All Articles
Gmail unsubscribe: how to block or unsubscribe from emails in Gmail

Gmail unsubscribe: how to block or unsubscribe from emails in Gmail

min read

Sometimes, excitement gets the best of us or a big weekend of holiday sales is coming soon, and we subscribe to dozens of newsletters without even realizing what we’ve just done to our inboxes. In the months that follow, it’s no surprise that you’ll have invited hundreds of unwanted emails to your inbox.

Sounds familiar?

That's a trap that most Gmail users have fallen prey to.

However, Google can help you avoid an email avalanche with just a few clicks. With the Gmail unsubscribe feature, you can stop promotional emails from sneaking into your inbox or block unwanted newsletters from bothering you any further. Read on to learn how to use this super convenient unsubscribe feature.

<a href="#differences-between-blocking-and-unsubscribing" class="anchor-link">Differences between blocking and unsubscribing</a>

<a href="#list-of-subscriptions-in-google-account" class="anchor-link">List of subscriptions in your Google account</a>

<a href="#unsubscribe-from-emails-in-gmail" class="anchor-link">Unsubscribe from emails in your Gmail inbox</a>

<a href="#unsubscribe-from-gmail-on-desktop" class="anchor-link">Unsubscribe from Gmail on desktop</a>

<a href="#unsubscribe-from-gmail-on-mobile-devices" class="anchor-link">Unsubscribe from Gmail on mobile devices</a>

<a href="#block-emails-in-gmail" class="anchor-link">Block emails in Gmail</a>

  • <a href="#block-emails-on-desktop" class="anchor-link">Block emails on desktop</a>
  • <a href="#block-emails-on-mobile" class="anchor-link">Block emails on mobile</a>

<a href="#improve-gmail-inbox-management" class="anchor-link">Improve Gmail inbox management with Streak</a>

<div class="anchor-wrapper"><div id="differences-between-blocking-and-unsubscribing" class="anchor-target"></div></div>

What are the key differences between blocking and unsubscribing?

Before delving into the details of unsubscribing, you need to know the key differences between blocking and unsubscribing:

Blocking an email

Blocking an email, also known as "Report Spam," means you’re asking Gmail to move all unwanted emails from a specific sender to the Spam Folder. These senders won't know that you've blocked their emails, so you'll receive future emails; they'll just automatically be filtered into your Spam Folder.

Unsubscribing from an email

In contrast, when you unsubscribe from emails, the senders will be notified that you no longer wish to be part of their mailing lists. This mostly applies to unwanted newsletters, daily emails, and the like. Unfortunately, this doesn't always stop the incoming flux of unwanted emails and, to make matters worse, not all marketing emails even have this option, even though they should if they’re complying with local and federal regulations.

In summary, here are the differences between blocking and unsubscribing:

  • Unsubscribing stops only certain emails, like promotional emails, meaning that you can still receive more messages from this email sender.
  • Blocking is usually the go-to option because you have complete control over any unwanted emails. Meanwhile, unsubscribing requires senders to take action and remove you from their mailing list, which isn't always effective.
  • Unsubscribed messages stop coming into your email address entirely, and blocked messages go automatically to your spam folder. The sender's email address will only appear in that folder where you can sift through messages as you wish.
  • Blocked senders don't know that they've been blocked, while unsubscribing means informing the sender of your wishes.

Now that you know these key differences, you can decide which works best for you. Both methods will help you organize your inbox effectively and protect you from unwanted email clutter.

<div class="anchor-wrapper"><div id="list-of-subscriptions-in-google-account" class="anchor-target"></div></div>

How to see a list of subscriptions in your Google account

To see a list of all of the email subscriptions connected to your Google account, including paid ones, here's what you need to do:

  1. Log into your Google account. (Note: This is different from your Gmail account.)
  2. On the left-side menu, click Payments & Subscriptions.
  3. Click on Manage Subscriptions, which will display all of your current subscriptions.
A screenshot of the page in Google Account highlighting the Payments & subscriptions section

<div class="anchor-wrapper"><div id="unsubscribe-from-emails-in-gmail" class="anchor-target"></div></div>

How to unsubscribe from emails in your Gmail inbox

If you decide that the Gmail unsubscribe feature is the best option for sorting your emails, here are three ways you can make that happen:

1. Use the Gmail unsubscribe button

A screenshot of an email sent by the sender with Unsubscribe button beside the sender email. The may not always find the Unsubscribe button in some cases, since its provided by the sender.
  1. Head to your account on Gmail.
  2. Hover over an email sent from the subscriber you want to unsubscribe from.
  3. You should find an Unsubscribe button next to the sender's name. Click on it.
  4. A pop-up will appear asking you to confirm this decision. Click Unsubscribe again to confirm.

The only two downsides to this method are:

  1. You may not always find the unsubscribe button available since it's provided by the email sender. 
  2. There's no mass unsubscribe button or option, meaning that it's possible to still receive certain emails from different domains used by the sender.

But luckily, there are other, more sure-fire ways to unsubscribe from emails from certain individuals or organizations.

2. Use the Gmail unsubscribe header

If you regularly read through emails you’ve subscribed to, you've probably already noticed that there’s a Gmail unsubscribe button at the top, next to the sender's name and email. Many senders opt to add this list-unsubscribe header link to their emails, which aids Google in locating this link and displays the unsubscribe button at the top of the email.

