My wife has been using Google Apps Free edition for several years in her small business without any difficulties.

In the last week or so, she has been contacted by two people whom she has received mail from regularly in the past, informing her that when they try to mail her, the mail gets bounced by Google, with a message saying "550-5.7.1 Our system has detected that this message is likely unsolicited mail. To reduce the amount of spam sent to Gmail, this message has been blocked. Please visit https://support.google.com/mail/answer/188131 for more information."

Of the two people that we know have had bounces, one is using a mail address from the domain of a large ISP, the other is using an address with his own domain. Both of them are self employed professionals, not very tech savvy, and very unlikely to have ever done any digital marketing (or marketing of any kind), and definitely not originators of spam. My wife knows of these bounces because they followed up by phone, but there are possibly others who just went elsewhere when they got the bounce notification.

Is there any way for us to prevent these bounces occurring, without upgrading to the paid version? It seems that in the paid version it is possible to whitelist addresses/domains, so I presume that would solve the issue. Can anybody confirm if that is the case?

1 Answer 1


Log into Gmail using http://mail.google.com. (I don't know if this is how you are accessing Gmail. You may be going through an Outlook or other mail client.) Place the emails for the individuals in the Contacts section of Gmail. The web site has what looks like a gear with a pull-down menus. Select settings and then the tab Filters and Blocked Addresses. It is difficult to say more without knowing what the contents of the screen show.

  • Filters and blocked addresses are both empty. This seems to be a gmail-level blocking of the sending domain, rather than recipient-specific blocking. Here's a ServerFault thread from a guy whose domain started getting these bounce messages (in his case, initially justified due to spam, and subsequently due to helo configuration) - serverfault.com/questions/458648/… It could be that there's some sort of issue with the sender's domain, but I'd like to let those mails through, at least to the SPAM folder.
    – brian1105
    May 23, 2016 at 21:47

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