Drag and Drop inside Mail.app

I am a compulsive email archivist, and have a complex web of folder on my IMAP server where I squirrel away almost anything remotely of interest. As a result I do a lot of dragging-and-dropping inside the Mail.app application that I use to read my email most of the time.

What happens half the time I do this is that instead of dragging-and-dropping the message I’m clicking on, the application goes into “select multiple messages” mode, and I get frustrated.

This morning, however, I discovered the secret for avoiding this: click and hold on the messages you want to drag and drop. After a moment the message highlighting will change, signaling “drag-ready” status.  At that point you’re good to go.

Not ready for drag and drop:

NOT ready for drag and drop...

Ready for drag and drop:

Ready for drag and drop...

Maybe everyone else has always known about this, but I didn’t, and coming to realize it has made my emailing much less frustrating.


Jeff Smith's picture
Jeff Smith on September 18, 2009 - 18:30 Permalink

I’ve run into that frustration a lot myself and have grown to rely on the “right click > Move To” command for moving around mail.

Daley's picture
Daley on September 27, 2009 - 16:52 Permalink

I have been having this frustration more since I installed Snow Leopard, glad to see there is a simple solution.

Steve Nelson's picture
Steve Nelson on October 5, 2009 - 22:26 Permalink

Same here. What a horrible user interface faux pas on Apple’s part. I can’t imagine this having gone through any sort of user testing. Thanks for the update.

Salim Qadri's picture
Salim Qadri on November 10, 2009 - 15:44 Permalink

Sigh, thank you. I couldn’t drag and drop for the life of me after the upgrade and couldn’t figure out why. Stupid Apple.