Hiding and Showing Labels in Gmail

Reduce clutter by showing only those messages that matter

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.

How to Hide or Show Labels in Gmail

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

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

    Settings cog in Gmail
  2. Choose Settings in the drop-down menu.

    Settings option in Gmail
  3. In the Settings screen, select the Labels tab to display the Labels settings.

    Labels heading in Gmail settings
  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.

    Show and Hide tabs in Labels settings in Gmail

    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.