How to Use Drag-and-Drop to Label Messages in Gmail

This easy method helps you keep conversations organized

Colorful Adhesive Bookmarks

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Gmail includes many useful features. For example, you easily can create custom labels, which are similar in function to folders, to help keep your email sorted and readily accessible. Gmail makes the process of creating, managing, and applying labels simple and intuitive. By dragging and dropping, you can:

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

Move a Message to a Label

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

  1. Open Gmail and go to your Inbox or another view.

  2. Hover over the message you want to move. To the left of the message, select the handle (double dotted, vertical lines).

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

    Gmail inbox with message handle highlighted
  3. Drag the message into the left rail, and place it on top of the desired label.

    You may not see all available labels in the left rail, but when you hover the message over the label section, more appear. Each label is highlighted as you hover the message over it. You can also select More to see additional options.

    Gmail inbox with a message dragging to a label
  4. When the message is over the desired label and the label is highlighted, release the handle.

Applying Custom Labels

You can use the same method as above for applying a custom label to a Gmail message. Just make sure the label is visible in the left rail before you move the message. If the label isn't visible, select More to find it.

When you move your messages to anywhere but Trash, they still appear in All mail.