How to Remove Gmail Tabs

Gmail Tabs

Gmail is Keeping Tabs on You!

Hi everyone!

If you’re a Gmail user or if you have a mailing list, then the likelihood is that you’re aware of the recent changes that Google has implemented to Gmail. If not, then I shall give a brief synopsis:

I’m sure that you, like me, have been used to a standard, set way of accessing your e-mail – having your inbox usually on the left of the screen with other folders such as draft, trash or custom folders beneath it.

Well Google has decided that, if you use Gmail, you need your inbox splitting into tabs. What this means now is that, instead of all your unfiltered mail just going straight into your inbox, it’s now separated into separate tabs, being filtered by Google as to what tab it thinks the e-mails should be assigned to.

This has thrown many users into a tizzy, especially Internet Marketers, as not only are the majority of people perfectly happy with the way their e-mail displays and is organised but Marketers are worried that their e-mails may end up being missed through being placed in a tab and the e-mails under that tab being ignored or just missed. In short, Gmail tabs are proving to be very unpopular with many people!

The Solution

However, you need not fret as it is not the end of the world. In fact, it is a very quick and easy process to change things back to how they were before. So if you’re worried about missing an important e-mail or you just don’t want things changed, check out my quick video guide as to how to change it back:

No Need to Panic About Gmail Tabs!

Now, if you have a mailing list and you’re worried that some of your Gmail based subscribers may miss out on some of your e-mails, I would suggest going into your autoresponder, selecting all your Gmail subscribers and sending them a brief e-mail asking them to either ensure that your mails are delivered to a place where they won’t miss them or to change their inbox settings as shown in this video. Perhaps you could share this video with them for the benefit of those who don’t already know how to do it.

Not everyone will take any notice but in those cases, I wouldn’t worry. Anyone who values you and your e-mails will either already be taking steps to ensure that they don’t miss anything or if they don’t know how to make the necessary changes then they will be happy to hear from you when you offer assistance.

I hope this has been of benefit to you. Don’t forget to tell Mr. Einstein what you thought of this info and let me know what your thoughts are about these Gmail changes.

Talk soon 🙂

P. S. Don’t forget to subscribe to be among the first to know when my very first e-book is available! 🙂


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30 thoughts on “How to Remove Gmail Tabs”

  1. Hi Glenn,

    This is my first visit and landed here through Adrienne’s website. That means people do visit through blog referrals 🙂

    I remember writing a blog post as soon as Gmail introduced these annoying email tabs and my recommendation was (and of course that is what I did for myself) to remove all the tabs and go back to how my Gmail looked prior to this new release by Google.

    Things are back to normal and many of my friends did the same thing.
    Kumar Gauraw recently posted…8 Characteristics Of Average PeopleMy Profile

    1. Hi Kumar,

      Welcome to my blog and thanks so much for dropping by. You’re absolutely correct, people do visit through blog referrals. In fact, the majority of my visitors get here that way.

      Thanks so much for your comment, I appreciate it very much. Please stop by any time 🙂

      Kind regards,
      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…Get My Brand New, Free E-Book!My Profile

    1. Hey James,

      If you don’t want the tabs of have any need for them, I wouldn’t worry. If you want the tabs but don’t have them then I’d suggest clicking on your “Settings” cog, selecting “Settings” from the drop-down menu, clicking on the “Inbox” tab and then putting a check mark by which categories you want to be displayed. This should then give you the tabs. If you don’t actually have that option then I would guess that maybe, for some reason, Google hasn’t rolled out the update to your account yet.

      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…Get My Brand New, Free E-Book!My Profile

  2. Hi Glenn

    Thanks for a great tutorial. I am like some of the others though and like the tabs. It enables me to deal with “like” at one time.

    I know a lot of Internet marketers have been freaking out about it but I think it is okay.

    I am not sure how they sort though as I get a whole heap of good emails in promotions and then what I could class as junk goes into primary. I should spend the time to go through the process to change them.

