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How to Check Your Spam Folder in Gmail and Outlook

how to check spam folder

Your spam filter keeps your inbox free of irrelevant emails like junk mail and phishing scams.

In this article, I’ll give you a step-by-step guide on finding and managing the spam folder in Gmail and Outlook on both the web app and mobile devices.

Want to know more about spam emails?
Read my detailed article on what they are and five ways to stop them.

This Article Contains:

(Click on the links below to jump to a section)

Let’s jump right in.

How to Manage Your Spam Folder in Gmail

Gmail is pretty efficient in filtering your emails.

However, sometimes false positives may occur when Gmail’s spam filter incorrectly identifies a legit email as spam.

For example, an email might have a subject line with spam trigger words. Alternatively, promotional emails that you have a legitimate interest in are sent from a shared IP address that has a bad sender reputation.

These factors can prompt the spam filter to send the incoming emails directly to the spam folder.

Additionally, your email account may be running out of storage space, and you need to empty your spam folder.

That’s why you need to know how to manage your spam folder in Gmail.

I’ll explain how to:

Let’s start:

1. How to Find Gmail’s Spam Folder and Delete Spam Emails

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to find your spam folder in Gmail’s webmail interface and mobile app.
I’ll also show you how you can delete spam emails to clear up your spam folder.

A. On the Web App

Here’s how to find Gmail’s spam folder in the web app:

1. Open Gmail and sign in to your email account from your computer.
2. Scroll down on the left sidebar that displays all the folders, including your inbox folder.
3. Click on the More option and scroll down to find the spam folder.

more option

4. Click on the spam folder (indicated with an exclamation icon).

spam option

5. To delete a single spam message, select it and click the bin icon at the extreme right to delete it.

delete spam

6. To delete all the spam emails in the folder, click the check box at the top left to select all messages and click Delete forever.

delete forever

7. You can also empty your spam folder with one click. All you have to do is click Delete all spam messages now from the notification that appears above.

delete all spam

B. On the Mobile App

Here’s how to navigate the Gmail app to find your spam folder:

1. Log in to your Gmail account on your iPhone or Android device.
2. Click the three bars (burger icon) in the upper-left corner to open the main menu.

three bars

3. Scroll down, and you’ll find the spam folder.

the spam folder in the gmail app for android and ios devices

4. To clear your spam folder in one go, tap on Empty Spam now at the top.

empty spam now

5. To delete a single message, select the message and tap delete (bin icon) at the top right.

delete icon

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2. How to Unhide Your Spam Folder in Gmail (if it’s hidden)

When you set up your Gmail or Google account, the spam folder is hidden by default on the web app.

Fortunately, you can change your Gmail spam folder to “Show,” making it easier to monitor how many spam emails you receive and check that important emails aren’t going to the spam folder accidentally.

Note: On the Gmail mobile app, the Spam folder is shown by default. 

Here’s how to unhide your spam folder in Gmail:

1. Log in to Gmail, click on the Settings icon and select See all settings.

see all settings

2. Click on the Labels tab.

labels tab

3. Click on Show next to the Spam label.

show next to spam

4. Now, your Spam folder should appear on your Mailbox Menu with the rest of your folders.

spam folder 2

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3. How to Report or Block Spam in Gmail

If you want to move irrelevant emails to spam in Gmail, you can either report the emails or block them.

While both options send emails to your spam folder, Report Spam doesn’t get rid of the spam address for good — it just moves the existing email to spam.

On the other hand, Block ensures you don’t get any future emails from the address.

Here’s how you do it on the webmail and mobile versions:

A. On the Web App

You can block email addresses from Gmail’s More Menu option or Search bar.

Messages from blocked addresses will automatically go to the spam folder.

Here’s how you can block or report spam from the web app:

Option a. Using the More Menu

This is an easy method to block opened spam emails in a snap. Here’s what you should do:

1. Open the email message you want to block and click the three vertical dots (More menu) beside Reply.

three dots icon

2. Select Block [sender] or Report spam from the drop-down list.

block and report spam

3. When you click Block [sender], you’ll get a confirmation pop-up.

block icon

Click Block in the pop-up to block the sender.

4. If you click Report spam from the drop-down menu, the selected message will go directly to the spam folder.

5. If you click Report spam on an email that you’re a subscriber to, a confirmation pop-up will appear with the options: Report spam & unsubscribe and Report spam.

report spam

If this is the only message from the sender that you want to mark as spam, click Report spam. If you wish to unsubscribe as well, select the other option.

Quick Tip
You can also Report spam without opening an email message.

If you suspect incoming emails to be spam from the subject line itself,  just click the checkbox to select the email you want to mark as spam. From the options that appear on the top, select the Report spam icon (exclamation mark).

exclamation icon

Option b. Using the Search Bar

Here’s how to use Gmail’s search bar to block spam emails:

1. Click the Show Search Options icon at the extreme right of the search bar.

show search icon

2. Add the email address or domain name you want to block to the From field.
If you want to block multiple email addresses, use the vertical bar (|) or comma (,) between email addresses or domain names.

