Somewhat recently, Gmail started automatically labeling new messages as "Social", "Promotions", "Updates", or "Forums". These labels clash with those that I already have, and Gmail isn't categorizing them right anyway. I want them gone.

Under [gear image]->Configure Inbox, I found "Select tabs to enable". I unchecked everything except for "Primary", which can't be.

Under [gear icon]->Settings->Labels (or [any message]->[label icon]->Manage labels), I can find under "Categories" the undesired labels. I toggled both columns to "hide".

Despite all this, they still appear at the bottom of the label list for each message, and Gmail still tags incoming new messages with them. To properly categorize new messages, I first need to uncheck any of these tags Gmail adds, and then add my own. After unchecking, they're still in the label list:

I want these silly things gone entirely. How can I get rid of them?


2 Answers 2


That's part of the new inbox announced 29-May.

To revert back:

Click the Gear icon and go into Settings.

On the Inbox tab, change the "Inbox type:" to be something besides the default. You probably want "Priority Inbox".

  • I was unaware of these changes. I was able to find a different configuration that was acceptable, but unfortunately the objectionable labels remain. A content-free test email was not automatically categorized. The same results occur with the "Priority Inbox".\n\nInterestingly, though the labels appear in each message's available labels, they do not appear in the list "Show all from label" when customizing the inbox on the suggested page. Thanks,
    – Ian Mallett
    Jun 14, 2013 at 3:08
  • Subsequent emails confirm that Gmail still automatically flags at least some incoming messages with these labels.
    – Ian Mallett
    Jun 14, 2013 at 3:39

A listing of other users expressing (various degrees of) outrage over the same topic can be found here. As before, the accepted solution doesn't work.

However, one person found a temporary solution using Adblock Plus (here, first message on Jun 26 (of 2013, I assume)):

It's not a problem to do this at all: go to ABP filter preferences, then select "Custom Filters" tab, then "Element Hiding Rules", then click "Add Filter". Now add following eight filters:


This seems to work for me. It's really regrettable, since the data is still there, the problem is still there, and this is really just a workaround that may break if Google changes the website's underlying code.

Still, in light of the fact that the "correct" solution to the problem doesn't seem to fix anything, there's not much else I can do. This temporary solution is permanent for me, unless Google can fix the underlying problem.

  • As this is a simple CSS override, you can do this with Stylish as well. Feb 27, 2015 at 16:13

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