Catalina Quick Tip: How to Block, Mute and Unsubscribe from Email

The Mail app in macOS Catalina has been updated to allow you to easily block and unsubscribe to emails. It can block all email from specified senders and move their messages directly to the trash. 

When you block mail from a specific sender, those emails will be automatically moved into the trash. I’ve found this to be a great time-saver in my never-ending battle with phishing and spam.

Just click the sender’s name in any email header and then click Block. Boom! They’re blocked

Screenshot of "Block Contact" menu item in macOS Catalina

Apple has built a new unsubscribe button in Mail that will appear above the email header from commercial list senders. Clicking the new link will send a request to have your email address unsubscribed from the list. This means you’ll no longer have to search through an email to find the “unsubscribe” link. Whoo hoo!

Screenshot of "Unsubscribe" button in macOS Catalina

macOS Catalina Mail also lets you “mute” an email thread that’s gotten out of hand.  This allows you to mute that email thread, which will stop any future incoming notifications from chiming your device.

Screenshot of "Mute" menu item in macOS Catalina

Click on an email in your inbox. Then go to the Mail menu bar and select Message. You’ll see various options, including “Mute.”

Update: All the features I described in this article worked in at least one beta I used, but the feature in question seems to have disappeared in the final version of Catalina. Apple’s tech support has offered no good solution/answer so far.


  • the block function as YOU know doe’s not work.
    nor doe’s the option to mute not working.
    i spend all my time trying to get rid of all this garbage.
    i must get 500 a day anymore.

  • It worked in at least one beta I used, but the feature seemed to have disappeared in the final version of Catalina. Apple’s tech support has offered no good solution/answer so far.

  • I blocked an e-mail sender (Levi’s) and received another e-mail from them with the red “blocked” symbol. Right-clicking resulted in an option to “unblock” the sender!

    • My UNANSWERED question remains: “Is ANYONE using this new feature successfully?”

      Apple Level 2 tech “Ray” completely abandoned me after saying he would get back to me after “a couple days,” two weeks ago…, but I’ve yet to hear of even one person who is using this feature with success.

      Is ANYONE using this new feature successfully?

      And if the bitter irony of it never working is that it “might” be actually sending LEGIT email that I’ve not tagged in any way, to the trash. If this feature ever works, I hope Apple will allow us to edit the addresses in the blocked file as I’d prefer to block and trash an entire domain.

      I’ve posted a detailed query on Apple’s Community Boards which seem to be filled to the brim with responders who appear to be more concerned with upping their ratings whist providing no help whatsoever. This is probably the 3rd time in a year I’ve posted about a software issue where no one, of any caliber, has responded with a solution. The fact that they’re posting so much often makes it look as if the problem has been solved, and so no one else posts. What the heck happened to those boards? Is it just me, or has the quality of expertise there experienced a serious drop?

      Is ANYONE using this new feature successfully?


  • That’s great – new features. But how do we restore usable functions like Column views and accurate (mail) searches?

  • Let me check into this further. As best I can tell, it’s working on macOS Catalina Mail on my iMac just fine — as it was with the last few beta versions. But perhaps sometime went awry between the last beta and the first official version.

    • Yeah, I can’t seem to get it to move anything to the Trash, which is the whole point. If yours is working, I’d love to see the exact settings that have made it work.

      I get horrible SPAM from only 3 or 4 sources, all conspiracy-laden, crazy far-Right stuff that I’m assuming someone who didn’t like my political views signed me up for. I’ve phoned and written to Apple about it for a few years now to no avail. This feature would remove 95% of that pain IF it would WORK!

      Love to know if it’s working for you.


  • Has sorting been improved in Catalina Mail? Current sorting only sorts messages. Mailboxes must be sorted manually by dragging a new mailbox to where you want it. It would be very helpful if mailboxes could be sorted from the “on my mac” or individual mailbox/sub mailbox level by right clicking on the level you want to sort from and then choosing the sort criteria from a menu. Same comment applies to sorting Safari bookmarks.

  • Well, I was initially thrilled to read this here. But it’s still not moving things to Trash. The only thing that has changed is that the messages in the Junk mailbox now have red hands on them.

    Any thoughts on that?

    If it doesn’t move the message to the trash, it’s of no use.

    I cannot see any other configurations to tick and “Move it to the Trash” is definitely selected for this major spammer I cannot get rid of called TheDailyGrind.

    Suggestions appreciated.

    • Has anyone gotten this new feature to work?

      I’m surprised Dennis Sellers has not responded.

      It seriously does not automatically move anything to the trash on my system.


      • Apple still says that when you block mail from a specific sender, those emails will be automatically moved into the trash. Apple also notes that you can edit this quickly enough by clicking on the mail sender’s name in any email header (similar to how it works in Messages).

        However, the feature, which worked okay in a beta version of macOS Catalina, does seem to be undependable in the “finished” version. Sometimes it works for me as intended; sometimes it doesn’t. I’ll see if I can get an answer from Apple and share it.

        • Thanks, Dennis. I fully understand the function and how it is supposed to work. It’s not complicated, it just has NEVER worked, even for one email, EVER.

          The Level 2 tech I spoke to Monday didn’t even know about the new feature, and was completely useless in trying to figure any solutions out, but said he would call back in a couple days, which he has not.

          If you’re witnessing any “undependable” actions in the finished, non-Beta version, I woudl think Apple would know about it, but maybe they’ve gone silent as per their wont. All too often they will not admit there is a problem until they have a reliable fix for it. The latest update to Catalina yesterday, was NOT that fix, sadly…

          I would deeply appreciate anything you can learn from Apple about this as my efforts have not produced anything as of yet. I dropped Larry a line and asked if you’d email me directly if you prefer not to blog about it, but either way, I’d really like to know if this feature will ever automatically work.

          Very much obliged,