How to Hide and Show Labels in Gmail

Reduce clutter by showing only those messages that matter

What to Know

  • Select the gear icon > See All Settings > Labels.
  • Choose Show or Hide next to each label.

This article explains how to hide and show labels in Gmail.

How to Hide or Show Labels in Gmail

In Gmail, every label has its use and function, but there's no need to see labels you rarely use. Hiding labels is a simple matter in Gmail, as is restoring them when you want to see them again.

Use the Labels settings menu to show or hide relevant labels:

  1. Open Gmail in a browser window and select the Settings gear in the upper-right corner of the screen.

    The Gmail inbox with the Settings gear icon highlighted
  2. Choose See all settings.

    The Gmail settings menu with See all settings highlighted
  3. Select the Labels tab to display the Labels settings.

    The Gmail settings window with the Labels tab highlighted
  4. Select show or hide for each label in the list. The Settings screen lists all labels. The first group contains system labels. The second group contains categories—the tabs many people see along the top row of the inbox. The third group contains your custom labels.

    The Gmail labels settings window

    Use this shortcut link while logged in to Gmail to go directly to the Labels settings screen.

  5. Close the Settings screen when you're done. All changes you make take effect immediately, so there's no need to save or confirm your updates.

The changes you make govern your entire Gmail account, but if you access Gmail through an IMAP-enabled mail program, your label settings won't govern which folders (labels) you see in the mail client. In the Settings screen, control which labels appear as folders in IMAP by selecting show in IMAP. This setting complements but isn't the same as hiding labels within Gmail.

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