Help Guide
Gmail Spam Folder Location: A How-To Guide
Posted: September 25, 2020

How to locate your Gmail Spam Folder

When sending an email receipt, some donors may find that the email seemingly has not been delivered. Typically, the email has in fact been delivered, but it was sent directly to the Gmail 'Spam' folder by Google. The Gmail spam folder location is not easy to find. Furthermore, after an email has been sent to the 'Spam' folder once, Gmail may permanently flag all subsequent email from the same sender as "spam".

Here's how you can locate the Gmail 'Spam' folder and then remove the "spam" flag by adding the sender to your list of contacts.

gmail folders
As seen in the image (right), Gmail's 'Spam' folder is hidden from view by default. To view the folder, simply hover your mouse pointer over any of the folder names in the left column of the Gmail user interface (UI).

Scroll down and click on the 'More' dropdown arrow to reveal additional folder options.

Scroll down to Spam.

Click on the 'Spam' folder text to load the folder contents into the main UI window.

If your email was sent to the 'Spam' folder, it will appear as unread, in bold text, with the name and email account used.

As seen in the image below, click the square box on the left corner of the display bar representing the email. A check mark will appear.

Then click the 'Not spam' button at the top of the Gmail UI. This will automatically move the email from the 'Spam' folder to the 'Inbox'.
not spam
Important - By being flagged as "spam" by Google, all subsequent emails sent from that email account may also be sent to your Gmail 'Spam' folder. It is important to correct the errant "spam" flag by adding the sender to your list of contacts. (See below)

Do you want to Always Show the Spam Folder?

You can configure Gmail's 'Spam' folder to be displayed in different ways. To change the setting so that the 'Spam' folder is always shown, use the following steps.
In the upper right corner of the Gmail UI, click the gear icon . A drop down menu will appear.

Click 'See All Settings'. The main window will refresh with all available settings.

Click 'Labels' in the top line of menu items.

Scroll down until you see the 'Spam' folder setting.

show/hide spam folder
Choose from "show", "hide" or "show if unread". You may change the setting back and forth to your liking.
Exactly how you configure your Gmail account is up to you but if you have found valid email in the 'Spam' folder, or if the 'Spam' folder was already set to "hide", you are encouraged to make the 'Spam' folder visible and add the sender to your contacts. (See below)

Adding a Sender to Your Contacts List

Once you have found the Gmail spam folder location, and performed the appropriate account settings, you are strongly encouraged to add the sender to your list of contacts. Doing so is an important step to reducing the likelihood of subsequent emails from being sent to the 'Spam' folder.

If you find a message wrongly classified as spam, you can unmark the message. Just select the message using the checkbox (as discussed above), and click the Not Spam icon that appears at the top of your current view. Unmarking a message will automatically move it to your inbox.

not spam If you find that some senders' messages are consistently being mislabeled as spam, you can prevent this by:
Adding their email addresses to your Contacts list. Gmail will deliver messages from members of your Contacts list to your inbox, unless we know with high confidence that they are spam.

Note: Some messages sent from contacts which are very clearly spam can be sent directly to your Spam label. More importantly, in some cases messages from contacts will not be sent to Spam but will be marked with a red warning banner if the content is suspicious - for example, your friend's or contact's account has been compromised and used to send phishing messages.

Mouse-over shortcut to add sender to Contacts List: Hover your mouse over the email and click "Add to Contacts." Next click on the "Edit Contact" box that pops up and edit the contact's information as appropriate.

add to contacts

Additional Information

Email addresses are automatically added to your Contacts list each time you use the Reply, Reply to all, or Forward functions to send mail to addresses that don't already exist in your Contacts list. Each time you mark a message as 'Not Spam,' your Contacts list is also automatically updated so that future messages from that sender are received in your inbox.

Look for automatically added contacts in the Other Contacts group on the left side.

If you don't want contacts to be automatically added, follow these steps:

Click the gear icon in the upper right, then select Settings.

In the General tab, find the "Create contacts for auto-complete" setting and choose "I'll add contacts myself."