How to delete or reorder a label for Azure Information Protection

Applies to: Azure Information Protection

Relevant for: Azure Information Protection classic client for Windows. For the unified labeling client, see Learn about sensitivity labels from the Microsoft 365 documentation.


To provide a unified and streamlined customer experience, the Azure Information Protection classic client and Label Management in the Azure Portal are deprecated as of March 31, 2021. While the classic client continues to work as configured, no further support is provided, and maintenance versions will no longer be released for the classic client.

The content in this article is provided to support customers with extended support only. We recommend that you migrate to unified labeling and upgrade to the unified labeling client. Learn more in our recent deprecation blog.

You can delete or reorder the Azure Information Protection labels that users see in their Office applications by selecting these actions for the labels.

Delete or reorder labels in the Azure Information Protection policy

When you delete a label that has been applied to documents and emails, users see Not set for the label status when these documents and emails are next opened by the Azure Information Protection client. However, the label information remains in the metadata and it can still be read by services that look for this label information.

In addition, if the deleted label applied protection, that protection is not removed. The protection settings from the label remain and display in the Protection templates section. This template can now be converted to a new label. While this template remains, you cannot create a new label with the same name as the label that you deleted. If you want to do that, you have the following options:

  • Convert the template to a label.

    This action is recommended because if required, you can then change the name of the template and modify the protection settings.

  • Use PowerShell to rename the template or delete it.

    Before you do these actions, consider whether other admins or services are using the template, or have used it in the past. You can identify the template by its template ID that doesn't change, or its name (which can be changed). As a best practice, delete a template only if you are sure that users will not have to open documents or emails that were protected by the template.

For more information about managing protection templates, see Configuring and managing templates for Azure Information Protection.

Before you delete a label, instead, consider disabling it or removing it from the policy:

  • When you disable a label that has been applied to documents and emails, the applied label is not removed from these documents and emails. The label remains in the policy but no longer displays as a label that users can select on the Information Protection bar. Disabling a label lets you keep the original configuration for when you might want users in the same policy to select the label at a later time, when you simply re-enable the label.

  • When you remove a label from a policy, the applied label is also not removed from these documents and emails. But when you remove the label from the policy, it becomes available for you to add this label to another policy. For more information, see Add or remove a label to or from an Azure Information Protection policy.

Order the labels so that users see them in a logical progression in the Information Protection bar. For example, order the labels in increasing sensitivity so that users see the least sensitive label first and the most sensitive label last. The default policy uses this configuration and reflects the increasing sensitivity in the label names.


If you configure conditions for your labels that might apply to more than one label, you must order the labels from least sensitive to most sensitive. This ordering ensures that the most sensitive label is applied when the conditions are evaluated.

Use the following instructions to make these changes.

  1. If you haven't already done so, open a new browser window and sign in to the Azure portal. Then navigate to the Azure Information Protection pane.

    For example, in the search box for resources, services, and docs: Start typing Information and select Azure Information Protection.

  2. From the Classifications > Labels menu option: On the Azure Information Protection - Labels pane, do one or more of the following actions:

    • To delete a label: Right-click or select the context menu (...) for the label that you want to delete, click Delete this label, and click OK to confirm.

    • To disable a label: Select the label that you want to disable. On the Label pane, for Enabled, select Off, and then click Save.

    • To reorder a label: Right-click or select the context menu (...) for the label that you want to reorder, click Move up or Move down until the label is in the order that you want.

Next steps

For more information about configuring your Azure Information Protection policy, use the links in the Configuring your organization's policy section.