How to declutter your inbox and unsubscribe from unwanted emails

Your email inbox is like a virtual house; After all, that's where your first official contact points go when you sign up for a new service, request jobs, buy things online, etc. And just like your physical home, letting your inbox fill up may feel chaotic, and most of that clutter comes from marketing emails or newsletters.

These types of unwanted emails can end up in your inbox in many ways. For example, when you buy something online, you may have inadvertently given the company permission to send you more promotional materials, or have a company sold your email as part of a list, paving the forms so that sellers send it as spam.

So here are some ways to make your inbox more peaceful.

Unsubscribe manually

Some marketing emails can be useful (who does not like a discount code?) But if you are tired of receiving emails without using material, you can choose to unsubscribe case by case.

Regardless of the email application you use, start by checking the bottom of an email from which you want to unsubscribe. In small text, the sender may have offered the option to withdraw from the mailing list, with a link that says "Cancel subscription" or "Change email preferences."


how to declutter your inbox and unsubscribe from unwanted emails

The bottom of an email from Postmates.

Read the send an email with care, since this option can be hidden in a large block of text with link text that is mixed with the rest of the paragraph. Follow the link and the instructions to unsubscribe. Some emails may even instruct you to manually respond to the subject line to request removal.


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The link to cancel the subscription is hidden in the disclaimers at the bottom of an email from Jetblue.

In Gmail

Another way to cancel the subscription is to do it through your email provider. Gmail has started to recognize marketing emails and filter them to their Social or Promotions tabs to keep them out of their main inbox. (Note that this option may not be available to G Suite users unless your administrator has enabled the option). Even so, while emails are out of the way, legitimate emails can sometimes leak into these tabs, where they could get lost in chaos. Then, sometimes, these lashes can be cleaned a little.

On the desktop, Gmail now offers a link to unsubscribe at the top of most emails and marketing newsletters. Below the subject line and next to the sender's information, there must be a link to cancel the subscription that will mark the email as spam.


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After clicking on this, Gmail will ask you to confirm your decision. Click on "Cancel subscription" again, and emails from this sender will now be redirected to the spam email inbox. This option is not yet available in the Gmail iOS and Android applications.

Is spam filtering not enough for you? If you want to make sure you do not receive emails from this sender again, you can also block the sender completely. In mobile and desktop applications, you can click on the three points on the right side of the sender's information to open the "More" options. Select "Block" to prevent emails from this particular sender from appearing thereafter.

In iOS Mail

Apple's native email application for iPhone and iPad also offers automatic bulletins and marketing email detection so you can unsubscribe without having to. Search for a specific link. If this option is available, it will appear at the top of an email when you have opened it. Click on this link and confirm that you want to unsubscribe.


how to declutter your inbox and unsubscribe from unwanted emails

Loren Grush / The Verge

Unfortunately, you can not block emails in the iOS mail application, as it is just a portal to access emails from providers such as Outlook, Gmail or Yahoo. Go directly to those providers to see options on how to block specific senders.

In Microsoft Outlook

Similarly, Outlook offers the option to unsubscribe at the top of an open email. Available in desktop and mobile applications, Outlook will show you a link to unsubscribe at the top of the email that is on the sender's information. Click here to cancel the subscription and confirm.


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Tom Warren / The Verge

The Outlook mobile app does not offer the option to prevent people from sending an email. To do so, log in to your account from a desktop and open an email from a sender you want to block. Click on the dotted icon to open more options and go to "Block" to prevent the sender from sending you more email messages.


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Tom Warren / The Verge

In Yahoo Mail

Yahoo manages the email by canceling the subscription a little differently on the mobile and the desktop. In the mobile application, open an email and navigate to the dotted icon. Here, you can choose to unsubscribe from spam or mark it as spam.

The desktop version, on the other hand, does not offer the option to cancel the subscription. At the top of an open email, you can select the spam icon next to the delete button, or click on the dot icon to find the option to prevent the sender from sending you an email.


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Unsubscribe tools

If you have multiple emails from providers such as Gmail and Outlook, it may be easier to use services to help you unsubscribe to emails than to each sender individually. Free applications like Unroll.me and Unsubscriber offer to do this in bulk; however, you must accept that these companies have access to your inbox, which you can then sell to other merchants. Unroll.me, in particular, faced a backlash in 2017 when customers learned that their data had been sold to Uber to track whether people had been using competitive Lyft when monitoring receipts. However, if you are interested in testing applications like these (and then revoking your third-party access later) we have also written a tutorial on that.

While these options will not eliminate annoying emails from your lifetime, these are good steps you should take to sort your inbox. By constantly checking which emails are spam and reading only those that interest you, the filters will begin to improve by recognizing which emails interest you and which ones do not.

Again, as a home in real life, cleaning is not always fun and easy, but if you put a little elbow, it may be worth the peace of mind of having a clutter-free inbox.

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