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How to Add Emails to Safe Sender List - Gmail, Yahoo! Mail and Other Email Services

Having your workspace logically organized is an essential part of establishing a proper working environment. No clutter, no junk, no distractions. The same goes for your email inbox and, for that reason, there are a number of email blocking programs, or otherwise known as spam blockers whose purpose is to seamlessly sift through all arriving emails and distinguish what may be useful to the user from what may be just another promotion or spam message. 

These programs occasionally cannot detect that an incoming email is actually a cleverly worded spam message, specifically designed to avoid algorithms of email blocking programs and in that way, spam can find its way into your inbox. Although this may be tolerated, what may severely impede your email correspondence is the fact that at times, spam blockers have a tendency to label important, non-spam email messages as junk or spam.

You have probably experienced this a number of times – an important email is quarantined to the Junk folder and several hours or days go by until you remember to check if the email arrived at all. Who knows how many emails of importance got deleted after spending 30 days in the Junk folder, waiting in vain to be transferred to the Inbox folder and then to be added to the safe contact list.

Admittedly, most Internet users are already primed to expect this and frequently checking your Spam section has become the usual practice. However, it is more efficient to create a list of trusted contacts to make sure important messages reach you accordingly. Adding a contact to a safe sender list is referred to as ‘whitelisting’, and it is widely implemented as an effective way to categorize emails in trusted address lists. Additionally, verifying emails is invaluable not only in terms of apt organization of your digital workspace but also in terms of efficient correspondence with potential leads and/or business associates.

To curtail the blunders of email providers, take a look at easy step-by-step instructions on how to add email addresses to your email client’s safe sender list.

Identifying emails to include into your email safe list

Before we specifically address how to add contacts to a safe sender list, it may be advantageous to raise awareness of the methods typically used to streamline your email correspondence and ways in which email contact lists are used. 

Acknowledging this is not only beneficial to improving your approach to writing and sending emails but also to raising awareness of how email messages may reach you. There are several relevant points and methods you should be aware of in the process of creating your email safe list:

  1. Subject lines

  2. Appropriate copy

  3. Sending bulk emails

Email subject lines

Being able to assess email subject lines is the skill that is your first line of defense against unwanted emails. In fact, as much as 63% of subject lines are generic, and as a result, they are easy to recognize. A rule of thumb that you should not add a sender to your safe list is if the subject line mentions the following:

  • Blatantly promoting a product or a service

  • Urging you to purchase something

  • Void of any personalization or customization 

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Writing an appropriate email

Although this may seem self-explanatory, it is frequently the case that the usual conventions of writing emails, especially in official, highly-standardized contexts are disregarded. 

Acquainting yourself with appropriate writing by, for instance, checking out skilfully written business email templates may come in handy in the process of selecting contacts for your safe sender list, and in turn, it will teach you how to write emails that get included in safe lists. Therefore, be sure to pay attention to the way the email in question is written, whether you are sending it or receiving it.

Bulk email 

Another strategy frequently used to reach a vast number of email addresses includes merging email contacts and sending ‘bulk messages’ i.e. sending a single email to multiple contacts simultaneously. Being able to differentiate these marketing strategies from regular emails can aid you in the selection of contacts for your safe sender list. 

Although these kinds of emails can be a nuisance, being aware of the workings of such strategies is something you can make ample use of, like knowing how to send mass email in Gmail or how to send mass email and hide recipients for your own purposes.

How to whitelist emails - whitelisting vs. blacklisting

Whitelisting and blacklisting are two approaches to categorizing emails according to different criteria that determine whether the majority of incoming emails should be delivered to your inbox, spam or junk folder, or otherwise denied immediately. Depending on your or your business’ needs, you may opt for either approach. The basic differences are listed below:



Most incoming emails are denied; allows only a select minority of emails to arrive

Most incoming emails are allowed; denies only a few emails

Allows approved IP addresses, apps, domains, etc.

Allows unapproved IP addresses, apps, domains, etc.

Whitelisting – adding emails to my safe email sender list

Most businesses and email clients opt for the whitelisting approach to selecting trusted emails as incoming emails have to pass through strict security measures. Email whitelists can be either: 

  • Exclusive – solely those emails that are included in the whitelist can reach you, the rest is denied access or labeled as junk mail.

  • Non-exclusive - emails are not automatically denied access or labeled as junk or spam if they are not included in your whitelist

Although whitelists come with a greater level of security measures, the end-user should nevertheless frequently update their whitelist, either to avoid relevant messages being labeled as spam or to prevent spam disguised as a relevant incoming email from entering their email account. Therefore, a neat whitelist is a must as it simultaneously allows you to block unwanted emails from reaching your Inbox folder and keep your trusted contacts in check.

Based on the level of protection and method of selecting email contacts that can enter your Inbox folder, there are three relevant types of whitelists:



Commercial whitelists

Emails that are labeled as unsafe by the spam filter are allowed access by the internet service provider in return for a fee. These whitelists enable companies to reach potential customers and create leads.

