OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) introduces the ability to swipe left on conversations in Mail.app in order to send them to trash:


However, judging from the available settings, it does not seem to be possible to make the swipe action "Archive" instead of "Trash", as it works on iOS.

Is there any way to change the action from "Trash" to "Archive"?

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  • OS X mail has an archive feature for a long time - probably before gmail was implemented. Also, users of bo have struggled with the "all mail" concept for over a decade too. Which of the two archive actions do you wish to see? Isn't this something you can control on the gmail settings side (the archive action instead of the delete/move)? – bmike Aug 18 '15 at 11:42
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    OS X's mail archive feature came out years after gmail. Why did you think it pre-dated it? – Glyph Oct 1 '15 at 23:24

Open Mail > Preferences > Viewing and change "Swipe Left To" from Trash to Archive (5th line down).

For macOS Sierra, its a little different. enter image description here

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    Sadly I wish I had the option to Archive, swipe right, and delete, swipe left. I mark as unread far less often :\ – dstarh Oct 2 '15 at 15:20

This functionality does exist. Please see Mail > Preferences > Viewing > "Swipe Left to:"

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An alternative solution is to use BetterTouchTool and setup a gesture to map to a keyboard shortcut key that I setup in OS X settings in keyboard mappings. Quite a complicated process, but works quite well.

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  • It was my understanding that with the beta software, (aside from just pointing out bugs to them) that letting them know what users like or don't like is part of why they release it early. So, if there are a lot of people communicating this need it seems like they will likely modify this feature. I wasn't aware that what is not now included in El Capitan i something Apple "just won't consider". I hope not. I've noticed, just from a general perspective using Yosemite, that there are a lot of features I wish OS X lacks that iOS has. – gracey209 Aug 17 '15 at 23:48
  • SteveMac: welcome on AskDifferent. Please take some time to read the FAQ and notice why and how this is different from a discussion group. I advise you to improve your answer toward an answer. – dan Aug 18 '15 at 6:56
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    I see this post as a clear answer - just one I don't agree with. Archive means something totally different on OS X mail. Changing the label is clearly possible, but I don't think it's correct for Apple to implement as a standard. But that's just one person's opinion. Thanks for offering your opinion as well as a workaround. Could you describe the keyboard shortcut you designed to "gmail archive" a message by editing your post? – bmike Aug 18 '15 at 11:45

THERE IS A FIX IN THE GM - Change Trash to Archive!!! hard to find.... here are the instructions http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/el-capitan-beta-using-mail-gestures

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    While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. – Tetsujin Sep 12 '15 at 11:05
  • Thanks for the answer, it works. Please try to reformat the answer to include the instructions from the article and be a bit more objective, and I'll mark it as the accepted answer. – Gabriele Cirulli Sep 27 '15 at 10:57

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