How to Delete Labels in Gmail

Imagine spending so much time searching for a particular message in your Gmail among thousands of other messages. That sounds like a lot of stress! So how do we avoid the stress of having to search through hundreds of messages in your Gmail in search of a particular message? One of the best ways to organize messages into their various categories using Gmail's label feature.

However, figuring out a good organization method isn't always as easy as it sounds, and you may need to remove labels from your Gmail account at some point when reorganizing.

In this post, we'll go over what a label in Gmail is, some reasons why you might need to delete labels in Gmail, where to find labels in Gmail, and finally, how to delete labels in Gmail.

What is a Label in Gmail?

Inbox management is largely made possible by Gmail's Label feature, which allows you to categorize and organize emails into one or more groups. It's a helpful feature used to keep our inbox organized, tidy, and manageable.

You can use labels to organize emails in any way you want. For example, you might have labels for emails regarding your finances, work, family, school, etc.

Gmail even allows you to create nested labels. Let's say you take a lot of trips and need to organize emails by trip. In this case you could have a top level label called "Travel", and a sub-label for each trip you take. The structure might end up looking like this:

  • Travel
    • 22/07 Chicago
    • 22/03 Denver
    • 21/11 Miami

The flexibility of Gmail's labels allows you to create just about any configuration you need.

Note: Labels are similar to folders in other email clients / service providers. However, we can apply more than one label to a single message, unlike with a folder system.

Why Remove Labels from Gmail?

There are quite a few reasons why we may choose to delete a label in Gmail. Here are a few of the many reason why you may need to delete a label:

  • You made a label by mistake
  • The label hasn't been used and you don't need it
  • You no longer need the label or the emails that the label was organizing
  • Your Gmail account has far too many labels and you need to reorganize

How to Locate and Delete Labels in Gmail

Let's say you want to edit or delete a label in your Gmail. Of course, you need to locate it first. In Gmail, finding a specific label only takes a few simple steps:

  • Step 1: Click on the settings icon at the top-right side of your screen, as shown here:
Gmail settings icon
  • Step 2: Click on the "See all settings" button:
Gmail see all settings
  • Step 3: Click on the "Labels" tab at the top left of the Settings screen:
Gmail labels settings tab

After you have done that, you should see the Labels page, which contains a few different lists of labels. The first is "System labels", which contains important labels that most email clients would have, like "Inbox", "Sent", and "Trash". After that is the "Categories" labels, which has the Gmail-specific labels like "Social" and "Promotions". For both of these types of labels, you can't actually delete them. You can only hide them from your inbox view.

The next set of labels are the custom labels that you (or an app you installed) created. Scroll down past the "System labels" and "Categories" and you should see the "Labels" list, as shown in the screenshot here:

Gmail labels list

We've now discovered the labels in our Gmail account. As you can see in the image above, there is a label called "Bills". Let's try removing it.

Note: When you remove a label, it does not affect the messages attached to it. The label will just be removed from those messages.

Finally, once you have located the label that you have decided to remove, click on the "remove" action on the right side of the label, as indicated in the image below:

Gmail remove label button

Gmail will then ask you to confirm that you really want to remove the label. Assuming this wasn't an accident, click the "Delete" button:

Gmail confirm delete label

We have now successfully deleted a label in Gmail!

Conclusion

In this article, we have seen what a Gmail label is, the benefit of using labels in Gmail, why you might want to remove labels from your Gmail account, where to locate the labels in Gmail, and finally, how to actually delete labels in Gmail.

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