Set Up a Gmail Filter for Holiday Season Spam

Redirect all the gift guides and gift ideas in your inbox straight to the trash

The season's unfortunate spirit. (Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

The season’s unfortunate spirit. (Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Holiday season is upon us, which means that American retailers have begun barraging us with email to mark various cultural rituals of rebirth by buying stuff.

The battle for your wallet begins in your inbox. However, if you want to spare yourself the headache of endless pings on your mobile for avaricious capitalist dispatches you never had any intention of reading, it’s easy to redirect those messages straight to the trash with Gmail.

Here’s instructions for how to do it on a computer:

      1. Log into and open Gmail.
      2. In the search bar, enter the following search string: subject:gift idea or subject:gift guide.
      3. Hit Enter.
      4. Click on the grey downward pointed triangle/arrow at the far right of the search bar, next to the magnifying glass. It will open up a box beneath the bar.

        (Screenshot: Gmail)

        (Screenshot: Gmail)

      5. Inside that box, in the bottom right corner, it says, “Create filter with this search >>.” Click those words. It will create a new box.
      6. Check the box for “Delete It” from the menu. You might also opt for “Skip the Inbox (Archive it)” if you think you might want to look later.
      7. Click the blue button at the bottom, “Create filter.” You’ll go back to your inbox and a message confirming the new filter should appear just beneath the search bar.

That’s it! These steps should reduce the most blatant holiday spam.

If, later, you relent and want to see the junk again, go to Gmail settings (click the gear symbol over on the right of the screen, just above your list of messages). Go to Settings, then click “Filters and Blocked Addresses” at the top. Your filter will be there on a list, to be either modified or deleted.

Season’s greetings!

Set Up a Gmail Filter for Holiday Season Spam