    Thanks Glenn

    Sue Price recently posted…The Law of Attraction – Fact or Fiction?My Profile

    1. Hi Sue,

      What you said here is the key point for me: “I am not sure how they sort though as I get a whole heap of good emails in promotions and then what I could class as junk goes into primary. I should spend the time to go through the process to change them.”

      The tab system is designed, supposedly, to make things easier. However it clearly doesn’t work perfectly and so the end-user has to spend time sorting e-mails into the correct places whereas without the tabs they usually go where we want them without all that messing about, especially if we have filters set up.

      If some people like it and make use of it then that’s fantastic. I’m just glad that we have the option to use it or not, unlike Google’s usual policy of ‘We know better, so hard luck’.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and giving your input, Sue.

      Kind regards,
      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…Are You Consistently Consistent?My Profile

  3. Hi Glenn
    I really appreciate your professional approach on G mail. These are pieces of very useful information that will be of great use for me in future.

  4. Another huge lover of the tabs. I only wish that I could re-name them. They are pretty accurate, and when they are not I can quickly create a filter to change it.

    I do have a fair few amount of filters already. I think the tabs makes organising my email much easier. Very happy for the change. Internet Marketers, I think, are just panicing for no reason at all. If anything, now I am more likely to actually read a promotional type email – where as before I would be more likely to delete it just to get it out of my way.

    Did that say 649 emails? With 325 unread? I am the complete opposite. I love to clear out my inbox down to 0. I don’t do it every day, but a couple of times a week my inbox is at 0. It feels good, other wise it feels like I have a weight hanging over me.
    Carlie Hamilton recently posted…A-Z of Growing Your Business Online – FocusMy Profile

    1. Hi Carlie,

      As time goes on and I read more and more opinions about the tabs it does seem like a Marmite kind of scenario – people seem to either love the tabs or hate them!

      Yes, this e-mail account does need a bit of a clearout. The unread mails are mainly just alerts and updates that I don’t need to read and because I use a third-party piece of software to monitor all my e-mail accounts at once it makes it easy to just deal with the e-mails that I need to. Another reason why the tabs are redundant for me.

      Having said that, I do keep my POP3 e-mail nice and clear as this is my personal e-mail and I like to keep on top of it.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, Carlie.

      Kind regards,
      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…Five Tips for Taking ActionMy Profile

    1. Hi Ansh,

      Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts. The camp does appear to be pretty divided between those who love the tabs, those who hate them and those who don’t really care. I’ve noticed a few products appearing on the market that claim to be able to ensure that mailings land in the Primary tab, so the changes have certainly been of benefit to some Marketers already!

      I’m just glad that we actually have the choice this time, in contrast to the way Google usually does things!

      Kind regards,
      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…What is Your “Because”? Eliminate Your ObstaclesMy Profile

  5. Wadud Peterson

    Hi Glenn,

    I see there are mixed feelings about the new Gmail options.

    I actually reset my tabs a few days after the initial Gmail change. I don’t think it’s that difficult of an adjustment, I just find it easier to sift through my emails on my own.

    I am happy that Gmail was at least nice enough to give the option of resetting to the original platform.

    Thanks Glenn
    Always a pleasure

    Wadud Peterson

  6. Hi Glenn,

    Great tutorial, thanks for sharing!

    I’m not a huge fan of the tabs, I disabled them pretty quickly, mainly because the emails kept going under wrong tabs completely. It’s a bit besides the point if non-promotional email is still going under the Promotions tab and vice versa. I could have of course taught gmail where each email should go by dragging and dropping, but I just disabled the tabs altogether and I’m happy 🙂


    Laura Raisanen recently posted…List Building Tip #4My Profile

    1. Hi Laura,

      I think that it’s the misplacement of e-mails that’s making some Marketers nervous. For me as a user, I just don’t see the point of having to tell Gmail where to put the e-mails it’s misplaced when I already have filters in place to automatically put the things I want separated into designated folders. At the end of the day I just think the tabs are an unnecessary clutter, just another example of Google’s unneeded tinkering.

      Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts 🙂

      Kind regards,
      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…What is Your “Because”? Eliminate Your ObstaclesMy Profile

  7. Nice tutorial Glen !
    I wondered how could i remove the new Gmail Tabs until i discovered this post … thanks for sharing this useful tutorial mate .


    1. Hi Pramod,

      You’re quite welcome, my friend 🙂 I realised that there are a lot of people who have been unsettled by the new tabs so I thought that it would be useful to show people how to change back if they want to. I’m glad that you found this helpful.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment.

      Kind regards,
      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…You Have the Knowledge!My Profile

  8. Scott Craighead

    I don’t mind the new tabs so much. Really it helps me filter there all the madness. It used to drive me nuts with all those social media notifcations. I know I could have shut em off but I didn’t want to. – Scott Craighead

    1. Hi Scott,

      I think it’s one of those areas where people are loving or hating them. Some people are confused, some are panicking, some think they’re wonderful. Personally, I just think they’re unnecessary and do a job that I already do myself and have complete control over. Whichever way, it’s nice to know how to change them back but even nicer that Google has (uncharacteristically) given the option to do so!

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving your input.

      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…What is Your “Because”? Eliminate Your ObstaclesMy Profile

  9. Hi Glen,

    Great post, detailing how to re-set our emails to the original settings.

    Personally I quite like the new settings as I now find the inbox is for emails to deal with ASAP, whilst the Social and Promotions can be dealt with after I’ve completed my days work.

    I do find they some times land in the wrong section so I’m pleased you mentioned the drag and drop, as that’ll come in very handy.

    I loved the video and thought the intro is brilliant. I’ve just been over and subscribed to your YouTube channel 🙂

    Thanks Glen, have a great weekend mate.
    Barry Wells recently posted…Is This The Most Important Factor Of Working OnlineMy Profile

    1. Hi Barry,

      Thanks for visiting and commenting, my friend 🙂

      I don’t like the new settings because I just find them superfluous to my needs. I already have filters in place that put things where I want them and I have much more confidence in my ability to redirect e-mails exactly where I want them than I do in Google’s 😉

      I’m glad you enjoyed the video and found something useful in it. I’m glad you enjoyed the intro too 😉

      Thanks for subscribing over on YouTube, yes I spotted that you’d subscribed. There isn’t too much there at the moment but I’m intending to explore using video a lot more in the months ahead so no doubt there’ll be more on there soon.

      Thanks again,
      Glenn 🙂
      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…Are You Consistently Consistent?My Profile

  10. I actually like them Glenn and I’m really good about checking all my email. The stuff that goes into spam usually is spam with an occasional email that has slipped through the cracks. But I get a lot of social emails so I actually like having those separate.

    The promotional ones, not sure how Google figured those out because none that have shown up in that box are promotional but I don’t mind it because like I said, I check them all so nothing falls through the cracks with me.

    Thanks for sharing this though, I felt there was a way to change the back if we wanted to. Now I know for sure.

    Adrienne recently posted…Behind The Scenes Of My Hosting Service FiascoMy Profile

    1. Hi Adrienne,

      Yes, it’s good that there’s a way to change things back, which I found to be a pleasant surprise considering Google’s track record! I think that the main issue with the whole thing is just that people aren’t well enough informed about it which, again looking at their track record, is typical of Google. Hopefully my post and the many others that are popping up on various blogs will help fill in the gaps.

      Stephen Washer from has published an excellent video on the subject which can be seen via his blog here.

      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…Consistency is Key & the Golden RuleMy Profile

  11. hi Glenn,

    I have a thank you note that reads on the “thank you” page once leads subscribe via my AWeber form on the site… to check their email/spam folder, and also a video with instructions for Gmail users on how to ensure my emails arrive in their inbox.

