Disable Or Bypass Gmail's Junk / Spam Email Filter

I use Outlook 2007 to manage emails, and found Gmail’s POP3 access very convenient, but there's one problem: Gmail’s Spam filter. The emails moved to the Spam folder could not be downloaded through POP. Every now and then, I had to log into Gmail to check the Spam folder for false positives, and move them back to the Inbox.

There's no direct way to disable Gmail's Spam filter, and this has been a pain until Google's addition of the "Never send it to Spam" option.

The trick is to create a rule that would match any incoming email, and tell Gmail to "Never send it to Spam." Of course, this doesn't really disable Gmail's Spam filter; it just bypasses it. In my opinion, it gives me the same end result.

Bypass Gmail's Spam Filter

  1. Login to your Gmail account.
  2. Click on 'Settings' near the top right corner of the screen.
  3. Click on 'Filters.'
  4. Click 'Create a new filter.'
  5. In the 'Doesn't have:' text box, type in a long random series of characters.

    Gmail: Bypass Spam Filter
  6. Click 'Next Step »'
  7. Put a check mark for 'Never send it to Spam.'

    Never send it to Spam
  8. Click on 'Create Filter.'

The long series of characters I used in step five is almost guaranteed not to be in any email I'll ever receive. Someone would really need to be determined to match that. So the rule should match any incoming email. You can choose to create your own. Mine is fairly short; you can make yours longer and more complicated.

With this filter in place, anything matching the condition is NOT sent to the Spam folder. Outlook will now be able to download ALL emails and use its own Junk E-mail filter.

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R Friedman
Sep 2, 2008 4:48 PM
R Friedman Thanks, I have been looking for a way to handle this Gmail issue. I love your idea of using the long series of characters.
Sep 6, 2008 5:13 AM
Opel77 We have just migrated to Outlook 2007 from Lotus Notes. I was hoping to utilise Gmails pop service, thanks for the heads up!
Sep 6, 2008 10:35 AM
bwise Nice trick - I use Outlook and Gmail pop access as well. I haven't had as much problems with the spam but I implemented this rule just in case. Thanks!
Sep 6, 2008 5:07 PM
josemanuelkbron7 i have the same gmail issue, thx for the solution
Derrey Xavier
Sep 8, 2008 1:47 AM
Derrey Xavier Very usefull trick, it's anoying how this spam filter often put good mail in spambox.
Sep 9, 2008 7:34 AM
Jerrymerr Beautiful, straight up solution for spam filter on gmail!
Sep 9, 2008 9:37 AM
Hartanto What a nice tips. i will now use Outlook 2007 to manage my gmail. thanks for sharing
Sep 10, 2008 12:49 AM
priyakochin Great trick..I like your idea...Thanks for the post.
Sep 11, 2008 6:33 PM
max Thanks for this idea
Sep 12, 2008 2:44 PM
nzonline Great idea thanks, this was one issue that I grappled with. I use Outlook 2007 also as I really like the organisation features of outlook. Although in saying this I would prefer if Google implemented some of these features also (and perhaps released their own competing desktop email client).
Sep 14, 2008 5:43 AM
Mikel I wish I would have found this post a few months ago! Thanks anyway for the short tutorial :)
Sep 18, 2008 7:43 PM
Phil Terrific, just what I was looking for.
Sep 19, 2008 10:40 AM
Bob Let's hope Google takes the hi... fullreply.com/18
Kacy Arch
Sep 19, 2008 2:19 PM
Kacy Arch Wow, great brainstorming to bypass gmail spam folder :). This tip is very useful indeed, thanks!
Sep 22, 2008 3:42 PM
Jocuri Great idea. you don't even know how happy you made me.
Sep 22, 2008 8:07 PM
Michael Very interesting Idea, just what I need, Thanks for sharing..
Sep 30, 2008 5:27 AM
Arjen Thanks, very interesting. I'm using Outlook 2007, and it really annoyed me that I didn't receive all messages so I had to switch to the gmail spam filter once in a while.! Thanks for sharing!
Sep 30, 2008 5:37 AM
Derek great article with some good information. Keep up the great work!
irish gifts
Oct 4, 2008 5:22 AM
irish gifts Great post - I am running some domain email through gmail, so I'm going to make these changes asap.
Oct 5, 2008 8:23 PM
Kenneth Pretty tricky and clever.. I like it.. Nice information, very useful. Thanks!
Oct 5, 2008 10:12 PM
BarkTop I have wondered if there was a way to accomplish this, thank you for the information!
Oct 10, 2008 2:52 PM
pitagora This is not really a solution. Gmail should fix their pop3 problem and make the spam filter better. Disabling it just gets me 10-20 spam emails a day. Surprisingly I'm not interested in making my 'thing' longer, yet I get such emails every day :(
Oct 23, 2008 2:44 AM
Mark hehe nice trick, was beginning to really annoy me and cause problems as the majority of my customers contact me through gmail (my great hosting company doesn't provide me with an email account). Thanks for the work around, but someone should really suggest a fix to google.


Oct 23, 2008 1:41 PM
Jess Hey thanks so much. I found this while googling, how to remove spamfiltering in gmail. You are great.
Nov 6, 2008 5:25 AM
Livesets I have been looking for a way to handle this Gmail issue, thanks!
Roger Hamilton
Nov 17, 2008 2:24 AM
Roger Hamilton Really nice bypass for the spam filter. Never thought of that. But I really hope Google does allow us to get the emails in the spam folder through POP so it wouldn't get too messy when we access it through browsers. Thanks!
Peloton game statistics
Nov 25, 2008 2:21 PM
Peloton game statistics Great post - I am running some domain email through gmail, so I'm going to make these changes asap.
Mark Blakeney
Nov 29, 2008 3:39 PM
Mark Blakeney Rather then use a random string, just filter on "Has the words = label:spam".
Dec 8, 2008 1:26 PM
Franklin Great solution to what have been a simple task to implement into Gmail. You just made my Gmail experience that much better, I was getting headaches trying to figure out a solution.
Dec 11, 2008 12:31 PM
Sarah I have noticed this problem with gmail. So I just settled with not importing gmail into outlook. However, now I can thanks to you.
Jim Tld
Dec 22, 2008 7:55 AM
Jim Tld That's a great trick. However, I usually get such a volume of spam that I don't care about my spam filter too much. If people get into it, I'm pretty happy for them to stay there! LOL
New Jersey Web Guy
Jan 20, 2009 3:36 AM
New Jersey Web Guy This seems to be the most reliable way to handle this, thanks.

I've stumbled across a couple of other ideas, but they seem like the kind of things that just might stop working if the big G makes an oddball change under the hood.
Mar 6, 2009 1:42 AM
Jessica Thanks for sharing this tip, i often migrate my mail from Gmail into Outlook. This has made things a lot less time consuming.
Apr 20, 2009 8:55 PM
Rachel Wonderful solution, now I can train my thunderbird client to handle junk instead of relying on gmail's terrible, false-positive ridden junk settings.

Thanks so much!
Apr 23, 2009 12:05 AM
Sam I have an idea derived from yours. In the "From" field, tell it to match @. And if it matches, do "Never send it to spam".

I just set up this filter after reading yours. Hopefully, it will work.

Thanks for your idea!
Apr 24, 2009 10:33 PM
Carlo @Sam that's another way to skin this cat. Thanks!
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Jun 26, 2009 4:52 AM
gazete gölbaşı Thanks for your idea! nice

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