How to Hide / Remove Gmail Label Folders using IMAP and Outlook 2007 / 2010

IMAP and Outlook could be the best way to read emails as they synchronize. You change anything in Outlook, which gets reflected on your Gmail account or vice versa. I started using Outlook 2007 and Gmail IMAP service about two days back. The most irritating part I found was All the labels also get listed along with the default folders of Gmail ( Inbox, sent, etc.).

Now in case you have a lot of labels, the folder list on the left navigation panel becomes too long. I don’t search labels all the time, even if they are listed there; it’s useless for me. So this is what I did to remove, or you can say hide, those Labels to show in my Outlook 2007.

  • Tools -> Account Settings -> (your Gmail account) -> Change -> More Settings -> Advanced
  • Set Root Folder Path to “[Gmail]” without the quotes.
  • If you are set to work offline,  get online first and then right-click on Gmail Folder.
  • Click on Update IMAP folders.
  • Now you will see that the list of folders gets reduced to All Mail, Inbox, Starred, Inbox, i.e., only standard Gmail Folders.

Here is an example of my Gmail accounts, one with and one without root folder settings. This way, I can remove the Gmail labels from the Outlook folder list. However, if you want labels, there is one drawback: they won’t appear. I am working on this, so I can only see particular folders.


  1. To get around this, I just make all my labels “sublabels”. Just insert a forward slash / (with some consistent character in front) and when the sync occurs Outlook interprets the labels are being folders beneath the / and name.

    Is that confusing? Just call your labels “A/John”, “A/Sally” and so on. In Outlook John and Sally will be folders nested below “A”.

  2. This is great info. I was pulling my hair out because the starred items were showing 3 times in my outlook task list. Unflagging 1 removed the star but didn’t remove the rest from the list either. As soon as I made the change mentioned above it was working as I wanted it too.


  3. The question I have relates to GMAIL, IMAP and the display of folders. It appears that each GMAIL (or IMAP) account creates a different PST file.

    I would like the GMAIL accounts all to use the same PST file.
    Is this possible and if so does anyone know how to do it???

    Thanks a mint


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