3. Click Create Filter.

create filter

4. From the new dialog box that appears, choose Delete it.

delete it

5. Click Create Filter, and the email address or domain will be blocked.

B. On the Mobile App

Here’s how you can report or block spam from the Gmail mobile app:

1. Reporting Spam

To Report spam, open the email and click the More Menu at the top right of the Gmail interface.

report spam box

2. Blocking the sender

To Block an email from your phone, open the email and tap the More Menu in the top right of the message.

block sender

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4. How to Unspam Emails in Gmail

Remember, sometimes even legitimate emails go to your spam folder for a variety of reasons.

Here’s how to unspam emails (move them from Spam to your primary inbox folder) in Gmail.

A. On the Web App

Follow this three-step process to unspam specific emails from Gmail’s web interface:

1. Go to your spam folder and select the message you want to remove from the folder.
2. Click Not Spam from the options that appear above.

not spam

B. On the Mobile App

Here’s how to move your emails from your spam folder to your inbox on the Gmail mobile:

1. Go to your spam folder and select the email you removed from your Gmail spam folder.
2. Tap on the More Menu option at the top right and select Report not spam.

report not spam

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5. How to Whitelist Important Email Addresses in Gmail

Whitelisting (adding senders to your safe sender list) helps ensure that future messages from particular addresses and domains never end up in your spam folder.

Here’s how to do it on the web and mobile app.

A. On the Web App

Here’s how you can whitelist email addresses and domains in your Gmail account:

1. Log in to Gmail and select the Settings (gear icon) at the top right corner and click See all settings.

see all settings

2. Go to Filters and Blocked Addresses and click on Create New Filter.

filters and blocked addresses

3. Enter the email address you want to whitelist in the From field and click on Create Filter.

from field

4. Select Never send it to Spam from the checklist that appears and click Create Filter.

never send it to spam

All the emails from the whitelisted email IDs or domains will now be delivered to your Gmail inbox.

B. On the Mobile App

Here’s how you whitelist email addresses in the Gmail app:

1. In the Gmail app, tap and hold the email from the address you want to whitelist.
2. Tap the three dots (Menu) in the upper right corner and select Move to.

Move to

3. From the dialog box that appears, choose Primary to move the email there.

Primary box

All future emails from the sender will now always land in the Primary tab of your inbox folder.

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Want to improve your Gmail experience?
Check out my comprehensive guides on:

How to Manage Your Spam Folder in Outlook

We’ve all been bombarded with unwanted emails at some time, which is why it’s vital to know how to manage your Outlook spam folder.

I’ll explain how to:

Let’s get started:

1. How to Find Outlook’s Spam Folder and Delete Spam Emails

Locating the junk mail or spam folder and deleting spam in Outlook is pretty easy. Here’s how to do it:

A. On the Web App

Here’s how you can find the Junk Mail folder in Outlook.com”

1. Open your Outlook account.
2. In the Folders tab on the left, click Junk Email. (On the web app, this is the name Outlook uses for the spam folder.)

junk email

3. Select the message you want to delete from Junk Email and click Delete at the top.

delete in outlook

4. To clear your Junk Email folder, just click the Empty folder option at the top.

empty folder outlook

B. On the Mobile App

In its mobile app, the spam folder is known as the Junk Email folder.
Follow these three steps to find it:

1. Open your Outlook app and click the burger icon at the top left.

burger icon outlook

2. You’ll find the Junk Email folder in the list, where you can view your spam messages.

junk email tab

3. To delete a single email from the Junk Email folder, select the spam message and click on the bin icon (delete) at the top right.

bin icon outlook

4. To clear your Spam folder, just click Empty Spam at the top left.

empty icon outlook

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2. How to Mark Emails as Spam in Outlook

Here’s how you can quickly mark emails as spam in Outlook web and mobile apps:

A. On the Web App

Here’s how you can mark unwanted marketing emails as spam in Outlook.

1. Select the email(s) and click on the Junk icon at the top of the screen.
2. Select Junk from the drop-down to instantly move them to the Junk folder.

junk folder outlook

B. On the Mobile App

Here’s how you can send spam emails to the junk mail folder in the Outlook app:

1. Select the email (or multiple emails) you want to send to the junk email folder.
2. If you’re an Android user, tap the move file icon at the bottom.

move file icon

3. From the options that appear, select Junk Email.

junk email box

4. If you’re an iOS user, tap the folder/arrow icon at the bottom and select Spam.

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3. How to Block Spam Email Addresses in Outlook

Here’s how you can easily block an email address in Outlook.

Note: You can’t block email addresses/domains from Outlook’s mobile app.

