Unsubscribe from unwanted email automatically with Unsubscribr

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Unsubscribr is a free tool that scans your email inbox and tries to sort out the junk and bulk mail it finds to make it easier for you to deal with it. It also allows you to quickly and easily unsubscribe from most email lists, in batches as well as one by one.

First came email. People were hesitant to use it at first, but then the advert folks heard about this nifty new way to send and get mail that costs nothing compared to snail mail.

No matter what anyone else says, I still believe that this was the beginning of the digital explosion that has brought computers, email, and the internet in general, into our homes as a modern, everyday convenience rather than a strange and frightening new technology. Yes, you heard me right.

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I think that spam is the first culprit to really begin moving email forward as an acceptable form of common communication. See, before the advertisers started using email to send ‘unsolicited’ (and more often unwanted, whether it was technically signed up for or solicited at all) electronic mail to possible consumers, email was mostly used by technophiles of one kind or another. Scientists, computer engineers, software engineers, even just the enthusiastic tech hobbyist were all using email before the rest of us, but when the concept of advertising in email was pushed forth, the advertisers also began pushing the medium itself. After all, the more people they convinced to use email, the more people the could send spam to. Seems odd, but there it is.

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In any case, as soon as people discovered that they could get junk mail in their email boxes, they began looking for ways to get rid of it. Just as the first unwanted ad in a snail mail box was thrown into the fireplace to help with the winter heating bill, so too go the electronic counterparts. Now, as time has gone by, more and more ways to avoid spam have come out, but more and more ways to send spam have come out, as well. Every time I look in my spam folder, I wonder at where and how I supposedly signed up to get half of these things. Little boxes that stay checked or don’t get checked, when installing a program or signing up for a web site, are the usual culprit but there are as many sources of spam as there are email addresses. That is to say, an infinite amount.

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So, as time goes on we keep coming up with new ways to get rid of, or handle spam. In my own personal experience, Gmail is pretty darn good about filtering spam and also decent at letting you manage it. Additionally, Gmail will even offer an option to unsubscribe automatically when a spam message is first marked. All of that is very nice, but it doesn’t really help you if you’re not using Gmail. So, assuming that there are people out there using other things, and presuming that they aren’t going to switch to Gmail just to make me happy, I am pleased to say that Unsubscribr is a great free tool I can tell them about.

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Unsubscribr works much the same way that Gmail’s anti-spam system works, in so far as the fact that it will let you manage and unsubscribe from spam lists that you find in your email. It’s interface is supremely simple to use, and while I didn’t find a whole lot of in depth documentation, I felt that it was easy enough to figure out without much help. This is always a big bonus point for any free program or software solution, to me, because there are so many out there that are very useful but require mammoth efforts and learning curves to figure out how to use them effectively. Unsubscribr doesn’t suffer from this particular dysfunction, thankfully.

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So, as a test of it’s function rather than it’s form, I decided to try it out on my Gmail account. Whether it is Gmail or another service, the first thing you will need to do is put your email address in the box on the front page of Unsubscribr’s site. Afterwards, you may need to provide some permissions (like Gmail, for example) but relatively quickly you will be up and running, so to speak. Unsubscribr will automatically search the most common folders on your email service for a limited number of days into the past. There is also an option to pay a small one time fee of two whole dollars to get unlimited functionality, like up to 30 days of history scanned, or adding more folders to the scan process, but this option is not in any way required. Unsubscribr works quite well without ever paying a dime, and I would recommend it to anyone at all looking for a good, free way to get their bulk emails or spam under control.

[Thanks to reader Panzer for tip about this service]

Get started with Unsubscribr here.