Is Your Gmail Spam Filter Not Working? Use These Fixes

Published by John on Last Updated On :

Gmail Spam Filter Not Working

Do you know that more than a hundred billion spam messages get sent every single day of the year? Although the presence of spam emails isn’t surprising for people, everyone desires to get rid of it. Gmail, the most popular email service, has a robust spam filter that helps you get rid of spammy messages and keep your account safe. But what if you find the Gmail spam filter not working?

Excessive spam emails are harmful to your system and waste the time and effort you spend deleting them. But there are ways you can make your spam filter perform optimally. In this article, you’ll find Gmail’s spam filter working in detail and steps to take when it doesn’t work.

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How Does Gmail Spam Filter Work?

Gmail identifies spam through various methods. It first finds the sender of the email against its database of blacklisted domains. Suppose the email does not come under blacklisted domains. In that case, the email service inspects any links against the database of existing harmful links. It then analyses them to links in the incoming message.

The Gmail service does not stop at this point. It also looks for spelling and grammar mistakes and assesses if the email has trigger words that spam emails do. The machine learning framework Tensorflow also trains spam filters to move forward. All this ensures that Gmail can block the early 100 million spam messages you may receive.

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Troubleshooting Gmail Spam Filter Not Working Problem

It really is disturbing when all of your spam messages land in your inbox. Well, there are various reasons this might be occurring. Here are some troubleshooting techniques you can try.

1. Do not Mark Spam as No Spam

While browsing through their spam folder, many people mistakenly click ‘Not Spam’ on the emails that are actually spam. This accidental clicking allows all the spam messages to land in your inbox.

Note that Gmail offers various protections for you in your spam folder. It automatically blocks images and attachments from loading as you open the junk mail. However, in a spam message, the ‘Not Spam’ and the ‘Delete forever’ buttons are beside each other. So, it is very easy to tap the wrong button mistakenly. Just a simple click makes the spam message land in your inbox. Moreover, when you do that, the spam filter of Google gets confused and allows for more junk messages to land in your inbox.

2. Fix Your Compromised Gmail Account

The spam filter not working in Gmail is often a result of a compromised Gmail account. If your account is hacked, go through the following steps below to prevent this problem.

    • Ensure to change your Gmail password. It will prevent more damage to your account.
    • See that the emails you desire in the spam folder are actually ending up there and not in your inbox. For it, log into Gmail and choose ‘See all settings.’
    • Next, select ‘Filters and blocked addresses’ on the subsequent page.
  • Tap ‘Create a new filter.’
  • Input the sender’s email ID manually whose messages are coming to your inbox rather than in your spam folder.
  • Tap ‘Create filter.’ If you find this filter not working, you can be assured that this problem is fixed.

3. Find If the Override Filters Option is Checked

If your Gmail isn’t syncing, you will definitely complain about the spam filter Gmail not working. Here are the steps to check it.

  • Sign into Gmail and tap ‘Settings.’ It is there in the top-right corner.
  • Next, hit ‘See all Settings.’
  • Now select the ‘Inbox’ tab and go to the bottom.
  • Is the button for ‘Override Filters’ checked? In this case, you will get messages for which you have set filters.
  • Fix it by tapping ‘Don’t override filters.’ Lastly, save changes.

4. Do not Click the Spam Unsubscribe Link

If you click any link in a spam email, many unwanted things can happen. You may be redirected to a site that appears genuine but is a place to steal your information. You can also be prompted to download a file, which in reality is malware or ransomware. Apart from this, you can be redirected to a site that appears legit but sells products that are illegal.

By clicking a link in a spam email, you essentially confirm that you have a live email address for spammers. You may think that you are unsubscribing, but when you enter your email address to do so, they get a fresh entry on their list.

When it is confirmed that your email address is live, the spammers add you to a set of live email addresses they can sell. You’ll be surprised to know that many spammers earn their livelihood by selling and buying email lists. So, try not to click any link on a spam email.

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5. Find If a Broad Incoming Email Filter is Causing the Problem

When you find a spam filter not working in Gmail, do not ignore the possibility of setting up a filter causing this problem. Often, people set up a broad filter for the incoming message to have it starred or marked as crucial. However, the filter is broad and so also catches some spam. This spam gets marked in the inbox and does not get moved to the junk folder.

It is best to adjust the filters and add restricted senders. You can add a filter for the spam that passes it through the general filter. Now, find out if you can detect any common features between different spam messages. There’s no way to just blacklist email IDs when the two addresses are not similar.

6. File an Abuse Report

If an email is marked spam repeatedly, Gmail will begin to filter its entire domain. If you find that even after unsubscribing from a mail, it keeps appearing, then it’s time to talk to email operators like MailChimp and ConstantContact. Find the service that the sender is using and file an abuse report.

Final Thoughts

It can feel distressing to deal with unwanted emails. But now you know the troubleshooting for when you find the Gmail spam filter not working. These measures will help you keep your email account safe at all times. If you cannot tackle the problem of spam messages by yourself, feel free to speak to Gmail technical support professionals.

Written By


John is a Technical Writer at Email Support, has 10 years of experience, and is an expert in Email and Cloud Computing. His specialty is writing about the Email clients such as Outlook, Yahoo, Verizon, SBCGlobal, Gmail, Apple Mail, AOL, WildBlue, and others.

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John is a Technical Writer at Email Support, has 10 years of experience, and is an expert in Email and Cloud Computing. His specialty is writing about the Email clients such as Outlook, Yahoo, Verizon, SBCGlobal, Gmail, Apple Mail, AOL, WildBlue, and others.

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