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How can I both:

  1. Keep mailing lists out of my inbox (to read separately later)
  2. Selectively hide mailing list conversations (including their future messages)

I've tried using a filter for mailing lists that adds a label and skips the inbox. When it's time to read through mailing lists, I simply view that label.

That accomplishes goal #1, but I'm not sure how to accommodate #2. I've tried:

  • Muting conversations—but they still show up when I view the label.
  • Adding -is:muted to the filter—but Gmail warns me that this won't have any effect.

What have I missed? Are these goals really incompatible?

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Please explain goal #2 more precisely. You can remove the label from one of these threads after you read it. Is that sufficient? The Y and ] and [ keyboard shortcuts are good for this. – Jerry101 May 3 '14 at 1:00
Just removing the label isn't sufficient; it gets re-added by the filter every time someone replies within the conversation, and I don't want conversations to reappear after I've hidden them. – ændrük May 3 '14 at 1:33
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Alas, the "mute" feature only keeps new messages from putting that thread back into the inbox. It doesn't keep them out of a label even when using that label as a secondary inbox. See https://support.google.com/mail/answer/47787?hl=en&ref_topic=3394654

AFAICT filter criteria apply to incoming messages before spam filtering and other filters and such, while the filter actions apply to the message or its thread (add label, skip inbox).

If -is:mute worked in a filter (ie if the test applied to the new message's thread instead of to the new message, which isn't yet muted), you could use one filter to skip the inbox and a second filter with the same criteria plus -is:mute to apply the label.

Or similarly if the filter criteria could test labels on the new message's thread, you could move a thread to a different label as a hack way to mute it, then use a pair of filters with -label:muted as part of the second filter's criteria.

But currently gmail doesn't work that way. You can use the Send Feedback feature (in the gear menu) to request one of these tweaks.

As s desperate way to handle an occasional annoying thread, you could add a filter just for that thread which just removes it from the Inbox.

One more idea: Write a Greasemonkey script or a Chrome extension to extend Gmail.

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After encountering the same problem, encountering your thread, and leaving sad, a hack just occured to me. Manual muting:

What if we make a tag "MUTED" and add it to conversations we no longer want to follow. Then, when you check your email, you open the muted tag, click more->"Mark all as read". Then the rest of your tags are now cleaned.

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