Quick Tech Tip: Disabling Gmail's Category Tabs

Quick Tech Tip: Disabling Gmail's Category Tabs

Are you a Gmail user? Did you wake up a week or two ago to find that your new messages were now being automatically organized by Gmail into tabs of different, pre-determined categories? And, did you think, like me, that they were really ugly, stupid, and unnecessary?  Here’s a quick tip on how to rid yourself of them!

Here's how Gmail looks now with its category tabs:

I sure didn’t ask them to create these tabs. I think they do a poor job of automatically determining what messages fall into each category. I also think they overcomplicate the task of checking for new messages. Gmail already provides the ability to create custom labels. It already provides the ability to create custom filters to automatically sort new messages into those labels. Why in the wide, wide world of sports are they inflicting these category tabs on us?  

To get rid of them, click the gear icon in the top-right above the messages section.  From the menu that appears, select Configure Inbox:  

In the window that appears, deselect all of the checkboxes next to the categories and click Save:  

Tah-dah, your inbox is back to its normal self:

Gmail wants us to know that we’ve gotten rid of the categories and gives us a note on how to re-enable them. Funny that I don’t remember a similar message on how to disable them when Gmail introduced this feature out of the blue. It’s possible I missed it, but I doubt it. Don’t you love when email providers “improve” our user experiences? Sometimes the old ways are the best!