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 the whole thread so that you're not notified of those messages anymore.

This puts the current conversation into the All Mail folder, along with any future replies exchanged within that thread. The emails automatically skip over your Inbox folder and are visible only in the All Mail folder or in a search for the message.

To stop muting a particular conversation, just select the Unmute option.

How to Mute Gmail Conversations

Muting a conversation takes just three clicks.

  1. Open the message you want to ignore.

    A screenshot that illustrates how to mute a conversation in Gmail.
  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. 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.

In this case, simply search for the message itself, using criteria such as the sender's email address, text within the message, the subject, etc. An easier method, however, might be to just look for all the muted messages in your account.

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

is:muted

The results will show only muted emails.

  1. Open the message you want to unmute.

  2. Select More > Unmute to stop muting that thread.

  3. Alternatively, 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 select More > Unmute.

If you want a recently unmuted email to be placed back into the Inbox or some other folder, you must manually drag and drop it, or use the Move to option (look for the folder icon).

Archive vs. Mute

An archived message goes to the All Mail folder to help keep your Inbox 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 remain ignored and will not show up in the Inbox. You must 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: It enables you to ignore messages without deleting the emails or blocking the senders.