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I am trying to have Gmail send me a notification only when I receive a message from specific addresses.

This is the option I have selected in settings:

Important mail notifications on - Notify me only when an important message arrives in my inbox

I have filters that automatically mark messages from specific senders as important. However, Gmail continues to mark almost all incoming mail as important, even though I have this selected in the importance settings under "Inbox":

Don't use my past actions to predict which messages are important.

I even tried a filter that said never to mark messages without a specific (uncommon) word as important, but it didn't help. Nearly all of my messages are marked as important, and I get notified for almost all of them. How can I stop Gmail from marking my conversations as important other than the ones I have as filters?

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    "Don't use my past actions to predict which messages are important." does what it says on the tin: they don't use your past actions. But they still use the rest of the "magic" heuristics. Because they surely know better than you. The Comp… Google is your Friend! – Jürgen A. Erhard Dec 13 '19 at 22:34
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How can I stop Gmail from marking my conversations as important other than the ones I have as filters?

You can't. Gmail tries to be smarter than it is and, even if you tell it not to predict, it will continue to try to guess which messages are important and which aren't, albeit supposedly at a lower rate.

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