How the XXXX do you get off a e-mail reply list in Outlook!?

Some people … some of YOU…. put me on mass e-mailings and then I receive every single reply anyone makes…

And I now want to KILL someone.

I am tempted to lock every person on the latest note out of the blog.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Chironomo says:

    Go to the very bottom of the mail and click on the “unsubscribe” link. In some you have to send an e-mail to the address to unsubscribe.

  2. Cory says:

    Just great. Now that you guys got him mad, his laser-like accuracy on slavish translations will now falter. That leads to prayers seeming more and more like ICEL. That can only lead to more and more people thinking that we don’t need to worship or believe a certain way. Soon, Fr. Z will become so disillusioned that he’ll pack his bags and become a hermit. Thus, no more blognics and no more of his comments on reports from Rome. Thanks so much Outlook!

  3. Dianna says:

    If it’s one email in particular, create a rule in Outlook which sends all responses to it according to what the subject line contains (Re: email title) to the trash can or another folder. Not knowing which version of Outlook you’re using, this is the instrcutions for Outlook 2003:

    Gmail’s web interface, if you can use that instead, has a ‘Mute this conversation’, which will automatically archive any further responses to the email.

  4. boredoftheworld says:

    If it’s a bunch of people hitting “reply all” as they’re chatting back and forth, you’re hosed. You’ll need to junk the subject if you ever want to correspond with the participants in the future or junk the email addresses individually if you want the miscreants never to be heard from again.

    If it’s an actual email “listgroup” then there should be an unsubscribe link at the end of the various messages as was mentioned earlier, but I gather it’s not that.

  5. LOL – I just sent one of my gracious blog readers to your wishlist and donate button. Hopefully she’ll go straight there and not see this post – heehee :-D

  6. Suzanne: ROFL! Yah.. full of sweetness and charm today. And if you were one of the culprits in sending me stupid e-mails I will hunt you down.

  7. Bob K. says:

    You will now have to go to confession Father!. Thou shall not kill!. He He !.

  8. bored: If it’s a bunch of people hitting “reply all” as they’re chatting back and forth, you’re hosed.


  9. Jacob says:

    I avoid forwarded emails, even from people like my dad, like the plague.

  10. No fair hunting me down. I left my Sig Sauer and Alaskan Malamute in Minnesota before moving to Australia! You won’t find my email addr on any “pass this email along or bad stuff will happen” list :-)

  11. In that case I will …. will….

  12. KK says:

    Perhaps a nice bowl of tomato bisque and a grilled Wisconsin cheese sandwich will make it all better. Followed by a bottle of brunello.

  13. Brunnello, especially B. di Montalcino, makes just about anything better.

  14. Emilio III says:

    If it’s a real mailing list it depends on the mail list server software, not the mail client.

    Some have a link to unsubscribe, some have instructions in the headers, some merely a contact address in the headers. The last class are the most trouble, but still fairly simple: you send an email to the contact address with “help” as either the subject or message body (I use both unless I have saved the “welcome” message from the list, which usually makes it irrelevant by including unsubscribe information :-) In reply you get instructions for common tasks, including unsubscribing. This is usually sending a message to the contact address with “unsubscribe” as the message subject or body. Another variation is a dedicated unsubscribe address such as “” to which you can send a blank email. It will send you back a coded confirmation message to which you reply to finish the command.

    The problem with Outlook is that it hides the header information so you cannot easily find them (Outlook Express is much better in this regard). In Outlook 2003 you right-click on the message and choose “Option”, and look in the “Internet headers” box. If you have a different version and can’t find it, I’ll be glad to look it up for you. (I have versions 95 through 2007 around somewhere, but don’t use them myself.)

    The authors of Outlook are full-fledged believers in the principles of Graphical User Interfaces: “Making simple tasks simple and complex tasks impossible”

  15. Emilio: Making simple tasks simple and complex tasks impossible”


  16. KK says:

    Then I suggest you open a bottle of Biondi Santi Riserva before you open Outlook. Just to be safe. Sort of like looking both ways before crossing a street.

  17. Bob says:

    At least if you get up and walk away from the computer, the emails won’t follow you. (Well, unless you have one of those new-fangled phones.)

    There are worse things, you know. Like foul-mouthed 12-year-olds on skateboards or drunk college students partying outside the single-paned windows of the Adoration chapel where you’re trying to pray (frequent personal experience.) It’s definitely not good to be thinking about killing people while looking at Jesus.

  18. KK: Can I put that stuff on my Amazon wish list?

  19. PMcGrath says:

    Oh my. I saw the title in my Live Bookmarks, and I thought Father was upset because he forgot International Talk Like A Pirate Day, because that day (19 Sep) is never listed in the Roman Martyrology.

    But I guess not :)

  20. Stephen says:

    Father, lock yourself in with a good bottle of wine and a cigar or pipe. After indulging may not have solved your mass email problem, but the world may not seem quite as dreary.

  21. Zach says:

    Fr. Z,
    I’ll trade you. I’ll deal with your email issues and you take my Calculus and Spanish finals tomorrow. Is it a deal?

  22. Stu says:

    But it really was the Neiman Marcus cookie recipe.

  23. Margo says:

    bored: \’hosed\’ – ROTFL :)

  24. Brian Day says:

    Query: Are you locked into Outlook? Perhaps use Thunderbird for email only. As Dianna mentioned about Outlook, setting up a rule to filter that message thread is very easy.

    I don’t use Outlook myself, but I understand that there are legitimate reasons for using it. I see that you tweet using twitterfox so switching to a Mozilla-based should be easy.

