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

This easy method helps you keep conversations organized

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Gmail allows you to create custom labels, which are similar in function to folders, to keep your email sorted and readily accessible. Gmail makes the process of creating, managing, and applying labels simple and intuitive. Here we explain why and how to use the drag-and-drop method to create Gmail labels.

How Labeling Can Help You

You can perform the following functions to keep your email organized:

  • Mark a message as spam: Drag your message to the Spam label.
  • Archive a message: Drag the message to the All Mail label.
  • Delete a message: Drag the unwanted message to the Trash label.
  • Mark a message as important: Drag to the Starred label (this action removes 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 (the double dotted, vertical lines).

    To move multiple messages, make sure they're all checked, then drag the handle for any selected message.

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

    If you don't see all available labels in the left panel, hover the message over the label section. Each label is highlighted as you hover the message over it. Or, 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.

Apply Custom Labels

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

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