Tired of spam emails? Google has new protections for Gmail users

The gmail logo next to lines connecting to symbols and padlocks
(Image credit: Google)

Spam emails range from adverts for services you signed up for once in 2019 and haven’t used since to scams trying to trick you out of your life’s savings, but spam of any kind is annoying – so Gmail users might be excited to see the arrival of new  protections that should help declutter your inbox.

These protections were announced in October last year, and come in the form of bulk email sender guidelines that Google introduced this month which force senders to follow certain formats, authenticate their domain, ensure that the number of their emails flagged as spam falls below certain thresholds, and don’t allow senders to impersonate other senders.

Perhaps most helpful is a stipulation that bulk email senders will be required to feature a “clearly visible unsubscribe link” in their messages, and will have to unsubscribe users who click this link within two days. 

If senders break these rules then Google will at first just send them error messages, but if issues persist then come April Google will start rejecting a percentage of non-compliant emails – with this rejection rate increasing the longer senders don’t comply with the rules, until Google starts blocking all rules-breaking emails.

As for the one-click unsubscribe button, senders have until June 2024 to add this to all “commercial, promotional messages” before facing repercussions.

Dark mode for Gmail

Get ready for less clutter in your Gmail inbox (Image credit: Google; Shutterstock)

Bulk senders are classified as anyone who sends 5,000 or more messages to personal Gmail accounts in a 24 hour period – and once someone meets this criteria they will forever be considered a bulk email sender. To get around companies setting up multiple email accounts, the total will include all emails sent from the same primary domain.

The upshot of all of this is that your Gmail inbox should be a lot less full or garbage, and you’ll only see the emails you actually want to see. 

More spam protections to come?

Alongside these spam email guidelines, Google has also issued various suggestions for email senders on how they can make their digital correspondence seem less spammy and annoying to recipients. 

Right now these aren’t hard rules, and are mostly there to help senders reduce the chance that their emails get flagged, but if Google continues to clamp down on spam these recommendations could become requirements.

A laptop screen on an orange background showing the Gmail logo and an inbox

(Image credit: Future)

What’s more, while Google currently classifies bulk email senders as anyone sending out 5,000 or more emails per day, it could lower this limit, and extend its one-click unsubscribe button and authentication rules to other senders.

Google seems committed to its anti-spam campaign, and says its efforts so far have reduced the number of unauthenticated emails received by Gmail users by 75%, so expect to see it roll out more email protections in the future. And if you want to do more to reduce spam today, we have a guide on how to stop junk mail that you can check out for tips. 

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Hamish Hector
Senior Staff Writer, News

Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.