Use Drag-and-Drop to Label Messages in Gmail

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Among Gmail's many advantages is its flexibility and ease of use. For example, you easily can create custom labels—which are similar in function to folders—to help keep your email sorted and easily accessible. Gmail makes creating, managing, and applying these labels very simple and intuitive.

Drag and Drop: The Power of the Mouse

To move an email to a label (and remove the message from the current view) in Gmail:

  1. Click the handle (a double-dotted, vertical line) just to the left of the message you want to move.

  2. To move multiple messages, make sure they are all checked, then grab any selected message's handle.

  3. Hold the mouse button while dragging the message to the desired label.

  4. If the label to which you want to move is not visible, point to the More link below the label list until all labels appear.

  5. Release the mouse button.

By dragging and dropping, you can:

  • Mark a message as spam: Drag it to the Spam label.
  • Archive it: Drag to the All mail label.
  • Delete it: Drag to the Trash label.
  • Star it: Drag to the Starred label (keeping in mind this will remove the message from the current view).

Applying Custom Labels

To apply any custom label to a message in Gmail by dragging and dropping:

  1. Make sure the desired label is visible in the label list on the left side of the screen. If you cannot see the desired label, click More below the label list first.

  2. Drag and drop the message onto the label.

  3. Note that you can drag and drop only custom labels, not system labels such as Starred and Inbox.

  4. Let go of the mouse button.

Remember: Wherever you move your messages (to anywhere but Trash), they'll still appear in All mail.