from subdomain email addresses, as that’s where most of the spam I get comes from.

    The only thing I miss from Gmail is that I got very little spam, and when I did I could mark it as spam that automatically blacklisted it. To prevent certain types of spam from slipping by I could create filters and rules, which I really wish I could do with ProtonMail. I’m getting bombarded with spam since I switched.

  33. ProtonMail Support

    We have implemented the filter option for spam messages:

  34. Anonymous

    I have been a paying member for about a month now. I did not realize that what I thought were basic spam handling functions, such as white/black list filtering, are not an option. From what I can tell, the spam filtering technology used by Protonmail is not effective, and I have had to manually tag hundreds of spam messages. I can’t imagine continuing with Protonmail much longer if this does not improve. Furthermore, it would be nice to have an option to archive the inbox to local storage periodically, or export messages in bulk should the need arise.

    Having said that, I appreciate the effort Protonmail has made thusfar in developing a secure email alternative.

  35. ProtonMail Support

    We have added a filter option for marking messages as spam or not spam. You can read more about it here Regarding an option to export messages, we are looking into adding that in the future.

  36. Anonymous

    Please backlist email addresses and/or their domains when they go into Spam.

  37. Max

    Blacklist all emails marked as spam and put them in spam thereafter. Could be a client side script on login if you are concerned about security. Either the spam folder has a previous spam receiver list that is updated with an email once it is added via the “is spam” button and also removes the address if it is marked as “not spam”.

  38. Eric Goebelbecker

    An ability to recognize that an identical email received many times and marked as SPAM repeatedly is still SPAM the next time would be nice. Whether it’s done by send, subject, hash on sender+subject+body….whatever…it’s a pretty basic capability.

    If nothing else, how hard would it be to implement a blocked sender list?

  39. rob miskimmin

    agree with most of the points above, I would like a way to make an email as spam and all future emails from that site to be auto sent to spam.

  40. Robertsb

    A way of automatically filtering and deleting messages from senders who refuse to remove one’s name from their lists

  41. ProtonMail Support

    We are planning on adding auto-filter on labels in the near future.

  42. Mikael A

    I really need an option to both whitelist and blacklist emails, and to be able to edit the list of whitelisted and blacklisted email.

  43. Jo

    Not being able to block spam and unwanted emails is the only thing preventing me from upgrading to paid service and using Protonmail exclusively.

  44. Johanna Alley

    I would like to be able to block some email addresses so they don’t even show up in my spam.

  45. Paolo D.

    Currently ALL email messages from Amazon MarketPlace (i.e. email messages routed through Amazon coming from a 3rd retailer) goes to the spam folder. The whitelist filter does not work since the address is a random string and it cannot filter by domanin (that is always the same). The reason why the message is marked as spam is because it was improperly forwarded (or something similiar).

  46. ProtonMail Support

    You can fix this using Custom Filters, which allows you to use a wildcard and domain to do the filtering:

  47. Vince

    I’ve got an issue with the receiving an e-mails from specific addresses such as *

  48. ProtonMail Support

    Please contact our support team at, via the report bug button or using the support form at

  49. Bobby

    It’s about time you fix this guys. ‘Not spam’ button adding it directly to my white list or at least put a ‘Add to whitelis’ option next to the email address. Why should we go through the whole process?

  50. ProtonMail Support

    Hi! Moving an email from Spam to Inbox will automatically whitelist the sender. This works the other way around as well – moving an email from Inbox to Spam will blacklist the sender.

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