How to Disable Inbox Tabs in Gmail

Organize your messages in a way that makes sense to you

What to Know

  • Go to Settings > See all settings > Inbox. In the Categories section, uncheck the tabs you don't want to see.
  • Select Save Changes when you're done customizing your tabs.
  • Gmail tab categories include Social, Promotions, Updates, Forums, and Primary.

Gmail uses category tabs to organize your inbox into various types of messages. Depending on how you like to use email, these tabs may be convenient or annoying. If you find them more distracting than helpful, get rid of them. If you do so, all messages previously found only within tabs appear in your general Inbox.

Disable Inbox Tabs in Gmail

Follow these steps to turn off tabs in your Gmail inbox and see all messages in one list:

  1. Open your Gmail inbox. In the upper-right corner, select Settings (gear) icon.

    Gmail inbox screen with Settings (gear icon) highlighted
  2. Select See all settings.

    Gmail settings with "See all settings" highlighted
  3. Select the Inbox tab.

    Gmail settings with the Inbox tab highlighted
  4. Next to Categories, deselect (uncheck) the tabs you don't want to see.

    Gmail Inbox settings with category tab options highlighted
  5. Scroll down and select Save Changes.

    Gmail Inbox settings with "Save Changes" highlighted
  6. Gmail takes a few moments to refresh your Inbox. After it does, the tabs you disabled are removed, and their contents appear in your Primary tab.

Types of Inbox Tabs

Gmail uses the following types of inbox tabs:

  • Social: Messages from social media such as Facebook, YouTube, and Google.
  • Updates: New things happening with your accounts, plus responses to Google Docs shares.
  • Promotions: Offers from companies you do business with.
  • Forums: Updates from forums you participate in.
  • Primary: A combination of all types of messages.
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