Quickly Move Mail to Your Favorite Folders in macOS

Use the Favorites Bar in Mac Mail to Speed Up Mail Management

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 Utamaru Kido / Getty Images

The Mail app in macOS contains a sidebar that lists all the default mailboxes and folders along with all the additional mailboxes and folders you set up for use with your Mail app on your Mac. In addition to the sidebar, Mail also has a customizable Mail Favorites Bar that gives you fast access to your most-used mailboxes and folders.

Instructions in this article apply to Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10) and higher.

How to Display the Mail Favorites Bar

The Favorites Bar in the Mail application runs the width of the Mail application near the top of the screen. To enable it, choose Show Favorites Bar under the View menu in Mail.

The keyboard shortcut to show and hide the Favorites Bar is Option+Shift+Command+H.

Show Favorites Bar command in macOS Mail

By default, the first icon on the Favorites Bar is Mailboxes. Click Mailboxes to toggle the Mail sidebar open and closed.

Mailboxes option in macOS Mail

How to Add Your Most-Used Mailboxes or Folders to the Favorites Bar

To populate the Favorites Bar with your most frequently used mailboxes or folders:

  1. Open the Mail sidebar if it is closed by clicking Mailboxes on the Favorites Bar.

  2. Drag a folder to the Favorites Bar and drop it.

    Dragging a folder to the Favorites Bar
  3. An alias for the folder will appear in the Favorites Bar.

    A folder in the Favorites Bar in macOS Mail
  4. To add several folders or mailboxes to the Favorites Bar at the same time, click them while holding the Command key. Drag them all to the Favorites Bar and drop them.

Using the Favorites Bar

Drag and drop messages directly to the folders in the Favorites Bar.

With the Favorites Bar open, you can quickly go to any of your favorite or most frequently used mailboxes or folders by clicking its name. If the folder contains subfolders, click on the arrow next to the folder name in the Favorites Bar to select one of the subfolders from a drop-down menu.