Every legitimate email will have a visible unsubscribe mechanism, and this is usually a link at the bottom of the email. If you want to unsubscribe, scroll all the way down to the bottom and look for the “Unsubscribe” link. It’s often in fairly small text so you don’t notice it, but it should always be there. To speed things up, you can press Ctrl + F to bring up the search feature in your browser or email client and type “Unsubscribe” to search for it.
Click the link to unsubscribe from future communications from that website or business. Yes, it really is just that simple — there’s almost always an Unsubscribe link. If there isn’t, there has to be an email address you can email to opt out, although this is now very uncommon.
Note that “transactional emails” — for example, a receipt for a product you just purchased online — don’t have to have an unsubscribe email.
Want to unsubscribe from mail in a big batch? Several services make it possible. The downside: you have to give these services complete access to your inbox for them to find messages with an unsubscribe option; sometimes that includes your contacts.
This is as simple as it gets. Put your email address in at GetUnsubscriber.comand the service sticks an Unsubscriber folder/label in your inbox. Drag messages you no longer want into that folder, and Unsubscriber will filter messages out until the unsub request goes through. It works with any email provider, though the site includes quick links for Gmail, Outlook.com, Yahoo Mail, and Aol.
It’s free to use, but the service states up front “we collect and share certain information about non-personal email messages (e.g., commercial emails).” The company behind Unsubscriber, Return Path, also offers an extension for Google Chrome called Whisker, which manages unwanted email (including spam).
Available on the web, or via an iOS app, Unroll.me looks into the heart of your Outlook.com, Gmail/GSuite, Yahoo Mail, and Aol account to locate messages you probably don’t want. You can also try an email address from another service.
In return, you get a list of all the senders you could nix; pick the ones you don’t want, and Unroll.me does the rest. It also offers a service called The Rollup so you can re-subscribe to select mailings, but they’ll get funneled to you via Unroll.me in a daily digest. You can edit (or deactivate) The Rollup any time.
Unroll.me is free, but it does want full access to your messages and contacts. Its parent company, Slice Technologies, says it ignores personal email and anonymizes the messages it sees, but it’s using all of the data it can to sell market research based on users.
Remember when companies dropped the “e” before the “r” to make a name? Unlistr does!
There is no web-based interface; Unlistr has a free Android app and a $20 add-on for Outlook (the one in Office, not Outlook.com). You sign up using your email account—any that supports IMAP/POP accounts, plus Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Outlook.com), and others. Essentially, if you know the incoming and outgoing server settings, it should work. You get a list of senders to unsubscribe from all at once.
Unlistr does all its processing locally on your smartphone, keeps messages encrypted, and avoids trying to un-sub you from known spammers so you won’t get more.