For disputes that won't settle, irrelevant but obviously engaging musings and anything you're not all that interested in, Gmail has a clever solution. You can unsubscribe from a conversation or "mute" it. Future messages in the conversation are archived automatically and do not pop up in your Gmail Inbox.
You can, of course, unmute a thread at any time or access unannounced messages.
Unsubscribe from (Mute) a Conversation in Gmail
To mute a thread in Gmail:
- Open the conversation.
- Press m.
The thread is archived and future messages in it are delivered only to the archive, albeit not marked read. If a message in the thread has one of your addresses in the To: or Cc: fields, the whole thread is moved back to your Gmail Inbox.
Access Muted Conversations in Gmail
To read messages in a thread from which you have unsubscribed in Gmail:
- Go to All Mail and open the desired thread,
- search for the thready by its subject, for example, or
- type "is:muted" in the search box and hit Enter to see all unsubscribed conversations.
Unmute a Thread in Gmail
You can re-subscribe to a conversation, of course, and have future messages in it go to the Inbox again.
(Updated March 2012)