How to Mute or Unmute a Conversation in Gmail

Muting a message lets you ignore future replies

An image of a young man dressed in the same colors as the Gmail logo, with red and white tape over his mouth muting his ability to communicate.

Getty Images 

Gmail makes it extremely easy to ignore, or "mute" a conversation to immediately archive that whole thread so that you're not notified of those messages anymore.

What this does is puts not only the current conversation into the All Mail folder but also any future replies exchanged within that thread. The emails automatically skip over your Inbox folder and are only found if you look through the All Mail folder or search for the message.

To stop muting a particular conversation, you have to undo the mute, which can be done with the "unmute" option.

How to Mute Gmail Conversations

Muting a conversation with anyone is pretty simple. Three clicks is all it takes.

A screenshot that illustrates how to mute a conversation in Gmail.
  1. Open the message you want to ignore.

  2. Use the More menu to select the Mute option.

Another option is to mute an email with a keyboard shortcut. Just open the message and hit the m key.

You can mute multiple messages at once by selecting all of them from a list, and then using the More > Mute option.

How to Unmute Gmail Conversations

Muted messages are sent to the All Mail folder, so if you don't have access to the email you want to unmute, you need to find it first.

You can find muted messages in Gmail by searching for the message itself, like the sender's email address, text within the message, the subject, etc. However, an easier method might be to just look for all the muted messages in your account.

An screenshot showing how to unmute a conversation in Gmail.

From the search bar at the top of Gmail, enter this:

is:muted

The results will show only the emails that have been muted.

  1. Open the message you want to unmute.

  2. Go to the More > Unmute menu to stop muting that thread.

  3. Alternatively, you can also just click the X next to Muted to unmute the conversation.

To unmute multiple emails at once, just select all of them from the list of muted emails, and then use the More > Unmute menu.

If you want a recently unmuted email to be placed back into the Inbox folder, or some other folder, you need to manually move it through through a drag-and-drop or with the Move to button (the one that looks like a folder).

Archive vs Mute

It might seem confusing when dealing with archived messages and muted messages in Gmail, but the two have a very distinct difference.

An archived message goes to the All Mail folder to help keep your Inbox folder clean, but any replies sent back to you through that conversation will return to the Inbox.

A muted message goes to the All Mail folder too, but any replies will remain ignored and will not show up in the Inbox folder. You have to manually find and keep watch over muted emails if you want to stay up-to-date on replies.

This is why the "mute" feature is helpful - you get to ignore messages without deleting the emails or blocking the senders.