I subscribe to emails from a Google Group. I noticed the other day that I felt like I hadn't gotten any emails about it in a while, so I went onto googlegroups.com and saw that there were many new threads in the group. I went back to my Gmail and searched for the [XYZ] that prefixes every subject line from this group, and lo and behold, there they all were in the trash.

I can now see the emails come in to Airmail and sit in the inbox for a few seconds before the Gmailbot gets a hold on them and deletes them.

I have no filters set up for these emails, and no filters at all with instructions to delete anything. The messages are not being marked as spam; they're simply getting dumped directly into the trash.

Why does Gmail trash these messages automatically?

  • 1
    If Google was marking them as spam they'd end up in your "Spam" folder. Gmail doesn't just delete messages arbitrarily. Could some other filter be acting on them? Are you using any sort of third-party tool with your Gmail?
    – ale
    Sep 4, 2014 at 2:40
  • @AlE. No filters, but I've used many clients. Mailbox is one that comes to mind - it manipulates messages in uncommon ways.
    – hairboat
    Sep 4, 2014 at 2:55
  • 2
    Since you say the messages appear in your inbox for an instant before disappearing, I think you need to look at one of those clients doing things to your messages.
    – ale
    Sep 4, 2014 at 2:59
  • I didn't see anything that acted on these specific messages, but just to be sure I disabled Mailbox's automated filing capabilities. Will report back.
    – hairboat
    Sep 4, 2014 at 22:57
  • No dice, @AlE. I have revoked permissions from all clients other than the ones I'm using (which don't have automagical moving of messages features). This particular google group is still getting trashed automatically.
    – hairboat
    Sep 9, 2014 at 0:03

1 Answer 1


Unroll.me was the culprit.

I must have inadvertently told Unroll.me to unsubscribe from emails for that particular google group. Turns out that Unroll.me's action on "unsubscribe" is "mark as read and unceremoniously dump in trash". That's very much a wanted behavior, but a confusing one if you goof up. I found it by cmd+F searching in my unsubscribed emails.

Certain clients were fast enough to download the message before Unroll.me got it in its clutches; others did not refresh frequently enough to catch them. That's the source of the weird behavior where messages sat in my inbox for a second and then disappeared to the trash.

Case closed!


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