Help! My Inbox Is Overflowing!

June 2, 2016 How To 10

Fiona Shaw on the Privet Drive film set (via The Mirror)

How to deal with comment notifications

We’ve all been there: You comment on a popular blog, you check the box to be notified of other comments, and WHAM! Your inbox is suddenly overflowing with comment notifications. You don’t want to miss a reply to your comment, but you don’t have time to wade through all those emails, either. What to do?

Luckily, there’s a quick and easy way to handle that.

1. Start by sorting your email Inbox by “subject.”  It should look something like this. (Screenshot below. I use Outlook. Other email interfaces may look different, but they should do basically the same thing.)Email-screenshot


2. Choose one of the subjects that has a lot of emails. Above, I’ve picked the comments about stacking your shelves on the blog Quite a Novel Idea.

3. Open one of the emails. It doesn’t matter which one. All of them will contain a link to the original post, which is what you want.

4. Click the link to go to the original post. Your browser will open to display the post. There will be a bunch of comments. Don’t try to scroll through them all. Instead,

5. Use your browser’s “Find” function to quickly find your comment. For Chrome (screenshot below) or Firefox, the “Find” function is in the menu — click the the little menu icon at the top right of the browser toolbar, then click “Find.” A search bar will open. Type a distinctive part of your name as it appears when you leave a comment and press Enter. The browser should jump to the part of the page where your comment appears.



6. Read the reply to your comment (if there is one yet.) Then close the tab for that post. If you’re done with the post, go on to step 7. If there was no reply, skip ahead to step 8.

7. Go back to that open email. Near the bottom (see screenshot below), you should see a link to unsubscribe from notifications for that post. Click it. It will take you back to the browser.

  • If the original post used the WordPress comment system, you’ll go to the WordPress subscription page. You don’t have to do anything; you’re already unsubscribed. Just close that tab.
  • If the original post used a different system (for instance, Blogger), you’ll be taken to a page where you have to choose to unsubscribe or delete or suspend your subscription to that post. Follow the directions and unsubscribe—but only to that post, in case you’re watching other posts on the same blog.


8. Close the email. Go back to your email client/program. 

9. Highlight the entire stack of emails with that same subject line, and delete them. SWISH! They’re gone, and your email Inbox is lighter by 10 or 20 or 50 emails. And you only had to open one of them to see if you had a reply.


This takes much less time to do than it does to explain.

Now that I’ve made it a habit to use this system, I can whip through my comment notification emails very quickly. Obviously, I don’t use this system  if there are only one of two emails for a specific post, because it takes about the same amount of time to check them as it does to go through the steps above. But for posts with more than three comments, it’s usually quicker to do it this way.

And of course, if there’s a discussion I’m really interested in, I’ll read all the replies on the post itself. But when I just want to know whether the poster replied to what I said, this saves me a lot of time!


10 Responses to “Help! My Inbox Is Overflowing!”

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      I can never remember to go back to check for replies unless I get notifications. But that meant a LOT of notification emails, so I was glad when I figured this out! 🙂

  1. Lola

    I usually only subscribe to replies to my comment only, or if that isn’t possible I don’t subscribe at all. I just try and remember to check back later to see if there’s a reply. Most of the times I read some replies when I first visit a post, but usually I don’t like to get an e-mail for each comment.
    This is a great tip to easily go through all those e-mails for the same blog. I don’t think I ever used the sort on subject function, but that is a great idea.
    Lola recently posted…Sunday Post #181My Profile

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      I tried not subscribing and just going back, but I don’t seem able to remember which blogs I did or didn’t comment on, so it’s easier for me to subscribe if I leave a comment. I’m glad you find the tip useful!