1. Select an email/emails you want to block from your inbox.
2. Click on the Junk tab at the top.

junk on top

3. From the drop-down, select Block.

block

4. Click OK from the confirmation pop-up. And it’s done.

ok pop-up

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4. How to Unblock and Unspam Emails from Outlook’s Junk Folder

If you’ve blocked an email address by mistake or had legitimate emails end up in spam, follow these steps:

A. On the Web App

Here’s how you can unblock and unspam emails on the web app:

i. How to Unblock Emails

1. Go to Settings and select View all Outlook settings.

settings icon

2. Select Mail and click Junk email.

mail and junk email

3. Click the bin icon at the right of the address/domain you want to unblock and click Save.

bin icon and save

ii. How to Unspam Emails

1. Open Junk Email and select the messages you want to mark as not spam.
2. Select Not junk from the Not Junk tab at the top toolbar.

not junk

3. You can also open an email in the junk folder and click It’s not junk at the top.

B. How to Unspam Emails on the Outlook Mobile App

You can’t unblock email addresses in Outlook’s mobile app.
However, you can still remove the important emails from the junk folder to your mail inbox.

Here’s how you can unspam emails in the Outlook app:

a. For Android Users

1. Go to the Junk Email folder.

junk email folder

2. Open the email you want to move to your inbox and click the three dots at the top right corner.

three horizontal dots

3. Select Move to folder and select Inbox. Alternatively, you can select Mark as not junk.

move to, mark as

b. For iOS Users

1. Go to the Spam folder.
2. Tap Edit at the top right corner.
3. Select the email you want to move to the inbox from junk.
4. Choose Mark at the bottom left.
5. Tap Mark as Not Junk.

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5. How to Whitelist Email Addresses in Outlook

Here’s how you can whitelist email addresses and domains to ensure that emails from them never end up in your Junk Mail folder:

A. On the Web App

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can whitelist addresses and domains (add them to your safe sender list) on Outlook.com:

1. Click on Settings and go to View all Outlook settings.

settings icon

2. Select Mail and then click on Junk email.

mail and junk email

3. Go to the Safe senders and domains section.

safe senders

4. Click +Add and enter the email address/domain in the box that appears below it.

Add icon

5. Press enter and click Save.

Click save

B. On the Mobile App

To whitelist email addresses via the Outlook app, all you have to do is:

1. Open an email whose address you want to whitelist and tap the three dots (Menu) at the top right corner of the screen.

three horizontal dots

2. Tap Move to folder. 

move to folder

3. Select Inbox from either the Favorites or Folders List.

Inbox options

4. Ensure that the Focused tab is selected under Inbox.

focused tab

What’s the Focused Inbox in Outlook?
The Focused Inbox in Outlook contains all your important emails while the other not-so-important ones automatically go to the Others tab.

Since you can’t access the safe senders and domains option in the mobile app, you can opt for this method instead.

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Now let’s go over why emails end up in the spam filter in the first place.This information will help you learn what to avoid when sending emails:

Why Do Emails Go to Spam Folders?

Your mailbox provider has a spam filter that determines your spam folder placement. The spam filtering process detects and blocks unwanted emails based on three major factors.

1. Spammy Email Content

Whether it’s Gmail, Outlook, or Yahoo Mail, spam filters rigorously check the email content in the email body, header, and subject line to identify spam trigger words.

For example, an email with the subject line “Get FREE Social Media Subscribers! will usually be marked as spam.

Refraining from spammy content will help improve your email deliverability.

2. Poor Sender Reputation

If you want to avoid being marked as a spammer during spam filtering, you should verify your mailing list before sending marketing emails to your subscribers.

Why?
Sending promotional emails to disposable email addresses, a spam trap, or inactive accounts on your mailing list will result in hard bounces and spam complaints to your ISP. This, in turn, affects your inbox placement rate and brings down your sending reputation.

As a result, most emails you send will be marked as spam.

3. No Email Authentications

Any legitimate email address and sender domain should be verified and authenticated with SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records.

Here’s a breakdown of what these are:

  • SPF (Sender Policy Framework): helps identify whether an authorized mail server was used to send the email.
  • DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail): applies encrypted signatures to verify whether emails are fake.
  • DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance): helps senders validate email protection via SPF and DKIM authentications.

These protocols help spam filters recognize emails as legitimate — keeping them out of the spam folder. However, if these protocols are absent, spam filters will have a hard time verifying the email, and it could end up flagged as spam.

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Final Thoughts

Finding spam folders in a mailbox provider like Gmail or Outlook isn’t tricky.
Just follow the steps I covered here, and you should have no trouble locating them.

If you want to ensure that your emails don’t end up as spam, avoid adding spammy headlines, send emails from reputed domains and ensure you employ some email authenticators.

Once you do, you’ll be able to easily boost deliverability and inbox placement!

4 Comments
  1. Hi,

    I am sending a campaign weekly and before it always goes to the primary inbox until now… using spam solver, the results are all are going to the Promotions tab. Can anyone help me with this?

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