50+ Filters to Keep Your Gmail Inbox Squeaky Clean

Have you always wanted to maintain Inbox Zero, but found yourself falling short as email upon email piled up in your inbox? Are you not a fan of Gmail’s new tab system? If so, then filters may be the solution to your problem. Filters allow you to tell your email service exactly where you want specific emails to go.

The emails that clutter your inbox the most are the ones that are from automated sources – newsletters, notifications, press releases, social media updates, and so forth. They are (for the most part), all emails that do not need your immediate attention.

There are services, such as Unroll.me, that can help you unsubscribe from email subscriptions you are no longer interested. Their service doesn’t catch all of the automated emails out there, and they can’t catch all of the emails from those people who conveniently add you to their list without permission.

This is where the following filters can help. They can catch most emails from automated sources. I have these set in Gmail to skip the inbox and go to a specific label called Automated. To do this, you start by using the search box in Gmail to search for the phrase, then click on the dropdown arrow next to the blue search button to show search options. At the bottom, you’ll see the link to create filter with this search. Then you will set up the filter like this, or with your own specifications.

(I’ll also how how to do this in other email programs too further down in the post.)

gmail-automated-email-filters

Without further ado, here are the filters I find most useful to catch emails sent through automated means.

"to view this email as a web page, go here."
"having trouble reading this email"
"having trouble viewing this email"
"email not displaying correctly"
"unsubscribe | change subscriber options"
"unsubscribe from this list"
"unsubscribe instantly"
"please unsubscribe"
"update subscription preferences"
"email preferences"
"follow the URL below to update your preferences or opt-out"
"if you would rather not receive future communications from"
"if you would like to unsubscribe"
"to ensure that you continue receiving our emails, please add us to your address book or safe list."
"safeunsubscribe"
"to unsubscribe"
"unsubscribe from these emails"
"unsubscribe from our emails"
"unsubscribe please click"
"unsubscribe from future"
"you can unsubscribe here"
"to unsubscribe or change subscriber options"
"this message was sent to leilaniana@gmail.com" (replace with your email address)
"this email has been sent to you by"
"to opt out"
"opt out using TrueRemove"
"one-click unsubscribe"
"do not reply to this email"
"view this email in a browser"
"please do not reply to this message."
"if you no longer wish to receive our emails"
"if you do not wish to receive email from"
"no longer receive this newsletter"
"do not want to receive any newsletters"
"to remove this e-mail address from"
"removed from this mailing list"
"manage your email settings"
"edit your subscription"
"you may unsubscribe"
"you can unsubscribe"
"powered by YMLP"
"update your contact information"
"update your contact details"
"change your subscription settings"
"manage your subscription"
"manage your subscriptions"
"update Email Address or Unsubscribe"
"this email was sent by"
"this email was intended for"
"you received this email because"
"you received this e-mail because"
"you are receiving this message"
"prefer not to receive invites from"

If you are looking to filter out all of the social media network updates from your inbox, use the following for the top social networks. If you belong to other social networks, look at the from email address to determine what @network.com to use in your filter.

from:(noreply@)
from:(@twitter.com)
from:(@plus.google.com)
from:(@facebookmail.com)
from:(@facebook.com)
from:(@pinterest.com)
from:(@instagram.com)
from:(@linkedin.com)

Last, but not least, if you want to filter out some of those impersonalized messages, you can add these phrases to your filter list.

"hello sir"
"hello webmaster"
"hello admin"
"dear sir"
"dear webmaster"
"dear admin"

These will filter some advertising requests too – be warned! But they will also filter out those “guest bloggers” who know nothing about your site.

Be sure to review the search results for each phrase prior to setting up the filter. You may find that automated updates and notifications from your favorite shopping sites, social media tools, analytics platforms, and other services end up in the mix. Some of these will also catch new newsletters you sign up for, so if you don’t see your free ebook link in your inbox, it might be filtered by one of the phrases above. You also might want to create a special filter from specific sources and add them to a particular label or star them to make sure you don’t miss their emails.

gmail-automated-email-filters-2

Since I’m a Gmail user, I wanted to show how these work in Gmail. But these filters are not limited to Gmail – look at your email provider to see what kind of filtering options you can use. Yahoo, for example, allows you to search for phrases within your emails using the search box and set up filters similarly under the settings.

yahoo-automated-email-filters

Outlook also allows you to search for emails with specific text under the Advanced Search and set up filters, also known as rules, under your preferences.

outlook-automated-email-filters

What filters do you use to ensure you have the most manageable inbox possible? Please share your favorites in the comments!





