So you want to remove a sitemap from the Google search console (GSC) and have no idea how?
Well, I got you covered! Let’s first take a look at some reasons why you might want to remove a sitemap and of course the steps you need to take to do it.
You should also know that you can either manually remove it from GSC, or alternatively, you can also just remove it from your website. Then Google can just see it as not found and will eventually stop coming to crawl it.
Either option will bring the same results.
Reasons To Remove A Sitemap
Before I share how to remove a sitemap, I want to make sure you know why you’re doing it as this can have a big effect on your overall website health. Below are some reasons a website owner may want to remove their sitemaps that are valid reasons and make sense.
- Change In Website Protocol. If you only recently changed your website from HTTP to HTTPS, then you will need to update your sitemap to reflect this change. You should delete your old sitemap and replace it with a new one that reflects the change of URL structure to HTTPS.
- Incorrect Sitemap Filename. Maybe you originally entered the wrong sitemap name and you realize it is incorrect and not being crawled.
- SEO Plugin change. Each SEO plugin for WordPress may use different sitemap filenames. If you change your plugin you may need to add a new filename – therefore removing the need for the old one.
- CMS change. If you move from WordPress to Wix, or Squarespace to WordPress – your sitemaps will be very different and most likely require a change in files.
Steps To Remove Sitemap From GSC
To remove your sitemaps, you need to first make sure you are logged in to your Google Search Console account. Then you will do take the following steps:
STEP 1 > Go to INDEX > SITEMAPS. Once you are here you should see a list of all of your submitted sitemaps like the below image shows. You can see I have 3 sitemaps for my website.
STEP 2 > Click the sitemap you want to remove. Be careful here! Double-check the sitemap file name to make sure you are selecting the right one. Once you select the sitemap you will be taken to a page that shows when your sitemap has been read and whether it was processed successfully.
In the upper right, you will see three vertical dots, when you click on those you will see the Remove Sitemap button. Click that button, confirm your decision in the popup box and your sitemap will be removed.
You can now resubmit a new sitemap if you need to! If you removed it for some of the reasons above and want to have Google still understand how to crawl your website – then go ahead and resubmit a new sitemap file.
If you just wanted it gone for other reasons, then there is nothing else you need to do. Keep in mind, if pages are indexed from that sitemap, they do not just fall right off. Any indexed pages may or may not be removed over time.
Removing a sitemap does not prevent Google from crawling pages on your website or indexing those pages.
If there are pages that are indexed that you would also like removed from the search results, that will require another step.