  25. Paul Stokell says:

    Travel is a good relief for that kind of stress, Father.

    I hear they’re taking registrations for the next LA Religious Ed. Conference. :)~

  26. Fr. Aaargh shoud be the first word in a, yet to be published computer curse list.
    For a special indulgence, I’ll give you relief from this earthly curse. David

  27. Vincent says:

    I suggest you hit “Reply All” and tell them all to stop sending you emails.

  28. Vincent, “Hitting reply all” will ensure that the good Fr. will receive no more email. I’d call that Microsoft for closet dwellers

  29. Tina in Ashburn says:

    Fr, its pretty easy to set up a rule in Outlook to send emails to the trash or another folder based on senders or subject. At work, a common filter is to send any email in which I am CCd to a different folder for instance, allowing better attention to those directed to me specifically. If you go to the Organize icon [i think that\’s it] there are a myriad rules to leverage. This rule option is just for this kind of thing.

    The caveat is that if you create another folder for emails, you must check it occasionally and not ignore it!

    Hope that puts you in a better mood. :-)

  30. Pam says:

    Is this what you were growling about the other day?

  31. DoB says:

    Control yourself please.

  32. Zach: Sure. Good luck with your GPA.

  33. Margaret says:

    I’m so sorry. I’ve been stuck in the midst of similar discussions myself and had no way out– it’s like being trapped in a bizarre tennis game that the ushers won’t let you leave– but this is the funniest thing I’ve read in a while. And I really needed the laugh.

  34. KK says:

    That would be the Surdyk’s wish list.

  35. marnie says:

    I disagree Fr. Z. A nice Marqués de Riscal Reserva does the job much better.

  36. Andrew says:

    I acknowledge I have Fr Z on my mailing list.

    If you want to increase your network and not irritate your contacts, try to keep the mailings to a minimum, (I mean I get 5 or 6 a day from some!) and make them look as attractive as possible. Res and Fwds on the subject line, and a previous message from somebody else contributes to ugliness.

    Also, try to send emails that are not so graphic intensive,(takes longer to download) and perhaps editorialize as little as possible. URL links can be useful here.

    Of course you know, this is the pot calling the kettle black!

  37. Andrew says:

    I forgot to say that if you have a list, always put the names in the BCC section, as that prevents others from knowing who has received the email, aside from looking a whole lot tidier.

    If you put the names in the TO section, it gives others the option of reply all, hence Fr Z’s annoyance.

    He does so much work for us here on WDPTRS, we have the obligation of being considerate to him in our mailings, or at least irritating him as little as possible!

  38. Larry says:

    Temper, temper. I am accused of having a bad temper; but, I learned along time ago. Never put it in writing. Bribing a tantrum only spoils child. If nobody writes to him it won’t be much of a blog now will it? There are quite enough angry pagans out there we don’t need priests to encourage the outrage.

  39. Mark M says:

    I don’t think you’re hosed.

    An easy way is to hit “Reply All” yourself, and write ‘Please stop emailing me your replies’ in big capitals. It will annoy them, or at least make them thing. (And I mean that nicely, for I know they’re not deliberately trying to annoy you.)

  40. Father, I feel your pain. I get the same thing from my last job in DC. I sent back a reply to “Reply All” asking them to take me off their individual lists or stop hitting “Reply All”. Yeah right, maybe 3 out of 300 removed me.

    You could set a vacation reply for a day or so with an automatic message politely asking everyone to be considerate when hitting “Reply to All”.

    That or “I really enjoy the e-mails, but the next person that hits “Reply to All” will be cast into the ninth circle of hell!”

    Hang in there Father…

  41. Gareth says:

    Is there a mailing list? I didn’t know.

  42. Ohio Annie says:

    “I see that you tweet using twitterfox..” ROTFL.

  43. Irish says:

    First rules of email etiquette:
    Don’t reply all unless it is truly pertinent to all on the reply list.
    When forwarding and email sent to you and a bunch of others, remove previous addresses before forwarding.
    Be judicious before forwarding junk.
    If you have a bunch of people you regularly send emails to, put them in a group in your address book and click the “don’t show addresses” button.

  44. Inge says:

    That’s where they invented the BCC field for people! If you think it’s necessary to send an e-mail to lots of people, put all the addresses in the ‘BCC’ field and your own e-mail address in the ‘TO’ field.

    I feel your pain, Fr.

    PS. Didn’t read all comments, so if someone else made this suggestion, consider this one as not posted. :)

  45. Paladin says:

    Inge wrote:

    That’s where they invented the BCC field for people! If you think it’s necessary to send an e-mail to lots of people, put all the addresses in the ‘BCC’ field and your own e-mail address in the ‘TO’ field.

    YES!! Thank you!! Not only does it spare poor “reply all” sufferers (and the interminable explosion of “nested quotes”–doesn’t anybody *edit*, anymore? The delete key is still legal to use, under the 1st Amendment rights, I think…), but it preserves the anonymity of the poor slobs who were put on the list against their wills, and who *don’t* want their private e-mail address splattered all over virtual creation!

    In Christ,

  46. Kat says:

    Fr. Z;

    In my college days I would get these things from my mother, my option was to simply respond by hitting “reply all” and responding by typing in part of a gospel in Latin and/or Greek.

  47. techno_aesthete says:

    My modus operandi when sending an e-mail message to a group of people which includes a priest or priests, I place (at least) the priests’ addresses in the Bcc: field. That way 1) their e-mail address is not publicized by me and 2) they don’t receive any “reply all” responses.

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