The best practice using Google Apps mail is to use search to find any archived mail inside your system. Just as you would Google for information on the internet, your email becomes a repository for quick access.
As part of transitioning from email client environments which do not readily support this paradigm, you may still use a folder structure. In Google Apps, these are called Labels. Multiple labels can be applied to an email. It is merely a way of filtering emails based on a tag.
To hide or remove these labels, simply do the following:
- Go to the Settings menu.
- Select the tab for Labels and remove any unwanted Labels.
Only Labels which have zero emails attached can be deleted. Ensure that any remaining emails in a Label are unlabeled in order to delete the Label altogether. This will help clean up your Labels.