Gmail Script to unsubscribe from mailing lists and newsletters

Gmail Script to unsubscribe from mailing lists and newsletters

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Gmail Unsubscribe is an open source script for Gmail to unsubscribe from mailing lists and newsletters semi-automatically.

If you are not careful about who you share your email address with, chance is high that it could land in spam databases eventually.

One of the main issues in this regard is that while you can be careful about it, people that you communicate with may not be that careful. All it takes is for them to subscribe to a service that parses the Gmail address book to push your email address to that service’s database.

Anyway, the result is often that you are subscribed to mailing lists and newsletters that you have no interest in. If things go really wrong, newsletters and marketing emails may flood your inbox making it difficult to find the emails you are interested in.

Gmail Unsubscribe

Gmail Unsubscribe is an open source script that changes that. It was created by Amit Agarwal, the creator of Digital Inspiration, as a direct response to the Unroll.me incident. Unroll.me is a service that provides you with options to unsubscribe from mailing lists. Users grant the service access to their mailboxes for that, as it would not work otherwise, and accept the terms of service which state that data may be sold in anonymized form.

Gmail Unsubscribe is like that, but without involvement of a third-party. Once set up correctly, it enables you to send unsubscribe notices to select mailing list senders by tagging emails with the unsubscribe emails.  The activity is stored in a log that is kept on Google Sheets.

How it works? It checks for a list-unsubscribe field in the message header. This field, used by all legitimate services, contains an URL or an email address that you may use to unsubscribe.

The script parses the field, and if it finds an URL, opens it to unsubscribe you from the list.

Let me show you how to set this up:

gmail unsubscriber

First thing you need to do is copy the Gmail Unsubscriber sheet to your own Google Drive account. This sheet is a record log that keeps track of unsubscribe activities.

Once you have done that, click on the Gmail Unsubscriber menu entry on the Google Sheets site. You see it highlighted in read on the screenshot above.

You need to provide the script with permissions to access data of the Gmail account, and to change data on the Google Sheet spreadsheet. Please note that the script does not upload data to third-parties, it runs on the Google Account only, and only you have access to the data.

Once you have done all that, you may unsubscribe from any mailing list or newsletter that uses the header field by tagging it with the unsubscribe tag.

unsubscribe

The script checks for the link, runs the unsubscribe process if a link is found, and adds the information to the spreadsheet on Google Sheets (this may be delayed by a few minutes).

You can make multiple emails on Gmail, and add the tag to all of them to speed up the process even further.

What is interesting about the feature is that it works on Gmail, but also in official Gmail applications for mobile devices, and in third-party clients. As long as you can apply labels to emails, you are set and the script will function properly.

Manual option

list unsubscribe

If you run into spam mailing lists or newsletters only occasionally, you may use the manual method instead.

  1. Click on the email that you want to unsubscribe from.
  2. Click on the down arrow icon in the email preview pane (next to the sender name, date, and reply button), and select the show original menu item there.
  3. Locate the List-Unsubscribe field in the header. You may want to press on Ctrl-F to open the browser’s on-page find functionality to locate it quickly.
  4. Either use the email address there to unsubscribe, or the link that is provided.

 

 
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