In my Gmail account I notice that when I go to different labels in my account some of my mail will be in multiple folders. For instance I have a folder where all of my poetry is. Then say I have another folder for job info. I'll delete the job info because I'm finished with it, but I noticed my poetry is in that folder too. So if I delete that job info I will delete my poetry too. Why is my mail showing in multiple folders?


Gmail's labels act like "tags" on a blog post. Any individual email message can have multiple labels, and thus appear under multiple mail listings. These same labels can be used like folders but depending on how you assign/file the email messages, they may or may not be reassigned to just one label.

This PCWorld article summarizes with screenshots how the "move to folder" and "assign label" icons treat the selected messages.

  • Based on the description you've provided, I'd suggest "moving" the messages you want to keep out of the label you're looking to delete. You can test with just on message and see what active labels are applied to it after the move.
  • Alternatively, you could also remove the label association from the messages in bulk. Go to your "job info" folder, bulk select the messages within it that should be under "poetry" (and possibly other labels), click the labels icon in the toolbar and unselect "job info", then click apply. Gmail toolbar
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