Manage Spam and Unwanted Email

Help Scout has its own built-in spam filter to save you the headache of having to sift through spammy emails and auto replies in your mailbox. This article talks about how the Help Scout spam filter works. 

In this article

How the Spam Filter Works

The Help Scout spam filter learns over time based on your actions. When you mark a conversation's status as Spam, we'll send all future conversations from that particular sender to the spam folder automatically. On the flip side, when you move a conversation out of the spam folder, future conversations from that sender will no longer be marked as spam. 

  • To mark a conversation as spam, simply open the conversation and change the status to Spam
  • To remove a conversation from the spam folder, open the conversation and select the Not Spam option from the status menu. 

Note: If you mark auto-replies as Spam, our filter will learn to mark conversations from that customer's email address as Spam. For this reason, it's best to delete customers' auto replies instead.

A note about form submission emails

An email that is generated by a form on your website — a contact form, a sales lead form, etc. — is a little different than regular email. If you're getting spam submissions on your form, the emails that come in to Help Scout are less likely to be caught in our spam filter. This is because the headers of the email (the sort of backend bits of emails) will be from your form app instead of carrying tell-tale signs of spam that regular emails do. 

Your best bet if you're seeing a lot of form spam is to check with your form app or your developer to enable spam protection on your web form (e.g., a CAPTCHA that makes sure only humans are submitting your form). Marking form submission emails as spam in Help Scout will not stop spammers from submitting your forms.

Allow or Block Specific Senders

The Allow and Block options allow you to accept or reject email from specific senders regardless of other spam filtering information. Administrators and Account Owners can access the spam settings from Manage > Company > Content Filtering

  • Allowed — Messages from addresses or domains in the allowed list will always be accepted. If you’re noticing legitimate emails caught in the Spam folder, add the email address, domain or IP address to the allowed list.
  • Blocked — Messages from addresses or domains in the blocked list will never be delivered to your main mailbox folders. They’ll be suspended and added to the Spam folder automatically. If you repeatedly notice spam in your mailbox from the same sender, add the email address to the blocked list.


The Allowed and Blocked fields will accept three different values:

  1. A full email address (
  2. A domain only (
  3. An IP address (

For example, we want to make sure all of Mark’s emails make it through, so we’ll add to the Allowed list. 

If we also want to make sure messages from everyone at Mark’s company come through, we would just add to the Allowed list. That would include Mark and anyone else with an email address. 

Note: We wait 30 days before automatically removing spam from your Spam folder, but we recommend clearing it out manually to double check that nothing legitimate sneaks in!

Auto Reply Filter

To keep your mailbox nice and tidy, our auto reply filter was designed to discard automatically generated messages such as out of office messages before they hit your mailbox. While this filter is enabled by default, you can disable it at any time from your Company Settings. Head over to Manage > Company > Content Filtering, then toggle Auto Reply Filter to disable the filter.

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