How to Automatically Trash Emails from Blocked Senders on Mac Mail

Jan 13, 2021 - 9 Comments

How to Automatically Trash Emails from Blocked Senders on Mac

Do you want to stop getting unwanted emails from senders you’ve previously blocked in your Mac Mail inbox? If you’ve noticed blocked senders emails still coming through to your Mail inbox on the Mac (or iPhone or iPad), this occurs due to the default inbox settings used by the Mail app. Fortunately, you can fix this in a jiffy and be done with seeing those blocked emails by sending them to the trash automatically instead.

Apple’s Mail app that comes pre-installed on iPhones, iPads, and Macs is widely preferred by users to keep themselves updated on their emails, whether it’s for work or personal use. It’s also deeply integrated into the operating system. For example, blocking a contact on your device will also block the email address that’s linked to the contact. Typically, blocking should prevent their emails from showing up in your inbox. However, by default, the stock Mail app just marks the email as sent from a blocked user and leaves it in your inbox with the rest of the emails.

If you’re looking to clean up your inbox by filtering out blocked emails, read on to learn how to set your Mac to automatically trash emails from blocked senders with ease.

How to Automatically Delete Emails from Blocked Senders on Mail for Mac

Setting up your Mac to send all blocked emails to the Trash is actually quite simple. Don’t forget that this procedure only applies if you’ve linked your email account to the stock Mail app. Now, without further ado, let’s get started.

  1. Launch the “Mail” app on your Mac from the Dock.

    How to Automatically Trash Emails from Blocked Senders on Mac
  2. Make sure Mail is the active window and then click on “File” from the menu bar. This will bring up a dropdown menu with more options.

    How to Automatically Trash Emails from Blocked Senders on Mac
  3. Click on “Preferences” from the dropdown menu. This will open a new window on your screen.

    How to Automatically Trash Emails from Blocked Senders on Mac
  4. You’ll be taken to the General settings for the Mail app. Click on “Junk Mail” from the top menu, as shown in the screenshot below.

    How to Automatically Trash Emails from Blocked Senders on Mac
  5. Here, switch to the “Blocked” section and check the first option “Enable blocked mail filtering”. This will give you further control over all your blocked emails. Select the option “Move it to the Trash” and you’re all set.

    How to Automatically Trash Emails from Blocked Senders on Mac

That’s pretty much all you need to do to stop seeing blocked emails.

From now on, all the emails that you get from blocked senders will automatically be moved to the Junk mailbox rather than flooding your primary inbox. This allows you to sort and view all the blocked emails separately, if necessary.

For spam and promotional emails, instead of blocking, you can mark an email as spam by moving it to the Junk folder on your Mac. Doing this will automatically move all future emails from the sender to the Junk folder on the Mac, though sometimes you may find one or two slip through. To unmark emails as spam, you’ll need to move them from Junk back to your inbox.

Do you use an iPhone or iPad as your primary mobile device? In that case, you may also be interested in learning how to mark emails as spam on iOS and iPadOS devices too. Just like the Mac, these devices also store emails from blocked senders in your inbox by default, but this can be changed by going to Settings -> Mail -> Blocked Sender Options -> Move to Trash.

So now you have learned how to stop your Mac from leaving emails from blocked senders in your inbox, a nice change, right? Do you think this should this be the default setting Apple uses for its Mail app on the Mac? Do you have another approach to handling blocked senders? Share your experiences, opinions, and thoughts in the comments.

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Posted by: Hamlin Rozario in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Grant says:

    On Big Sur it simply sends them from each linked account to Junk. This is really not helpful. I would like any address specifically marked as “blocked” to go directly to Trash. I have two-five legitimate senders who always go to Junk, so I have to carefully go through Junk before automatically deleting Junk mail.

    Yes. All my email accounts are officially and properly linked to Apple Mail.

  2. Carol says:

    This doesn’t work. My blocked emails still stay in my spam folder and aren’t moved to trash.

    • Paul says:

      This does work, it’s a feature in Mail app.

      It’s possible it isn’t working for *you* due to your email provider behavior or your configuration settings. If you blocked specific emails on some services, they treat those emails as spam, so they would be filtered that way.

  3. Frank says:

    The screen you mention in step 5 does not appear when I follow these instructions.

  4. no way says:

    Much easier in Mojave. Follow to the junk mail preference, then check perform custom actions and click advanced where you can select any number of conditions you wish, and perform any of a number of actions according to these conditions. I have mine set as follows:

    Message is not addressed to my full name
    Sender is not in my previous receipients
    Sender is not in my contacts
    Message is junk mail

    Delete message

    This removes anything I have marked as junk or blocked, as well as deletes it, eliminating the empty trash step to remove it. Far simpler than what is described in this article.

    I believe these options are available in Catalina and Big Sir.

  5. Ian says:

    I’ve done this – I’m still on Catalina (so the directions above are different as you go to the Mail dropdown menu and choose preferences from there) and the action to move these blocked email addresses is very hit and miss – sometimes in the Bin, sometimes in the Junk, and sometimes in the Inbox.

  6. Rich says:

    FYI: This option is not available in Mojave, and probably easier Mac OSs….

  7. Jerry says:

    I have my iMac Mail app set-up as you suggest and it still shows up in the Junk mail folder as blocked but does not automatically move it to the Trash.

  8. Dr. Craig Stotts says:

    This solution doesn’t work on my computer. I called Apple tech support and they said they would send the problem to their engineering group because I was doing everything right and still my blocked senders were sent to Junk instead of Trash. Apple said they would let me know as soon as the engineers had a fix. It’s been 3 months now and no resolution.

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