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Comments

  1. says

    Kristi,

    This is a huge help! With how much emailing I’m getting I’ve been looking for some tips to help clean it up!

    Thank you for putting these together!

  2. says

    Hey Kristi,
    This came at just the right time. I was thinking yesterday I needed to set some filters up to get certain emails going direct into their own folders rather than in my inbox.

    I like to sign up to certain marketers lists for information purposes (to copy their tactics ha ha!) and I don’t really want to read their emails as they come in so setting up a filter makes sense.

    Will try some of this out today.

    Thanks.
    Stuart Walker just posted Massive Niche List 3.0 Review – 350,000+ Forgotten Niches

  3. says

    Hi Kristi,

    Informative post indeed :)

    I’m another Gmail user, though I rarely use filters. In fact I honestly never knew you could do so much with filters and keep your inbox that clean. I usually keep it clean as I check my email quite often, but there are days like the weekends or times when I am out, when the inbox just piles up with mail. This would be a real solution for that.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead :)
    Harleena Singh just posted Why Feedback Surveys are Important for Bloggers

  4. says

    Hey Kristi, aren’t you shooting yourself in the foot with this article? :)

    You have an email newsletter, which is automated, right? Why are you giving your readers an option to filter it out? :)

    Other than that – awesome advice! Will add a few more filters to my own Gmail account now :)

  5. says

    Nice one there! I actually love using gmail but can’t stand the number of messages i receive per day. I always hope there were good ways to clean them up. But now i am perfectly convinced with the above tutorial and I must say that you guys are doing a great job.

  6. Tauseef Alam says

    Hi Kristi

    Gmail is a mailing service which is most targeted by spammers. I do get more spam mails on my Gmail ID compare to other mailing accounts i have with other providers like AOL or Yahoo.

    I was totally unaware about the filters you talked about in your post. I thing using those filters anybody can do away with those annoying emails.

    Thanks & Regards
    Tauseef Alam
    Tauseef Alam just posted Bluehost Coupon 2014

  7. says

    After some bad experiences with hotmail in the early 2000’s I try to keep my gmail inbox as clean as possible. I personally haven’t used unroll.me myself. I used a different unsubscription service called ‘unsubscribr’ to clean up my subscriptions and it was pretty amazing. Having an empty inbox is one of the most satisfying things every> I don’t know why!
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  8. says

    I’ve had a Gmail account for the longest time I can remember but never bothered to customize or use any filters. It was like a granted thing where I just used to view mails.

    But now with the increased amount of mails I get due to various subscriptions, maybe its time now I applied a few filters of my own.
    Zubair just posted 5 ways to improve your blog

  9. says

    Hi Kristi,
    Thank you for your useful article. Every day i receive hundreds of Email advertisings in my inbox from spammers. I tried to keep my inbox as clean as possible but that is a lot of work. I always hope there were good ways to clean them up. But now I must say that with your above tutorial, you guys are doing a nice job. Thanks & Best Regards.
    Dainel Nguyen just posted Kindle Ritual 2014 Review and Bonus

  10. says

    Hi Kristi,

    I love this post because it gives me a solution to my problem. I don’t like Gmail and the way it’s set up.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to show others how to handle their inbox.

    I’m going to my inbox right now to start filtering out some of the stuff I don’t want.

    I had never taken the time to filter out my email but, I’m to the breaking point.

    Thanks again, I really appreciate it.
    Geri Richmond
    Geri Richmond just posted 10 Quick Ways To Monetize Your Blog

  11. says

    That’s a genius way to ignore automated mail during the day. I hate getting phone notifications from automatic newsletters so I’ve set it up to only notify me about Gmail Priority mail, but that filtering isn’t always idea. I’ll set it to catch those phrases now :D
    Brad just posted How Aperture plays with Shutter Speed

  12. says

    As always, another great post. Kristi, your content quality is always so high! The filters list you provide is pure gold. I was thinking “nooo, now I should find the phrases to filter the nasty emails”…. “no problem, Kristi gives me the phrases” :) wonderful and thanks!
    Jake just posted Facebook Business Marketing Revealed

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