How to Delete an Individual Email Message in Gmail

Removing one message from a conversation

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?

How to Delete One Email from a Thread Gmail

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

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

    Screenshot of 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.

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

    Screenshot of 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. View message or delete forever. Select View Message.

    A screenshot of Gmail with the View Message option highlighted
  3. Select Restore Message.

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