How to Delete an Individual Email Message in Gmail

Removing one message from a conversation

Gmail logo
Courtesy of Google

Gmail thinks in conversations. This is great as it lets you see each message in its context with precursors and follow-ups. This is also great as it lets you trash entire conversations with but a click (on the Delete icon).

Delete the Message, Keep the Conversation

Sometimes, however, deleting entire conversations in one swoop may not be what you want. What if there's a particular message that is really not worthy of belonging to that conversation? What if Gmail has lumped together messages that don't go together well, some of them ripe for deletion?

Delete an Individual Email Message in Gmail

To delete just one message (even from a conversation) in Gmail:

  • Open the conversation that contains the message you want to delete.
  • Expand the desired message if you cannot yet see it.
  • Click the down (More) arrow next to the reply button in the message's title bar.
    • If you see no Reply and no arrow, click More Options.
  • Select Delete this message from the menu that comes up.