Deleting One Message in a Conversation

Dear Computer Lady,

I think I’m correct in saying that if you delete a sent message in gmail, you also delete the entire conversation that that particular message relates to.

In other words any replies or forwards deleted will delete the entire conversations.


Dear Dustyrider,

You make an excellent point, and one that I wouldn’t have thought to mention.

There are actually two ways to delete a message in Gmail. One deletes the entire conversation, and the other only deletes a single message. Let’s take a look.

When you send emails back and forth with one person, Gmail groups them together into something they call a “Conversation”.

When you click on this conversation, the emails are all together, one on top of the other.

If you click the “Delete” icon above the conversation, you will delete all the emails in that conversation.

If you only want to delete a specific message in that conversation, click on that one message.

Look in the upper-right corner of the message, you will see the date of the message, followed by an arrow (which is a shortcut to reply to that message) and then a drop down list (the icon is just a small triangle).

Click on that triangle, and a list of available commands will appear, one of those commands is “Delete this message”. Click on this command, and only the current message will be deleted.



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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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    • dustyrider
    • February 12, 2013

    Dear Computer Lady,
    You are absolutely correct, but my comment was referring to an article of yours about deleting messages from the “sent mail” folder of gmail on Feb.2,2013. If you try to delete an individual or multiple messages from this folder a screen pops up & asks if you want to send the entire conversation to the trash including your “sent message”. The only choices are OK and Cancel.

    • jerseyhiker
    • August 2, 2013

    My problem is that the sent mail box stays that way forever regardless of whether you label it for filing. that is, if you send a message and then label it for filing, it still stays in the sent mail box forever. is there any way to delete it from the sent mail without deleting it from the place it is stored?

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