How to Move Email Messages Quickly in Outlook

Move messages to folders and organize your Outlook email

How to move email messages quickly in Outlook

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Keep your messages organized by moving them around, from one ​Outlook folder to another. Create new Outlook folders for different types or categories of email. Then, move messages to these folders to keep your email organized. Outlook offers more than one way to file email messages in folders; pick the one that’s right for you.

Instructions in this article apply to Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010; and Outlook for Office 365.

Move Email Messages Quickly in Outlook Using the Keyboard

To transfer a message with a handy keyboard shortcut:

  1. Select the message you want to move. Or, open the message in the Reading Pane or in a separate window.

  2. Press Ctrl+Shift+V.

  3. In the Move Items dialog box, press the Down key or the Up key to highlight a folder.

    Screenshot of Move Items dialog
  4. Press the Right key to expand folders and show subfolders. Press the Left key to collapse folders.

  5. Press a letter key to highlight the first visible folder that starts with that letter. For collapsed hierarchies, Outlook highlights the parent folder.

  6. When the target folder is highlighted, select OK.

Move Email Messages Quickly in Outlook Using the Ribbon

To file one email or a selection of messages quickly in Outlook using the ribbon:

  1. Select the message or messages you want to move.

    Open the email in a separate window or in the Outlook Reading Pane.

  2. Go to the Home tab.

  3. In the Move group, select Move.

    Screenshot of Move menu
  4. A list of recently used folders appears at the top of the list. If the folder you want is in this list, select it.

    If you have folders with the same name but under different accounts or if several folders in the same account have a subfolder with the same name, go to step 5 to be sure the message moves to the correct folder.

  5. To move to a specific folder in a list, select Other Folder.

    If you regularly move items to a certain folder, set up a handy shortcut for filing to it.

  6. In the Move Items dialog box, choose a folder, then select OK.

Move Email Messages Quickly in Outlook Using Drag and Drop

To move an email (or a group of emails) to a different folder using the mouse in Outlook:

  1. In the Outlook message list, highlight the email or emails you want to move.

  2. Click and hold a highlighted message.

  3. Drag the message to the desired folder.

    Screenshot of dragging email to folder
  4. If the desired folder is down the list, pause over the edge of the folder list to scroll the list.

    If the folder list is collapsed, pause over it (while holding the mouse button down) until it expands.

  5. If the desired folder is a collapsed subfolder, pause over the parent folder until it expands.

  6. When the desired folder is highlighted, release the mouse button.

  7. If you accidentally drag messages to the wrong folder, press Ctrl+Z to return the messages to the original folder.