At first, it was funny. A PR rep had accidentally sent out a press release with the entire mailing list—and we’re talking hundreds of recipients, including me—CC’d rather than BCC’d, meaning that the email addresses of everyone on the list were there for all to see.
A little gentle ribbing ensued, with various amused and/or annoyed journalists teasing the sender of the email for his mistake. Pretty soon, though, there were dozens of replies, some of them from people begging for the message thread to stop.
Here’s the perfect scenario for Gmail’s “mute” feature, which lets you silence an email message thread that keeps going, and going … and going.
Once you’ve muted a conversation, new messages in the thread will skip your inbox and head straight to your All Mail archive.
Of course, there’s a downside to muting a conversation: namely, that you’ll miss a direct question from someone—like, say, your boss—in the message thread.
That’s why it’s probably best to only mute conversations along the lines of “What a cute baby!” or “Congrats on the new gig!,” and not those of the “Mission-critical project” variety.
That said, keep in mind that Gmail will automatically send a muted thread back into your inbox if you’re the only person in the “To:” line of the conversation.
So, ready for some peace and quiet?
Let’s get started…
- To mute a conversation, select it in your Gmail inbox, click the More button near the top of the page, then select Mute. If you have Gmail keyboard shortcuts enabled, you can also check the box next to a conversation and tap the “m” key.
- You can also mute a conversation using the Gmail app for Android or iOS. Just tap the thread you want to silence, tap the three-dot button (Android) or the down arrow (iOS) in the top-right corner of the screen, then tap Mute.
- Want to “unmute” a conversation? Type “is:mute” into the Gmail search box to see a list of all your muted conversations, select the muted message you want to unmute, then move it back to your inbox. Once that’s done, the message should be automatically unmuted, but you can double-check by opening the thread and making sure there’s no “Muted” label near the top of the latest message.