How to disable new ‘Primary’, ‘Social’, and ‘Promotions’ tabs in Gmail [Guide]

Google has recently pushed out a new tabbed interface to Gmail users, with the intent of wanting to make it easier to organize inboxes (although some might allege Google’s secret intention was to show spam-like ads). If you are like me, the new tabbed interface is actually more confusing than helpful. As such, you probably want a way to be able to turn it off. If so then you are in the right place. This article shows you how to disable, turn off, and remove the new ‘Primary’, ‘Social’, and ‘Promotions’ tabs in Gmail.

HOW TO DISABLE, TURN OFF, AND REMOVE NEW ‘PRIMARY’, ‘SOCIAL’, and ‘PROMOTIONS’ TABS IN GMAIL

To disable, turn off, and remove the new ‘Primary’, ‘Social’, and ‘Promotions’ tabs in Gmail, do the following:

  • Go to http://gmail.com.
  • Login with your username and password, if you are not logged in already.
  • Once you are at your inbox, click on the gear icon near the top-right corner and then click on ‘Configure inbox':

2013-07-23_062131

  • Now you should see a ‘Select tabs to enable’ popup. In that popup, uncheck the boxes next to ‘Social’ and ‘Promotions'; take note you will not be able to uncheck the box next to ‘Primary’ and you don’t need to uncheck it to disable the tabs:

2013-07-23_062251

  • Now hit ‘Save':

2013-07-23_062420

  • Done! There should no longer be any ‘Primary’, ‘Social’, and ‘Promotions’ tabs in your Gmail inbox.

Enjoy!

Share this post

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

29 comments

  1. chuck

    This has been done. Gmail still sends emails to the Socail, Promotions, Updates and Forums. They are unchecked and saved. How do I remove them completely so Gmail will not keep on sending my email to these tabs. I DO NOT WANT THESE TABS AND GMAIL IS FORCING ME TO USE THEM. EMAILS CONTINUE TO SHOW UP IN THESE TABS:

  2. Melinda S Long

    I have unchecked the social and promotional tabs on my gmail, but now all messages: social, promotional and personal are showing on the list of messages to open. I only have the personal icon checked. Please help me.

  3. andy

    [@stephen]
    Reposting to ensure you see this
    @stephen @jay On your tablet or phone, you have to view the gmail.com site in your browser in desktop view or desktop mode. In that view, you can then tap the gear, and inbox settings, and set them the way you want them. Once you do that, the options will appear in your mobile app’s settings.

  4. andy

    @stephen @jay On your tablet or phone, you have to view the gmail.com site in your browser in desktop view or desktop mode. In that view, you can then tap the gear, and inbox settings, and set them the way you want them. Once you do that, the options will appear in your mobile app’s settings.

  5. stephen

    I’m having the same problem as Jay. There are only two options when you try to use your mobile phone’s browser to configure the inbox: “Mobile Signature” and “Vacation Responder”. Please help, this is so frustrating.

  6. chaturbate hack

    Wow that was odd. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit
    my comment didn’t show up. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.

    Anyway, just wanted to say fantastic blog!

  7. Jay

    I do not have configure under the gear. Only two options, mobile signature and vacation responder. That’s it. So how do you turn off the social bullshit that constantly has update crap in it?

  8. Sergey

    This only seems to disable them on the web interface. These new inboxes still show up in the Android GMail App and half of my incoming mail is now hidden in there. Google seems to love screwing up User Interfaces.

  9. Jim-1

    I get way too much promotional stuff from “sale of the day” type sites. If I did not prune that stuff out, it would accumulate to become a problem, and having it routed to the promotional tab would be helpful. However, I always open and then delete those messages, so that is not a problem for me. Having to click the tabs to see the messages was a nuisance, so I quickly disabled that feature.

  10. JT

    I guess we have a choice, either keep the tabs, and Google sends ads to our promotions tab, or do away with the tabs, and google puts the ad bar back in it’s place. I’m sticking with the ad bar for now. I’ll forget it’s there again eventually….

  11. KMHamm

    I don’t have much of a problem with this – there’s a box on each tab to let me know how many new messages in each category I have, and that’s useful. What would have been nice is to be able to create a few tabs and save specific types of messages to them. It’s possible to do that to various folders, but tabs would have been more convenient for the stuff I use every day.