Deselect a Message After Highlighting in Mac OS X Mail

MacBook image with mail

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It just keeps adding more. No matter whether you go up or down, Mac OS X Mail expands the list of highlighted messages.

If you've ever used the Shift key together with the arrow keys to select emails in Mac OS X Mail, you probably know the drama that invariably unfolds when you've gone one message too far.

Instinctively, you hit the opposite arrow key to deselect the superfluous message. Mac OS X Mail goes in the opposite direction — but at the very other end of your list, expanding it by yet another unwanted email.

Unfortunately, there's no easy way to fix this using the keyboard alone. Fortunately, the mouse proves really helpful.

Deselect a Message After Highlighting With the Keyboard in Mac OS X Mail

To remove a message from your selection after highlighting a range of emails using the keyboard in Mac OS X Mail:

  • Hold down the Command key.
  • Click on the message you want to remove with the mouse.

Now Continue Selecting

You can continue to expand your selection.

Keep in mind that using the arrow keys with Shift pressed will re-select the message you just removed from the selection. At the same time, using the arrow keys without Shift will lose you the entire selection.

It is probably best to continue selecting the Command key and the mouse. If you have many a message to add, see whether you can take your action in two installments. Possibly, you can also use search or smart folders to get a continuous list of messages.