If you ever got tired of receiving heaps and piles of emails from newsletter services and linking your social media accounts to other online services, you could have signed up with the free newsletter unsubscription service, Unroll.me. However, recently the New York Times discovered and reported that Unroll.me has been busted for collecting and selling off your data, particularly to Uber, which Uber used to track Lyft drivers and members in the name of gaining intelligence on Lyft. Oh Boy! No worries, because you can create your own Google Script file to unsubscribe from a ton of email newsletters almost just as easily and for free (and your data will be more secure and private)!
At Digital Inspiration, Amit Agarwal created a Google Script for bulk unsubscribing to newsletters, and the idea of how this works is fairly straightforward: first, go through your inbox and mark any newsletter you no longer want with the label “Unsubscribe.” Then, your custom Google Script will look through the content of your bulk emails, find the unsubscribe link, then automatically follows that link to unsubscribe from that service. What’s nice is that you don’t need to grant access to your Gmail account to any third-party services (like Unroll.me; HSSSSSSSSSS), since it just uses the Google account and services you already have. A nice addition is that you can apply the “Unsubscribe” label from any third-party email client (i.e. Outlook), the official Gmail app, or the normal Gmail web app.
I know, it seems like an extra, manual step that could take 10-30 minutes-or-so (depending on how many services you’ve subscribed to), but it’s a heck of a lot easier than clicking every…single…link individually. Also, you won’t have any concerns about your data being sold off to any third-party entity, especially one that has been exposed of conducting questionable-to-less-than-ethical business practices both in-and-out of the office environment (hi Uber!). So, how to do this? Well, the installation of your custom Google Script involves a couple of steps:
Copy the Gmail Unsubscriber sheet to your Google Drive.
While in that Google Sheet, click the Gmail Unsubscriber link in the top bar, then click Configure.
Allow the script to access your Gmail account (It’s OK; this script doesn’t store any data anywhere outside your own Google Account).
Save the configuration with the default name.
Go to your Gmail inbox, create a label called Unsubscribe. Select any emails you want to unsubscribe to, and apply the Unsubscribe label to them.
Congratulations! Once you’ve set up the script, you no longer need to look at it — unless you’re curious. Going forward, just label an email as Unsubscribe and the script will take care of everything behind the scenes. For more information about exactly how the Google Script works and more advanced information, head on over to Digital Inspiration.
[Thanks Digital Inspiration]