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Imagine if day after day your home letterbox piled up with unread, unwanted pamphlets, brochures, newsletters, spilling out into your front yard. And if day after day you had to spend time collecting armfuls of junk mail and dumping it in your recycling bin.

And then once in a while, you accidentally threw away an important letter from your grandmother or the phone bill (pay or you’ll be disconnected) or a notification telling you that you wouldn’t have electricity for 48 hours.

Your email inbox is just a virtual version of your letterbox.

Unwanted (and often unread) promotional and marketing emails clutter up your inbox so that it feels chaotic, unorganised and drowns out the important messages.

If these emails no longer serve you, it’s time to stop getting them in the first place. Here are some ways you can unsubscribe.

1. Manually unsubscribe

Australian law requires that every promotion email has an unsubscribe feature. It’s normally at the bottom of an email – look for a link that says ‘Unsubscribe’ or ‘Change Email Preferences’.

If you want to go for the ‘search and destroy’ approach then Cntrl + F or Command + F search for the word “unsubscribe.” When searching for this term, if you open an email, unsubscribe will be highlighted, so it’s easier to find. Take it one step further by searching for the brand whose emails you want to get rid of and unsubscribe (e.g.: “LinkedIn unsubscribe”).

2. Gmail Unsubscribe Link

Gmail is smart and can generally recognise marketing emails, sometimes filtering them out into ‘Social’ or ‘Promotions’ tabs so they’re not in your main inbox.

Still, sometimes important legitimate emails sometimes get filtered into those tabs, where they’ll get lost in amongst all the marketing messages.

On the desktop, Gmail offers an unsubscribe link at the top of marketing emails and newsletters. You’ll find it below the subject line and next to the sender information.

Gmail will ask you to reconfirm. Once you unsubscribe it marks the email from that sender as Spam and will be automatically filtered to the Spam folder in future.

3. Gmail Block Sender

On Gmail’s desktop and mobile apps, click the three dots on the right side of the sender’s information to open “More” options.

Select “Block” to prevent emails from this particular sender from appearing from that point forward.

4. Outlook Unsubscribe Link

Like Gmail, Outlook has the same option to unsubscribe at the top of an opened email. Outlook will show you a link to unsubscribe at the top of the email above the sender information. Just click this to unsubscribe and confirm.

It’s available on both desktop and mobile apps.

5. Outlook Block Sender

Note Outlook’s mobile app does not offer the option to block senders. To do so, log into your account from a desktop and open an email from a sender you’d like to block. Then you can go to the top navigation bar to mark the email as ‘Junk’ or ‘Block’ or click the three dots next to the sender info > Security Options > Block to prevent the sender from emailing you again.

6. IOS Mail

Apple’s native Mail app for iPhone and iPad offers automatic newsletter and marketing email detection so you can unsubscribe without having to look for a specific link.

Look for the unsubscribe link at the top of the email when you’ve opened it. Click this link and confirm that you want to unsubscribe.

Note cannot block emails on the iOS Mail app since it is just a portal for accessing emails from providers like Gmail or Outlook. So it’s best to go into your actual Gmail or Outlook accounts to block specific senders (#3 and #4 above).

7. Yahoo Mail

Yahoo desktop does not offer a direct unsubscribe option. At the top of an opened email, you can select the spam icon next to the delete button, or click the dotted icon to find the option to block the sender from emailing you.

On the mobile app, open an email and navigate to the dotted icon. Here, you can select to either unsubscribe from junk mail or mark it as spam.

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