Much like the previous method, once you click Unsubscribe, a dialogue box will appear and you can click Unsubscribe once more to confirm your decision.

A screenshot of an email with Unsbscribe button beside the sender email address at the top and a dialogue box. The dialogue box appears once you click Unsubscribe, to confirm your decision.

Pro Tip: If you can't find this button, check out the sender card; you might find the unsubscribe link there instead.

3. Use the unsubscribe link

If the previous methods don't work, most subscription emails will include an unsubscribe link at the bottom of their emails, which you can click on to easily unsubscribe.

A screenshot of an email highlighting the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email.

The link will most likely direct you to the sender's website, where you'll find the relevant steps to opt out of this subscription.

Is this a guaranteed way to stop receiving emails from that sender? Yes! The 2003 CAN-SPAM Act ensures that marketing emails and promotions have an unsubscribe link or button incorporated. If not next to the header or clearly displayed at the top by Google, it'll be somewhere in the body of the email.

Unfortunately, some senders might complicate this process, forcing subscribers to log in to their user profiles on their websites and give a reason as to why they're unsubscribing. However, to avoid fines and fees, most bulk email senders are generally compliant with this process and respectful of your decision to unsubscribe.

<div class="anchor-wrapper"><div id="unsubscribe-from-gmail-on-desktop" class="anchor-target"></div></div>

How to unsubscribe from emails in Gmail from your desktop

The previous methods should help you easily detect a Gmail unsubscribe link or button if you're a Windows user and are using the Gmail app.

But if you’re an Apple iOS user and can’t find the unsubscribe feature, here's how to do so:

  1. Open your Mail app, and click on any message you've received in your inbox.
  2. A banner underneath the header will specify if this message is from a mailing list.
  3. You'll find an unsubscribe button next to the banner. Click on it to easily unsubscribe.

Fortunately, the Mail app automatically detects if the email is promotional and will display the unsubscribe button for you; you don't have to search for an unsubscribe link yourself.

<div class="anchor-wrapper"><div id="unsubscribe-from-gmail-on-mobile-devices" class="anchor-target"></div></div>

How to unsubscribe from emails in Gmail on your mobile devices

Some users don't use Gmail on a desktop and will opt instead to use their mobile devices. That’s no problem at all; you'll still have the option to unsubscribe from any smart device. The steps are just a little bit different.

  1. Head to your Gmail app.
  2. Decide which promotions or marketing emails you'd like to unsubscribe from. Be mindful that your inbox might have been broken down into different categories, so you'll most likely find any unwanted messages in the Promotions folder.
  3. Once you open the email, you'll find the three-dot symbol at the top right corner. Tap on it to open the menu.
  4. From the listed options, tap Unsubscribe.
  5. A dialogue box will pop up asking you to confirm this process. Tap Unsubscribe again.
An email in mobile device where Unsubscribe button appears beside the sender's name

<div class="anchor-wrapper"><div id="block-emails-in-gmail" class="anchor-target"></div></div>

How to block emails in Gmail

Unsubscribing can sometimes be a hassle. If this is the case, you may have to resort to the following methods:

<div class="anchor-wrapper"><div id="block-emails-on-desktop" class="anchor-target"></div></div>

1. Block emails from your desktop

  1. Open Gmail and go to your inbox.
  2. Click on the email whose sender you'd like to block.
  3. Next to the sender's name and address, you'll find the three-dot symbol. Click on it to display a drop-down menu.
  4. You'll find the option to Block “Sender's Name."

Congratulations! You've permanently blocked any future emails from the sender with these simple steps. You'll find any emails from the sender you’ve blocked in your Spam or Clutter folders, and you can read them if you ever wish to.

Note: The sender won't be aware that you've blocked them.

<div class="anchor-wrapper"><div id="block-emails-on-mobile" class="anchor-target"></div></div>

2. Block emails using your mobile Gmail app

Although the Gmail interface on smartphones is a bit different, the steps are, more or less, the same:

  1. Navigate to your Gmail app.
  2. Open any message from the sender whom you wish to block.
  3. At the top right corner (next to the name and address of the sender), you'll find the three-dot symbol. Tap on it. Note: This symbol will look like three horizontal dots if you're using iOS.
  4. From the drop-down list, tap Block "Sender's Name."
A screenshot of an email in iOS showing the three-horizontal dot symbol at the top right corner. Once you lick on the dot symbol, a drop-down list will appear which includes the option to Block "Sender's Name."

With these options laid out, you can now make an informed decision on whether or not to unsubscribe from emails or block them entirely. Do note that users normally resort to blocking, as it blocks all contact with the sender. The unsubscribe feature, on the other hand, is designed specifically for certain emails.

<div class="anchor-wrapper"><div id="improve-gmail-inbox-management" class="anchor-target"></div></div>

Improve your Gmail inbox management with Streak

Even with features like unsubscribing built into Gmail, it can still be a hassle to manage the unstoppable flow of emails coming every day, and options like “Mass Unsubscribe" become more tempting.

This is where Gmail tools like Streak come in handy. Get your emails tracked, filtered, and sorted out in an organized list, and from there, you can decide if you want to unsubscribe or block any of them. Your inbox can be kept clean and orderly, giving you more control over your emails.

Did you know that you can try Streak for free with no strings attached? Give it a go! It only takes 30 seconds to get started.

Related articles

We're hiring

Come build something great with us.