How to reject an email to the sender | Step by Step Guide

Sometimes it can happen to receive unwanted emails from one or more senders and be particularly annoyed by this phenomenon, commonly known as spam: fortunately, however, in most cases, this kind of unpleasant situation is resolved in the bud by applying the appropriate spam filters, now provided by most email services.

In other circumstances, however, you may need to take more time in settling an issue and resolute actions to express your disappointment at the receipt of such not-asked-for messages: you have decided, therefore, to get to work to understand how to reject an email to the sender. You desire to make sure that whoever is in charge of the shipment is aware of your refusal to receive it, similarly to what happens with traditional mail.

Therefore, I have decided to meet your needs by creating a guide to illustrate the most effective solutions provided by some of the major online services and email clients. All you have to do is take a few minutes of your precious time to read the following paragraphs and you’ll soon be able to activate on your favorite email service those features that I think are particularly suitable for this type of situation. So, are you ready? Perfect! All that remains is to wish you a good reading and enjoy your stay.

Preliminary information

There are some messages in your email that you just don’t like, you think it’s time to stop receiving them and at the same time certify to the sender that the email has been ignored and trashed. Certainly, you can refer to the suggestions contained in my articles on how to block spam and how to unsubscribe from advertising newsletters. This, however, will not allow you to send the emails back to the senders (the messages will simply be blocked and will not appear in the Inbox) and will not allow you to let them know that the emails they sent are unwanted for you.

In light of the above, what you should do is to implement more specific rules in your email service or client that, in addition to eliminating unwanted messages, are able to automatically send a reply to the sender.

The first thing I recommend you do, in essence, is to create an email template that you will use as a default response to certain senders for whom you feel it necessary to implement this type of action.

Secondly, you can apply some rules able to execute some filters on the incoming messages in advance: in this way, you could select only those that report a specific address in the From field and, afterward, implement an automatic reply. Within the same rule, you will be able to command at the same time to move the message in a specific folder.

Excuse me? It seems to you that there are too many steps to perform to complete this operation? Don’t worry: I assure you that it’s harder said than done! In the next chapters, however, I’ll show you in detail the various operations to be performed on the most popular services and clients.

How to reject an email to the sender: Gmail

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If you have activated an account on Google’s email service, I want to immediately reassure you that it is not at all difficult to understand how to reject an email to the sender Gmail: in the famous webmail, in fact, in addition to blocking the addresses from which you receive unwanted mail, you can perform a simple configuration to send contextually an automatic response.

As the first thing, then, connect to the main page of the service from your favorite browser and, if you are not already authenticated, press the Login button at the top right. On the next screen, select your profile, then, in the following window, type your password in the appropriate field and press the Next button.

You are now on the main screen of your Gmail inbox. Press the gear symbol in the upper right corner to access the settings and, from the panel that appears, click on the View all settings button.

On the following page, locate the Advanced item among the tabs proposed in the header and click on it, then find the Templates option and press the button on the right called Enable, to activate this feature.

Now you need to create the template that you will use as a default response to unwanted messages: press the Write button in the upper left corner and, in the related email composition form that appears in the lower right corner, type only the message you want to send to the sender in the text field below the subject line.

Then, press on the three dots you see in the bottom right corner and select the items Templates > Save draft as template > Save as new template from the menu that opens. Then type the title of the template in the box that appears and click the Save button to complete the operation.

The last step is related to the creation of a rule able to filter the messages coming from a certain user and answer automatically with the template just created. To do this, click on the email you want to reject, to open it, and click on the three dots symbol on the right, then click on Filter messages of this type.

You will be shown a new form where you will find the From: field filled in with the sender’s email address: click the Create Filter button and then select the Send template option, then click the drop-down menu on the side and click the name of the previously created template. Hit the Create Filter button again to apply the rule.

If you would like to use the Gmail app from your smartphone to reject an email to the sender, I must inform you that, unfortunately, the mobile version does not offer such functionality. The autoresponder in the Gmail app’s settings does not allow you to run filters by the sender.

How to reject an email to the sender: Outlook

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If you have chosen Microsoft Outlook as your default mail client, you won’t find any difficulties in understanding how to reject an email to the sender in Outlook either. Thanks to its many features you can implement rules to perform this task simply and intuitively.

To begin with, create the email template that you want to send to the senders after receiving an unwanted message by clicking on the New Email button located in the upper right corner. In the email composition form, type the text of the communication in the corresponding field, then press the File menu in the upper left corner and select the Save As option from the opened menu.

In the next window, give the template a title by typing it into the File name field; then, in the field below named Save as, click the down arrow and select the Outlook Template option.

Next, locate the message you want to reject and press the right mouse button on it, then select Rules > Create Rule from the context menu. A dialog box will open where you will find the From: and To fields automatically filled with the information from the previously selected email.

