How to clean up your junk-filled email inbox

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Tech Guide

How to clean up your junk-filled email inbox

  • You can regain control of your spammy inbox.
  • We'll show you an app that'll help with the legwork.
  • You can also manually unsubscribe.
Subs: Garbage truck

A week or so ago, I'd had enough of the constant buzzing of my phone alerting me of new emails.

It wasn't work emails, I leave those on a dedicated smartphone and they're typically useful.

Instead, it was my personal Gmail account that had, over the years, accumulated newsletters and junky messages from brands I've used, stores I visited once, eCard alerts, LinkedIn notifications and more.

Dozens and dozens of pointless emails hit my inbox every day, so I set out to stop it once and for all.

Keep in mind that I'm not talking about spam, the sort that have ads for adult content or prescription medicines. I'm talking about the junk about deals on shoes you bought a year ago, discounts at that fast-food restaurant you once visited on a road trip through Kentucky and the like.

I figured out a way to clean it all up. Here's how.

Download an app called "Email" for your iPhone or Android device

CNBC Tech: Email cleanup
Todd Haselton | CNBC

It's a simple name but it's a near-perfect email application and it has a built-in feature to help you cut down on email subscriptions you might not even know you're receiving. Sign in with your email credentials — it supports Gmail, iCloud, Exchange, Yahoo, AOL and others.

Tap menu and then the "subscriptions button." 

CNBC Tech: Email cleanup 2
Todd Haselton | CNBC

Look at all of these I'm still subscribed to, and this is after I've been actively clearing it out for a week. Some I like, such as Best Buy, while others I don't need. A simple tap on each "X" removes you from the mailing list entirely. The trick is to check this frequently, since it doesn't seem to gather everything in one shot.

Tap the Unsubscribe button

CNBC Tech: Email cleanup 3

While Email does a good job cleaning out unnecessary messages, it's not perfect. You'll also want to be active in unsubscribing from specific emails you don't want.

You can almost always find a tiny "unsubscribe" button at the bottom of each email. Tap this and you'll be able to remove yourself from the mailing list. You might be surprised to find some brands have you on multiple email lists, blasts for deals, updates and more. It's incredible what you'll uncover.

That's really all there is to it. Again, I've found that I've probably cut my junk mail down by about 95 percent or more over the past week. Most of what I receive now is something I've asked to get or want to view. Anything else, I just run through the subscriptions button in Email or manually unsubscribe. Good luck!