Non-commercial whitelists

Emails are allowed access based on a series of criteria the email sender must satisfy. These conditions are usually set by non-profit organizations and internet service providers. 

Software whitelists

Lists of software programs that have been allowed either by the administrator or end-user. Used for establishing a list of programs from trusted sources.

Adding emails to safe list on Gmail - benefits

There are the benefits of frequently updating your email whitelist, regardless of whether it is your business email or your personal email whitelist:

  • Improved security

  • Improved productivity

  • Improved organization

Improved security - The case for opting for effective whitelisting as a method of precaution in the world of cybercrime, phishing and malware viruses is even stronger once you take into consideration that almost a staggering million new malware threats are released into cyberspace each day.

Improved productivity - Denying access to unwanted and distracting emails has become the usual practice of companies that strive towards maximizing worker productivity. It also ensures that company projects and insider email correspondence do not fall prey to outsider attacks via insecure emails and malware.

Improved organization - The analogy that your email account needs to reflect the tidiness of your workspace is not just a phrase. Regularly updating your whitelist allows you to effectively communicate with your business associates and even enhance your business operation by employing a bulk email marketing strategy or sending automated emails as part of your cold email campaign.

Pro tips:

  • If you notice that even in spite of the fact that you meticulously update your contact list some emails still fail to arrive in the inbox folder, you should reach out to the sender in question and suggest they should add you to their email whitelist.

  • Usually, it is sufficient to add a contact to the email service whitelist (Gmail, Yahoo!Mail…), however, at times, it might be necessary to add a contact to the security program whitelist (McAfee SpamKiller, MalwareBytes…).

  • You can opt to add a single email address to your whitelist, however, you can also add entire domains if you wish to include all incoming emails that use that domain. Of course, be sure to do so only if you are sure that emails that you receive come from a reliable source. It is ill-advised to enter, for example,, as that will allow any email address that uses that domain to enter your Inbox folder.

How to add emails to my Gmail safe sender list

Follow these four easy steps to include a contact into your safe sender list. Gmail does not explicitly offer you to ‘whitelist’ contacts, but adding a sender into your contact list does the trick.

Most of the time this is automatically done by Gmail, for instance, if you read or reply to the email. The system tracks your activity and labels the contact as safe if you reply to the message, but in case spam blocking algorithms fail to recognize that the contact in question is actually safe, here is one way to solve this issue.

  1. Open the email sent to you by the contact you wish to label as safe. Be sure to check both the inbox folder and junk or spam folder.

  2. Click on More Options (three vertical dots) in the upper right-hand corner of the email

  3. Click on Add Sender Name to Contacts List.

  4. A notification saying ‘The sender has been added to your contacts list’ should appear at the bottom of the screen.

In case you wish to include an email that has been marked as spam, you will first have to Report Not Spam and then proceed with these four steps.

It must be noted that email messages you had received before listing a contact as your trusted email address won’t be transferred to your Inbox. Only those email messages you receive after you add the contact to your whitelist will show up in the Inbox folder.

If you would like to add or exempt entire address lists and customize the settings and labels that they currently have, take a look at the following instructions.

  1. You will need to Sign in to Google Admin Console. You should sign in using your administrator account rather than one of your Gmail email addresses.

  2. Once you are allowed access to your Google Admin console Home page, go to 

  3. Apps → Suite → Gmail →Advanced settings (scroll to the bottom of the page)

  4. Click the desired setting, then click Edit.

  5. Click Use existing or create a new one.

  6. Under Create a new list, enter the name of the list, then click Create.

  7. If you wish to use an existing list, click its name.

  8. Point to the new list, then click Edit.

  9. Proceed to ‘add, edit or delete email addresses’.

  10.  Click Save.

How to add emails to my Yahoo! Mail safe sender list

Adding contacts to your trusted Yahoo sender list is fairly simple as your Contact List is simultaneously your Yahoo email safe sender list.

  1. Open the email sent to you by the contact you wish to label as safe. Be sure to check both the inbox folder and junk or spam folder.

  2. Copy the email address

  3. Click the Contacts icon located in the upper right-hand corner of your Yahoo! Mail Inbox Homepage. When you scroll over the first icon, it should say ‘Contacts’.

  4. Click ‘Add a new contact’ located below the list of your contacts.

  1.  Fill in the contact details and paste the email address you wish to add to your contact list.

  2.  Click Save.

And voilà! You have updated your Yahoo! Mail safe sender list.

How to add an email to my Outlook safe sender list

The procedure for adding emails to your Outlook account trusted contacts follows the usual method. To prevent the recipient’s message to go to the Junk folder, you need to update your safe sender list by adding their email address to your whitelist.

