How to Delete an Individual Email Message in Gmail

Removing one message from a conversation

Gmail thinks in conversations. This feature 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?

How to Delete One Email From a Thread Gmail

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

  1. Open the conversation that contains the message you want to delete.

    A Gmail conversation
  2. Expand the desired message if you cannot yet see it.

  3. Select the down (More) arrow next to the Reply button in the message's title bar. If you see no Reply and no arrow, select More Options.

    Gmail with the More Options menu button highlighted
  4. Select Delete this message from the menu that comes up.

    Gmail with the Delete this Message command highlighted

Restore a Deleted Message From a Thread

If you inadvertently delete the wrong message from a conversation, you can restore an email to a thread.

  1. Open the conversation from which you deleted an email.

  2. Scroll to the bottom of the thread and look for a link that says 1 deleted message in this conversation. Select View Message.

    Gmail with the View Message option highlighted
  3. Select Restore Message.

    Gmail with the Restore Message command highlighted
  4. The message will be restored to the conversation.