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How to remove a sitemap from Google Search Console

An XML sitemap is a list of all of the pages on your website that search engines like Google should crawl and index. From time to time, you may need to remove a sitemap from Google Search Console (GSC). In this blog post, we’ll show you how.

Why and when you should remove an XML sitemap from Google

There are a variety of reasons why you might want to remove an XML sitemap from Google Search Console:

  • You went secure with https
  • The WordPress SEO plugin was changed
  • Your HTML website was transitioned to a CMS
  • A CMS switch took place
  • You submitted the wrong sitemap URL to Google Search Console
  • You submitted a sitemap on the non-canonical domain in Google Search Console
  • The sitemap URL changed
  • etc.

Whatever the case may be, sometimes you need to remove a sitemap from Google Search Console, and here’s why: Google Search Console doesn’t let you change the sitemap URL, only remove and replace. If you’re in one of the scenarios mentioned above, you’ll need to remove the sitemap, and after, add the new sitemap. With that, let’s move on to the steps on removing an XML sitemap from Google Search Console.

How to remove XML sitemaps from Google Search Console

To remove one or more sitemaps from GSC, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Google Search Console.
  2. From the left menu, select Sitemaps. Sitemaps will populate under the Submitted sitemaps.
    Sitemaps section in Google Search Console

    Click on the image above to access a high-resolution picture.

  3. Select the sitemap you want to remove.
  4. In the upper right, select the more options icon (the icon with the three vertical dots).
  5. Select Remove sitemap.
    Remove sitemap option in Google Search Console

If you need to add a new sitemap, find those steps here.

Wrap up

Make sure Googlebot is crawling and indexing the right pages on your website by removing old or outdated sitemaps. This is a best practice that can help your website SEO.

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Josh Gellock

Josh is the SEO and Content Strategist at Expander Digital, an SEO studio he founded in 2014. He's been in the SEO space for over seven years and helps businesses drive website traffic from organic search. When he’s not meeting with clients, you can find Josh spending time with his children or on a bike.

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