I cannot tell you how many times I’ve avoided missing a particular email, simply because a notification popped up on my screen. However, that convenience has its dark side. I’ve also been a part of very active threads where notifications were a constant source of interruptions. And no, I don’t have to bother clicking on them or even closing out the notification to actually be interrupted.

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But sometimes, when you’re really in the flow of things, an interruption is an interruption. Even that momentary lapse in concentration can really throw you for a loop.

What do you do?

You could completely turn off Gmail notifications but that might cause you to miss something of actual importance. Instead, you can mute notifications for a single thread. That’s what I do, and it has brought a much-needed level of peace to my desktop.

But how do you do this? It’s actually quite simple. Let me show you.

How to mute notifications on a specific thread in Gmail

  1. Log into your Gmail account and locate the conversation you want to mute.
  2. Click the three vertical dot “more” menu and select Mute (Figure A).

Figure A

That’s it: The conversation is muted.

The problem with muting a conversation is that it doesn’t just mute the notifications; it moves the actual thread. In order to view your muted conversations, go to the search bar and type is:muted.

Once you’ve located the muted conversation, if you want to unmute it, you have two options.

The first option is to click the More menu and select Unmute (Figure B). Although you will start receiving notifications for that conversation again, all messages in that conversation prior to it being muted will be lost.

Figure B

The best way to unmute a conversation is to locate it with is:muted and then dragging it back into the Inbox (Figure C). That way you start getting notifications for the conversation, and you don’t lose any of the thread.

Figure C

And that’s all there is to muting email in Gmail. If you use the Mute feature wisely, it’ll help keep your Gmail inbox and the notifications it produces a bit less overwhelming.

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