Whitelist Email Addresses in cPanel

21 Feb 2019

In a recent blog post we answered the question: Why Whitelist an Email Address?

TLDR; "If you expect to receive important emails from a trusted email address it is worth whitelisting the address to make sure that emails won't be accidentally blocked by an overzealous email client."

In this post we show you how to do it in cPanel by adjusting the SpamAssassin spam filters. If you use cPanel webmail (e.g. Horde, Roundcube or Squirrel Mail) then this is what to do...

Overview of cPanel Webmail and SpamAssassin

When you manage your own email accounts through cPanel the spam management of messages to these emails is usually handled by Apache SpamAssassin.

Rather than managing spam settings for each email account individually, the spam settings for all email accounts in the cPanel account are managed together.

If you use cPanel webmail such as Roundcube, Horde or Squirrel Mail to access your emails then there is no whitelisting option inside each webmail account - instead use these SpamAssassin spam filters in cPanel:

How To Whitelist Emails with cPanel Spam Filters

1) Login to cPanel, scroll down to the email section and select 'Spam Filters':

cPanel select spam filters

2) Check that SpamAssassin is enabled. The 'Process New Emails and Mark then as Spam' button should be on. If it's off then there is no need to whitelist email addresses as spam management is not running:

cPanel SpamAssassin enabled

3) Scroll down and click 'Show Additional Configurations':

cPanel show additional configurations

4) Select 'Edit Spam Whitelist Settings':

cPanel edit spam whitelist settings

5) Click on 'Add A New "whitelist_from" Item':

cPanel add new whitelist from item

6) Add the email address that you want to whitelist. Here we have added monitor@downtimemonkey.com to ensure that we receive email alerts if one of the websites that we monitor goes down. Once the email address is added, click 'Update Whitelist (whitelist_from)'. The email address is now whitelisted:

cPanel add email address to be whitelisted

Whitelisting A Whole Domain by using Wildcards

cPanel spam filters allow the use of the wildcards: * and ?

* can be used to represent any string of multiple characters and ? to represent any single character.

In step 6, if instead of adding monitor@downtimemonkey.com we add *@downtimemonkey.com we would whitelist every email address belonging to downtimemonkey.com.