BURIED ALIVE —

That you can no longer enjoy noticed, but Google limits the quantity of blocked addresses that you’ll want to per chance even enjoy.


A grim milestone: I maxed out the number of spammy addresses Gmail can block

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A pair of months ago, my G Suite-enabled Gmail yarn reached a grim milestone: and not using a warning, the “block [email address]” feature—accessible from the menu with the three vertical dots in the upper left of the Gmail screen—stopped working because I had maxed out the total quantity of addresses Google permits to be blocked.

For years, I’ve worn the feature liberally to dam emails from PR ​​other folks that ship off-matter pitches or scammers who are trying to phish my passwords or infect my devices. With a single click, any future emails sent by these nuisance addresses mechanically landed in my grunt mail folder.

Blocked but no longer blocked

Eventually, the block handle feature stopped working. When I employ the feature now to dam an handle, I look for a message telling me that all future emails from the handle will trudge to my grunt mail folder. Which is precisely what I desire. However that’s no longer what happens. Emails from these addresses continue to head upright into my inbox.

Google presents no easy methodology to clutch about this. Right here’s what I look for presently after I are trying to block an handle:

And but, I continue to salvage emails from the identical handle. And after I open the e-mail, prance enough, it’s prance the handle is NOT blocked.

I asked Google PR about this and acquired a response that Gmail accounts are small to merely 1,000 blocked addresses. A spokesperson said Google is pondering raising the restrict, but if it does, this may per chance per chance per chance “decide up a while” for it to occur.

That is a MAJOR step encourage. I assemble a lot grunt mail (mostly from PR other folks that both don’t know or don’t care what my beat is) that the block feature has been mandatory to my productivity. Gmail used to be the first to pioneer an e-mail service with data storage caps measured in the gigabytes. Early on, it equipped highly effective instruments for sorting and perusing messages. It integrated the calendar. And but, despite all this ingenuity, Gmail limits blocked addresses to a paltry 1,000? What the hell?

Since then, I’ve worn Gmail filter strategies to free my inbox of junk, but that’s hardly ever sufficient. Creating filter strategies on an handle-by-handle basis requires considerably more clicks than using the block feature. And even then, Gmail filters don’t enjoy any methodology to ship messages to grunt mail. I’m additionally guessing Gmail may per chance per chance per chance restrict the quantity of filter strategies as successfully.

An execrable workaround

Google Venture Zero researcher Tavis Ormandy, performing utterly on his salvage behalf and never for his employer, has equipped one workaround. It’s no longer very person-pleasant, and I’m aloof no longer prance if it utterly works for me, but it absolutely appears to be like promising. The premise is to replica all 1,000 e-mail addresses I genuinely enjoy blocked and paste them right into a filter rule that deletes all messages from these senders.

Hmm, that is the ideal I will near up with (F12 on the Blocked Checklist, then paste this into the Console) Array.from(doc.querySelectorAll(“tr.r7[role=listitem]”)).procedure(a => a.innerText.match(/<(.*)>tunblock/)?.[1]).filter(a => a).be half of(‘ OR ‘) pic.twitter.com/DelonoKMC1

— Tavis Ormandy (@taviso) November 19, 2021

What this methodology is that he created a script and ran it interior his browser console as he used to be viewing his blocklist in the Gmail settings menu. To assemble the blocklist, click the three vertical dots in the predominant Gmail window, retract “website online up inbox settings,” and decide the “filters and blocked addresses” tab. Then, hit the F12 key on a pc keyboard, retract the console tab, and paste the script.

Ormandy’s script looks fancy this:

Array.from(doc.querySelectorAll("tr.r7[role=listitem]")).procedure(a => a.innerText.match(/<(.*)>tunblock/)?.[1]).filter(a => a).be half of(' OR ')

The console then returns a list of the total e-mail addresses in the blocklist, with each and every separated by a boolean OR. Then replica the checklist, trudge encourage to the Gmail “filters and blocked addresses” tab, and click on “create new filter.” Paste the addresses into the “From” discipline, click “continue,” tick the “Delete it” box, and click on the “create filter” on the underside.

In realizing, this single rule may per chance per chance per chance aloof block all emails sent from these addresses, and that ought to allow me to delete the 1,000 blocked addresses so I will once again add original addresses to the blocklist. In notice, Gmail tends to choke when fed all 1,000 addresses straight away.

When I broke up the checklist into smaller chunks, I received inconsistent outcomes. Some emails had been deleted and others weren’t. I wasn’t ready to search out a sample for these who labored or didn’t work. Moreover choking on mammoth lists of addresses, one other effort is that in my tests, new filters can decide up as prolonged as an hour to open working, but I don’t salvage that’s the most efficient reason in the encourage of the snort.

The higher point is that Gmail customers shouldn’t need to jump through hoops fancy these to protect their inboxes freed from grunt mail and malicious emails. There’s no restrict to the badness the Web can dish out, so there mustn’t be a restrict on remedies for this badness, both. Gmail, please throw me a life raft soon. With out the block capacity, I’m drowning.

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