If you wish, from this screen you can store the message in a special folder, by clicking on the box next to the words Move item to folder: in the new window that appears, you can select an existing folder from the central box, or create a new one, by clicking the New button and typing its name in the next step. When you are done, click the OK button to confirm your choice.

To continue, press the Advanced Settings button to interact with a new window in which you will have several filters available that you can apply to unwanted messages. Then select the first field named Sent from, to put a checkmark in the box, and then click on the Next button.

In the next step you have to indicate the action that the client should perform on the messages that meet the criteria previously provided: click, therefore, on the box next to the item Reply using a specific template and press the underlined wording, a specific template, in the bottom box.

You will be presented with a new screen where you can select the template: click on the drop-down menu Search in and select the item User templates in the file system, in order to display the ones you created. Then click on the previously created template and click the Open button.

You will be redirected to the previous window, where you will have to click on the Next button to access a screen where, if you wish, you can also set exceptions, which can be done in the same way as with the previous filters. Then double click on the Next button to finish the operation.

Would you like to find out if you can do the same in the Outlook mobile app? Unfortunately, I have to inform you that these features have not been replicated on the Outlook mobile app, where you can only report junk mail. To do so, click on the message you don’t want to receive anymore, open it, press the three dots symbol in the upper right corner, checkmark, and tap on the Report Junk Mail option in the menu that opens.

You can’t act from the webmail service either, which doesn’t offer filters that can set up automatic responses to received messages.

How to reject an email to the sender: Thunderbird

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Thunderbird is certainly one of the most popular free and open-source email clients, also because of the presence of several features that allow, for example, to set filters and rules useful for the purpose set by this guide. Let’s see, then, how to reject an email to the Thunderbird sender.

Also, in this case, the first essential step for the success of the procedure is to create an email template that will be used as the default response to the senders of unwanted messages. Once the program is launched, then, press the Write button in the upper left corner, and from the message composition form, type in the text field the communication you want to deliver to the sender of the unwanted mail. Finally, to save the message, click on the arrow at the side of the Save menu and click on the Template option, then click on the [X] in the top right corner to return to the main screen.

Now, I strongly recommend you install an extension like quick filters, which makes the process of filtering emails much easier by automatically importing the parameters of the selected messages. To do so, press the ☰ symbol in the upper right corner and click on the Add-ons entry.

In the new screen, type the word quick filters in the search form at the top and click on the magnifying glass symbol: you will be redirected to a new page where, in correspondence with the extension in question, you will find the Add to Thunderbird button. Click on it and then click on Add in the next window.

Next, click on the Inbox tab in the upper right corner to return to your inbox and locate the message you want to reject, then right-click on it. You will find, among the various options in the contextual menu that will be proposed to you, also the item quick filters: create a filter from the message, which you will have to press to access the corresponding extension window.

From here, select the item Based on sender, then click on the Create Filter button. In the next window, click on the box next to Manually to uncheck the checkmark. In the bottom box, named Perform these actions, click on the first field that by default is set to Move message to and select the Reply with a template option.

Then, click on the field immediately to the side and select the previously created template. If you wish you can create other actions, for example, to move the message to a specific folder. Press the Ok button to apply the filter and the rule and then, in the next step, click the X symbol in the upper right corner.

How to reject an email to the sender: Apple Mail

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Do you own an Apple computer and your favorite mail client is Mail? In this case, you won’t find any difficulty in understanding how to reject an email to the sender of Apple Mail, taking advantage of some simple features present in this program.

First of all, you have to create a rule that filters unwanted messages based, for example, on the sender, thus storing them in a certain folder designed for this type of mail, and at the same time sending an automatic response.

To do this, click on the Mail menu, top left, and press the Preferences item in the latter. In the new window that appears, click on the tab named Rules and click on the Add button below.

Now, first of all, give the rule a title by typing it into the Description field and then indicate the condition that will lead to its activation using the fields in the If section. For example, click on the first field and select the condition From and repeat the operation in the next one entering the word is equal to.

In the third field, finally, enter the email address of the sender of unwanted messages. To complete the rule go to the last section called Perform the following actions and, in the same way as in the previous section, select the item Move message in the first field, then, on the next one, click on the unwanted option.

You can add another action by clicking the [+] symbol, on the right: a new line will be created in which, proceeding in the same way as before, you should select the Reply to message action. Click on the Reply with a text message field to open a dialog box where you can enter the message you want to send to the sender.

Click on the OK button, then OK again to set the rule permanently, and click on Apply if you want it to be activated on the messages already in the inbox (vice versa, click on the Do not apply button).

Finally, I would like to inform you that the Mail app for iOS does not provide the same functionality as the Mail client installed on the Mac. So, if you use the mobile version, you can only move the mail you don’t want to receive anymore into the appropriate folder by holding down the message, selecting the Mark item, and then clicking the Move to Unwanted option.