A simple trick for uncluttering email subscriptions

When I was young my parents often decried the junk mail that arrived at our house — catalogs, flyers, local take-out menus, etc. It was a constant influx of clutter that went from the postman’s hands, to the mailbox, to our kitchen, to the trash.

Today, digital junk mail is just as annoying. What is worse is that we invite a lot of it to our inboxes via subscriptions and newsletters. At one point, you clicked “subscribe” and began to receive periodical updates from a given provider. I’ve done it too and I’m often glad I did. But situations change, and those subscriptions become less appealing. They build up and soon the influx of email clutter is out of control.

A couple of years ago I shared suggestions for eliminating unwanted email subscriptions, and I encourage you to check it out. Today I want to share a trick that is so darn easy and effective, I just had to share it with you all. It goes like this.

  1. Open your email software.
  2. Search for the word “Unsubscribe.”

There is no step three. The result is all of the messages that include the word “unsubscribe,” the vast majority of which will let you do just that by clicking the term. Now you needn’t scroll to find them or what for a few weeks as they roll in one by one. Just search, click and they are gone. So easy.

Of course, you can get as involved with this process as you like, which I’ve described here. But this simple trick will save you a lot of time and help get the job done.

6 Comments for “A simple trick for uncluttering email subscriptions”

  1. posted by Tim Stringer on

    One important caveat. Don’t unsubscribe from spam emails (i.e. email lists you didn’t subscribe to). Clicking the “unsubscribe” link on a spam email tells the sender that they’ve reached a valid email account and will likely result in even more spam. Instead, flag these emails as spam. If you use the SaneBox service, you can also send them to the SaneBlackHole.

  2. posted by infmom on

    My husband, whose unread emails number in the thousands, gets a giant case of the wim-wams at the very thought of undubscribing from mailbox mulch. Like all hoarders, he’s afraid he might miss something. Sigh.

  3. posted by Chenden Cee on

    Wow, thank you so much Tim. Although I do mark emails as spam, I probably can’t remember how many spam emails I’ve subscribed from. To be sincere though, I don’t think I do get more spam after the subscription but now I’ll be more attentive

  4. posted by SkiptheBS on

    Don’t even open any non-subscribed spam: it may contain a malware download. Just erase without opening. The time will come when the spammers will be arrested and the mail will cease. Yes, the stuff is aggravating. I get probably twenty a day wanting me to pick up Cialis and Viagra this aging abstinent divorcee never ordered, and constantly am enjoined to try patent medicines, import cosmetics, and 3-D medical device printers.

  5. posted by Ken S on

    Even better, try an email program called MyMail (iOS and Android). You can vote thumbs down on emails, all future mail goes to Spam. I send all commercial email to Spam, and look down the list every few days. You can clear all spam with one click

  6. posted by Sand on

    I’ve noticed many newsletters I’ve unsubscribed from just keep on coming. These are not the junky ones, but things I want to move to a different account — NYTimes are you listening — which tells me a lot of those ‘unsubscribe’ links are just for show

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