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An overview of Nomail for listserv.

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If you will not be reading email for a period of time, you should temporarily suspend your subscriptions to Listserv lists (especially high volume lists). For example, you might suspend your subscription(s) during holiday breaks.

What Kind of List?

  • Determine whether the list(s) you subscribe to are Listserv or some other kind of list. Listserv lists will typically be sent from an address such as listserv@somewhere (e.g., Other kinds of lists such as google groups and yahoo groups will be sent from an address including "google" or "yahoo." For lists you know aren't Listserv lists, contact the owner of those lists or go to the host web site. You can use your favorite search engine to find more information.

Suspending Subscription Temporarily

You will need to change your subscription option to "nomail."

Using the web

You can manage your Syracuse University Listserv hosted subscriptions at Listserv; choose the subscriber's corner link. You may be asked to get a password during the process.

  • If Listserv does not show the list in question, it may not be hosted locally; in that case try the email procedure.

Using email

Alternatively, you can use an email command to suspend your list postings. You will need to include a command for each of your active lists (you may send multiple commands at once).

  1. create email to 
  2. Delete the signature line if it is included automatically
  3. Include the following line in the body of the message:

         set [software011:listname] nomail (where listname is the actual name of the list.)

       For example, to set the list "clocks" to nomail, the command would be

         set clocks nomail

Do not send this message to the list address (, e.g., as this will send a message to the list!

If the list originates at a different site, use the above email procedure, but send the request to that site's Listserv address (usually of the form, listserv@some domain, e.g.,

Reactivating Subscription

When you are ready to receive mail from the lists again, repeat the process above but substituting "mail" or "digest" instead of "nomail." The difference between "mail" and "digest" is that "digest" is used to collect all postings into a single "digest" that is sent at the end of the day. Note that not all lists have digest enabled. The commands are

    set [software011:listname] mail (for example, "set clocks mail")
    set [software011:listname] digest (for example, "set clocks digest")


If you do not have access to the web, you can query your subscription status via email

  1. create email to
  2. Delete the signature line if it is included automatically.
  3. Include the following line in the body of the message:

         query [software011:listname] nomail (where listname is the actual name of the list.)

       For example, to query the list "clocks", the command would be

         query clocks

       To query the status of all your lists

         query *

If Listserv does not know about your list or otherwise rejects your commands, please contact your list owner.


List owners are responsible for all questions from list members

  • List members should contact their list owner(s) for help at <>. For example, if the listname is "clocks", send email to <>. If you need help contacting the owner, please contact the ITS Service Center by email at or by phone at 315-443-2677.
  • List owners may receive help by sending email to or contacting the ITS Service Center at 315-443-2677.

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