Unsubscribing from Newsletters

When Gmail first came out I got on pretty early and procured what I thought was a cool email address, mmmmmm@gmail.com. That’s because matt@ was too short, and matthew@ was taken. Ask anyone with a “cool” email address on a major service or Twitter handle and you’ll mostly hear about what a pain it is constantly getting spam, other people’s email, and people trying to log in to your account. These days it seems that address is used mostly by people forced to put something into an email form at places they don’t want to, so constant mail from mortgage places, car dealerships, porn sites, and countless email newsletters. I never ended up using the account for anything myself besides normal Google stuff.

There’s a service to help you unsubscribe from things called Unroll.me which is pretty neat, and it’ll scan your account to find all of the newsletters and things you can unsubscribe from, and gives you a one-click interface to do so. Unfortunately if you had over 5,000 “subscriptions” as I had, that becomes a 5,000 click operation and they provide no bulk tools, and apparently no plans to add them:

I assume this is because they want people to add newsletters to their digest service instead of just unsubscribing. Code to the rescue! Written by the inimitable Scott Reilly. After you sign up and sign in, go to this page, go to the javascript console (in Chrome: View → Developer → Javascript Console), then copy and paste the below code and press enter.

Then sit back and wait, it’s set so every 1.5 seconds it clicks an unsubscribe link. I do this about once a week now since I can accumulate 20-100 new subscriptions in that time. This code will break if they change anything, but should be pretty easy to update when they do. It currently shows me as unsubscribed from 7,868 things! If there was a way to pay for my account on Unroll.me I would do so happily.

12 replies on “Unsubscribing from Newsletters”

  1. Matt, speaking of which, how come do you get your own little logo in the emails we get because we subscribed to your blog, and users don’t get this privilege? Its been a topic in the Jetpack community for ages! Thanks!

    1. Maybe if you read the article you would see.

      > These days it seems that address (mmmmmm@gmail.com) is used mostly by people forced to put something into an email form at places they don’t want to.

  2. Found this about a year ago and was shocked at how many random things I spent time on deleting. It’s amazing how much these emails can add up and how much time they waste just to delete them! Thanks for sharing the code snippet too – don’t have as many subs as you but am going to give it a go to get rid of another deluge of newsletters that somehow I’m subscribed to.

  3. Ask anyone with a “cool” email address on a major service or Twitter handle and you’ll mostly hear about what a pain it is constantly getting spam, other people’s email, and people trying to log in to your account.

    I can’t tell you how many accidental tweets I get meant for @professorgreen, or students yelling at their professor thinking that @professor isn’t a real account. Luckily the hacking attempts stopped once Twitter enabled 2fa.

  4. Funny how I found out about this after I literally *just* manually unsubscribed from my email subscriptions. I didn’t even dare count how many they were.

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