How to delete old category labels from Google Groups

How to delete old category labels from Google Groups

Something that has been puzzling me for a while is how Tags and Categories labels are displayed in Google Groups. I’ve had a breakthrough today with deleting a whole stack of Category labels which were impossible to delete through the Tags menu.


You originally enabled Categories in Google Groups, but found they didn’t work for your particular community.

You switched over to Tags, and created some custom labels for the tags. But the old Category labels are present in your Tags page, and you can’t delete them.

Every time you click on the [X] button beside each Category label, then Save the page, the labels come back again.

"WTF Google", you curse.


To delete the old Category labels, you need to first delete them in the Categories menu. This is so unintuitive, and a terrible UX. The reason why it is terrible is that there are no clues that this is what you need to do. And the Google Group help gives you absolutely no clue about the correct method to use.

To delete category labels from Google Groups:

  1. Open the Google Group managment console.

  2. Open the Settings  Categories view.

  3. Delete all the old Category labels by clicking [X] beside each Category.

  4. Open the Settings  Tags view.

  5. Delete the unwanted Category labels by clicking the [X] button beside each Tag label.

Additional Info

I have to say this confused me for over half a year as to why I couldn’t go into Settings  Tags and delete the old Category labels. There was no Info message to suggest that these tags are borne from Categories and you need to go into Categories and completely delete them.

I guess you could argue that you should choose one metadata strategy and stick with it, but for my community that I manage, experimentation was the only way to determine this.

I’d suggest that Google Groups team needs to consider this particular UX issue, and work around it with some sort of alert.

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