You know that feeling when something has worked for you for a very long time and then all of a sudden it changes on you and not in a good way? That’s the feeling I had over this past weekend when my phone and then suddenly my Gmail and Google Apps accounts started giving me the following message when I’d try to use my email and Hangouts.

[info_message style=”warning”]The recipient ___________ does not belong to your organization and is not in your list of contacts. Be careful with sensitive information.[/info_message]

That’s all well and fine and I know Google has our best interests at heart in trying to protect our data, but I’d sure appreciate it if they would give you some information about this. Ironically, when I google searched this message, there wasn’t a single relevant article in all of Google about what it was or how to turn it off. You’d think they’d know better than to leave the Googling world stranded.

Removing the Warning

Here’s the steps I found to unwind this over parenting of my email and hangouts.

NOTE: You have to be an Administrator for your Google Apps account in order to change these settings. If you aren’t, pass this article on to your administrator and have them perform these steps.

  • Browse to and log in with your credentials (again these must be Administrator level credentials)
  • From the Dashboard, click on Apps. If you don’t see Apps, look at the very bottom for a bar that says MORE CONTROLS and it should be in there.
  • Click on G Suite, then Gmail, then Advanced Settings.
  • Under the heading of End User Access midway down the page is a setting for Unintended external reply warning.
  • Uncheck the box next to the line that says Warn users when replying to a message with external recipients not in their contacts.
  • Don’t forget to hit Save at the bottom right of the page.

That’s it! Once you’ve done that you shouldn’t get the annoying prompts at every turn.

Now I know what some of you are saying. This didn’t solve my problem! Chances are, you’re using Google Apps Free edition, as I am with one of my domains as well. I’ve been digging and searching and so far I haven’t found away to get this same setting available in the free version. It works great for all of my paid Google Apps accounts though. I’ll keep this updated as I find a better answer for those of us using the free version.

Hopefully this helps you if you’re getting the warning message of The recipient _____________ does not belong to your organization and is not in your list of contacts. Be careful with sensitive information. If you found this article helpful and you can now Gmail and Hangout in peace, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.