how to

Go Away, Nudge

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God, “nudge” sucks. Do you agree? Ugh, I hate it. The feature, rolled out during Gmail’s unfortunate summer 2018 update, periodically bumps old messages to the top of your email queue. It tells you how many days it’s been since these messages saw any activity and asks, do you want to respond?, or, do you want to follow up? It’s very bad. Again, I must say: I hate it.

The feature does two things I dislike very much. First, it momentarily tricks you into thinking that someone, either someone you’re avoiding or someone who is avoiding you, either sent a dread-inducing follow-up or responded to your original email. They did not. It is a trick.

Second, once you’ve realized it is not a new message but merely a “nudge,” it heavies your heart with anxiety about an email you know you should have responded to days ago (but to which you will likely never respond), or it reminds you that somebody is avoiding your email, and gives you the option to supply that person with a dread-inducing follow-up (a lesser badness, admittedly).

My chest has tightened with anxiety just thinking about nudge. God, I hate nudge. Others agree, as you can see:

Yes, I can see why someone would enjoy “nudge.” If you’re someone who is particularly on top of email, or someone for whom the mere idea of email doesn’t inspire nighttime tooth grinding, I can see how it would be helpful. Oh yes, I do want to bother this person again, I can see you thinking. Oops! Thank you, I should have responded to this earlier and will do so right now, is what you’re probably like. I understand this and am jealous of it but I cannot relate.

It follows with what you might have intuited about my personality that I have put off trying to fix this “nudge” problem until now. But today I fixed it.

Thank you. Here’s how to do it, in case you also hate it but haven’t tried to fix it until now, maybe because you’re so busy, and that’s also why you’re not responding to all of those emails …

It’s not hard, in case you’re wondering.

1. Go to Settings

Settings is accessed through the cog-looking button in the right-hand corner, near where it tells you that you have 40 million emails.

2. Turn Off Nudges

See, it’s not hard. You just find this insane “Nudges” section, where the nudge boxes will have been checked on your behalf, and tell it: oh my God, no, of course I don’t want “nudges,” jesus christ!!!!!

And now you did it. See? Who said you were lazy about email?

Here’s How to Turn Off Gmail’s Terrible ‘Nudge’ Feature