How to Remove Yourself From Reply-All Emails in Gmail

by Denise Hazime on March 26, 2015

Reply-all is probably one of the most sinister functions to deal with in email. There are long, annoying email chains that you’ve accidentally been added to; your name being included in the recipients when you’ve asked to reply to all email recipients; and accidentally hitting reply-all when you just meant to reply to one person in the thread. Luckily, Gmail has easy ways to deal with all of the nightmare scenarios that can be spawned by reply-all.

Nuking Reply-All Email Chains With Gmail’s “Mute” Button

Did someone in your company send an email with everyone’s email address in the public “CC” field instead of where they should have put it – in the “BCC” field? If so, you’re probably getting a long list of emails that you don’t want cluttering up your primary inbox. Gmail has a beautiful way of getting rid of them. Simply open the conversation, select the “More” button above your messages, and select “Mute”. You will no longer see any of these messages. Ever. Again. Unless, of course, someone does the same thing to you again – but now you know how to handle it. In Outlook, you have to hunt up an “Ignore” button that isn’t as easy to find. Removing Yourself From a Reply-All Message That You Send You would think that an email program would recognize that you don’t mean to send a message to yourself when you hit “Reply-All”. Not so with some versions of Outlook, Gmail, or many other email systems. But Gmail has a handy way you can deal with this: filters. Create and send an email to yourself, being careful to use the address you want to exclude from “Reply-All” in both the sender and recipient fields if you are using multiple email addresses in Gmail. When you get it, open the message, click on your “More” button and select “Filter messages like these”.

Then, create your filter to archive any message arriving from yourself. Do not select “Delete” as this will remove the message from your “Sent Mail”.

This will save you from going in and removing your own email whenever you have to send a “Reply-All”.

Saving Yourself From Email Hell By Using Undo

If you accidentally send one of those annoying “Reply-All” emails yourself with a mistake like putting everyone’s email in the public “CC” field on a large group email, Gmail has an “Undo” button that you can use to recall the email if you catch the mistake in time. This is arguably one of Gmail’s most powerful features, and makes it a clear winner over Outlook. In order to use the feature, you or your administrator must enable it in your settings. Go to “Settings” then “Labs”. You will then see this:

If it is switched to “Disable”, hit “Enable”. Hit “Save Changes” at the bottom of the page. Then, go to your “General” tab and make sure to select the maximum time you have to undo a send, which is 30 seconds.

Now, when you send an email, you’ll have an “Undo” option that will be visible at the top of your Gmail bar when you send an email. Now you can avert at least some of your email disasters!

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