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I have imported old emails from Outlook backups in my Gmail account and I ended up with 1000+ labels in my system. Is there an easy massive way to remove them and keep only ~10 my usual ones?

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migrated from superuser.com Jan 13 '11 at 14:04

This question came from our site for computer enthusiasts and power users.

You can do only one-by-one as GMail doesn't offer bulk operations with labels. – dnbrv Apr 9 '12 at 17:46

Not with stock Gmail. There may be a userscript out there to allow you to do that, but I wasn't able to find one with a cursory search.

Another option might be to use an IMAP client, such as Thunderbird. Thunderbird maps pretty well its folders to Gmail labels. You might be able to bulk delete within Thunderbird and have the labels magically disappear. I admittedly haven't tried it (don't have T-bird in the office) and you should be careful that it doesn't end up deleting messages too.

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  • Click remove
  • Press Shift + Tab
  • Press Space
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it is possible to remove or hide labels in gmail by changing the view from HTML view to classic view. Go into settings, scroll down to labels. You can then choose which to remove or hide using check boxes. Nested labels are removed on bulk by selecting the top of the tree. Then revert

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Actually - there is a way. Labels are attached to contacts, so by replacing your contacts, you can remove labels.

Its a little complicated, but here's how:

  1. Export all your contacts.

  2. In the CSV file, delete the column 'Group Membership" (note, this is a way to get rid of all labels, if you want to get rid of just some, just clear the field in the column Group Membership for all labels you want removed)

  3. Delete all your contacts. Yes, this is scary, but you just exported them all. Make sure to check your export file before you do this, and see if you see your contacts. To delete all your contacts at once, choose the 'more' dropdown under the contacts interface, and restore to a date before you opened your Gmail account.

  4. Now to re-import - Once that column "Group Membership" is removed ( or cleared for the labels you want gone ), re import your contacts. All the labels that do not exist in the CSV will be removed from your Gmail interface!


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Labels don't have anything to do with contacts. Labels are applied to messages. Contacts are in Groups. – Al E. Mar 1 at 18:59

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