    I;m not too worried about this update from Google, as with anything new, people will get used to it, and there are enough solutions to overcome any challenge, isn’t it?


    1. Hi John,

      Absolutely, I really don’t think that it’s a real issue. I think the biggest problem has been that, typical of Google, the changes were just implemented without sufficient information being provided and many people are assuming, again typically of Google, that they’re stuck with them.

      However, untypically of Google, the changes can actually be removed so there’s really no cause for concern for Gmail users. And for the Marketers who are worried about their e-mails, well if they’re connecting with their subscribers in the right way already then I don’t see why there should be an issue.

      As you say, there are enough solutions to overcome any challenge.

      Thanks so much for your contribution, you’re welcome any time 🙂

      Kind regards,
      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…Your Business Needs YOU!My Profile

  12. Hi Glenn,

    Actually I don’t mind the new tabs either. In fact I think it’s quite handy to have the emails separated even though they may be going into the wrong tab.

    If any of your emails are going to the wrong tab it’s easy enough to move them to the Primary tab. Gmail will remember your preference if you move an email to a different tab.

    I can see why it has internet marketers worried though. And your idea of emailing your subscribers with gmail addresses is excllent provided of course they see it!

    Hope you are enjoying the hot weather.

    Sandy Halliday recently posted…How to Get Email Subscribers with Viral ReportsMy Profile

    1. Hey Sandy,

      lol you’re right, e-mailing your subscribers with Gmail addresses is only good if they see it! But not all accounts have been affected yet and failing that, if they’re following us on social media or via our blog then there are other ways to let them know.

      I can see what the point of the tabs is but personally, if I want something filtered then I will do it, I don’t want Google trying to guess where something should be.

      But at the end of the day, it’s good to have options and to be able to customise things to our satisfaction. I really think people are panicking unnecessarily and don’t envision it having too much of an impact, certainly not to the apocalyptic proportions that many are claiming.

      Yes, I’ve been enjoying the rare summer that we’ve been having. But guess what? I’m ill AGAIN! 🙁 So I’m currently not able to fully enjoy the sunshine and get out and about as I’d like. I’ve honestly lost count of how many colds and viruses I’ve had within the last 6 months, it’s ridiculous.

      I hope you’re enjoying the weather too. Perhaps a reminder of Spain, although I imagine it’s more humid here?

      Thanks for your support as always, Sandy, and congratulations again on your recent sale. Onwards and upwards! 🙂

      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…Five Tips for Taking ActionMy Profile

  13. Hi Glen,

    Great article. I panicked when I fist saw the tabs. I got used to them now and actually I like them. It is amazing to see how many promotions I get. But, having them separated from my primary it is much easier to sort through them. I actually open some promotions but most of them go straight to the garbage.

    As well, having the social tab makes it much easier to keep up with my social requirements.

    I can see though that many of the promotions only marketers will lose a good chunk of their business. Do I feel sorry for them. No.

    Take care,

    Dita from Blogging Spree recently posted…What Is Blog Or Website Heat Map And Why Should You CareMy Profile

    1. Hi Dita,

      You’re honestly the first person I’ve come across who likes the tab system! But the key point with this change is that Google has given us the option to have the tabs or not. It would have been nice to have been properly informed by them, but at least the option is there to choose, which hasn’t been the case with Google in recent times.

      I definitely don’t think that the introduction of these tabs is the world-ending scenario that many are making it out to be. If Marketers find that their promotions are getting lumped in with the trash then perhaps that should tell them something about their promotions…

      If Marketers have a good relationship with their list then they shouldn’t worry about their e-mails being opened, I don’t think that tabs are going to make a difference one way or another.

      Thanks for your contribution, Dita, always appreciated 🙂

      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…Triberr for Beginners – Finding Tribes & SharingMy Profile

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