  1. Open the email sent to you by the contact you wish to label as safe.

  2. Click on More Options (three vertical dots) in the upper right-hand corner of the email

  3. Click on Add to Safe Senders.

  4. Confirm by clicking Ok.

However, it should be noted that when you send messages to contacts that are not Outlook accounts, these contacts are not automatically added to your trusted contacts list. You should change the settings to prevent the recipient’s message from going to the Junk Folder.

  1. Locate Settings Icon (Cogwheel) in the upper right-hand corner of your Outlook Inbox Homepage.

  2. Scroll to the bottom and click ‘View all Outlook settings’.

  3. Click Junk email and scroll down to Safe senders and domains

  1. Finally, click ‘Add’ to include the contact to your safe sender list

How to add an email address to my AOL Mail safe sender list

To add an email address to your AOL Mail safe sender list, you must add a contact to your Address book or Custom sender list. Replying to the email will automatically enlist the email address as your trusted contact.

  1. Locate the Contacts option on the left navigation bar of your AOL Mail Home Page (under the Trash folder).

  2. Click New Contact icon.

  3. Type the contact information in the required and optional fields.

  4. Scroll to the bottom and click Add Contact.

  5. A confirmation message that the contact has been created will appear.

Pro tip

Be sure that you have the latest version of AOL Mail to receive notifications that you have a new email in the Spam folder.

How to add an email address to my Apple iPhone Mail application safe sender list

It might be useful to create a safe sender list in your Apple iPhone Mail App. It is usually sufficient to maintain your email whitelist on your email services like Gmail or Yahoo! Mail, but since people increasingly use their smartphone apps rather than desktop applications to communicate, it is advised to create a trusted contacts list in your Apple Mail app as well.

  1.  Open the email

  2. Tap the email address or email the user name of the sender (at the top of the screen)

  3. Tap ‘Create New Contact’ from the menu at the bottom of the screen.

How to add an email address to my Android Gmail App safe sender list

As previously mentioned, a high proportion of global email correspondence prioritizes smartphone apps rather than desktop applications. This shift towards receiving email messages even when you are on the go triggered the rise in the usage of smartphone email applications.

So, to keep up with the times and embrace the tech-savvy spirit of email communication, take a look at how to easily add email addresses to your Android Gmail App safe sender list:

  1. Open the email of the contact you wish to add to your safe sender list

  2. Tap the contact name, email or contact card. You might have to click the downward-pointing arrow to reveal the contact name.

  3. Tap the ‘Add Contact’ icon located in the top right-hand corner.

How to add an email address to my Mozilla Thunderbird safe sender list

If Mozilla Thunderbird is your preferred email client, the procedure to whitelist an email address is slightly different from other email services, as is its design and layout. However, it is equally simple to update your whitelist once you make slight adjustments in your Account Settings. Once you change your whitelist settings, you will be able to whitelist email addresses as you wish.

  1. Click the Menu (hamburger) icon (which is analogous to three vertical dots or a cogwheel icon on other email clients)

  2. Locate Options from the dropdown menu and click Account Settings

  3. Locate Junk Settings

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  1. Tick 'Personal Address Book', then confirm by clicking ‘Ok’.

  2. Now you are able to add contacts by clicking ‘Address book’ (in the top bar).

  3. Click ‘New Contact’

  4. Make sure to choose ‘Personal Address Book’ from the dropdown menu in the ‘Add to’ section.

  5. Type the email address you want to include in your safe contacts list under the ‘Email’ field.

How to add an email address to my GMX Mail safe sender list

GMX Mail may be an underdog in the world of email clients, but it is nevertheless on top of lists of best free alternative email services due to the impressive storage it offers to its users and its smart design. Therefore, it is incredibly easy to update your GMX safe sender list.

  1. Click the ‘Settings’ option located at the bottom left corner of the page.

  2. Select the ‘Whitelist’ option under the ‘Security drop-down menu.

  3. Type the e-mail or domain you wish to include to your safe sender list.

Pro tip:

If you want to include newsletters into your safe sender list, it is better to write the whole domain as individual addresses may change with each incoming email. For instance, if you type in, then or will not be sent to the Spam folder.

How to add an email address to my Zoho safe sender list

Another new yet popular alternative in the world of email providers, Zoho offers you all functions that large email clients provide for free in addition to a few appreciated tweaks like the possibility of creating your own email domain for free. It also includes the standard option that allows you to include an email address to a safe sender list.  

For email addresses

  1. Click ‘Settings’ in the upper right-hand corner (Cogwheel icon)

  2. Scroll down to ‘Anti-Spam Lists’

  3. Click on ‘Email Address’

  4. Type the email address in the ‘Add new whitelist email’ field

  5. Click the Plus sign on the left to add

For domains

  1. Click ‘Settings’ in the upper right-hand corner (Cogwheel icon)

  2. Scroll down to ‘Anti-Spam Lists’

  3. Click on ‘Domains’

  4. Type the domain in the ‘Add new whitelist domain’ field

  5. Click the Plus sign on the left to add



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