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Understanding Gmail's Spam Filter

written by: rfreshour•edited by: J. F. Amprimoz•updated: 2/4/2010

Gmail has an excellent Spam filter. Learning how to get the most out of your Spam filter will go a long way in heading off the frustrations of dealing with an over-crowded Inbox.

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    Understanding Gmail's Spam Filter

    Upon opening a Gmail account, Gmail automatically starts trying to distinguish the junk mail from the important messages that should be in your Inbox. Understanding and using the Gmail Spam Filter from the start will help you to better deal with and sort through the onslaught of your daily email experience.

    Gmail has automatic, built-in filters that do their best to keep all of that trash out of your Inbox. However, sometimes they will let some Spam through while placing some of your important messages in the Spam box. To help you better sort through your messages, Gmail has filters that allow you to tell your email program what to do with certain incoming mail. You can create filters based on who the messages are from, who they are going to, what the subject is and the words that are (or aren’t) contained in the message. When creating the filter you also have options of where the mail goes, how it is marked, whether to automatically forward it or delete it and in certain instances (such as email from a specific sender) to never send it to Spam.

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    How to Access and Setup Gmail Spam Filters

    Gmail Filters Create 1. On any open Gmail page, click the Settings link located in the top right corner of the page.

    2. Click the Filters tab (fourth tab from the left).

    3. Click Create a new filter.

    4. When the filter box appears, enter the desired filter criteria.

    5. If you would like to see what types of messages the filter would pick up, click Test Search.

    6.Gmail Filters Create 2  Select Next Step.

    7. Choose the action that you would like to be taken when the message is filtered.

    8. Next to Create Filter, check the box next to also apply filter to _ conversations below if you would like the filter to be applied to conversations that are currently in your mail.

    Gmail Create Filter 2 

    9. Select Create Filter.

    You can create more than one filter if you don’t feel that only one will meet your current needs, as well as creating more filters as needed in the future. Filters can also be deleted when there is no longer a need for them.