I'm using Mac Lion Mail app with Gmail IMAP and when I drag and drop or command-click to move messages from my Inbox to a folder called Personal, it appears to work in Mail. But when I look at Gmail, the message remains in Inbox. Instead of actually moving the message, it simply gives it the label, Personal.

In Gmail, I never label anything, I always move messages to various folders and I want to mimic this behaviour in Mail app. How can I do this?

2 Answers 2


Gmail has a guide on how actions on IMAP clients correspond to Gmail actions. In order to remove items from your inbox in Gmail, you will need to delete them from your inbox in Mail.app -- this will "archive" the message in Gmail rather than moving it to the trash. The trouble with this is that emails that you move to a folder in Mail.app probably won't show up in your Mail.app inbox until you refresh it, so it may take a few steps to move and archive a message. Unfortunately, Gmail behaves so differently from normal mail services that using it with a standard IMAP client tends to be a pain. However, the reference in the link above should help you figure out which actions in Mail.app correspond to various Gmail actions.

  • Thanks for the link and explaining it in depth. I just tried what you said, re-synced several times, but the message doesn't re-appear in inbox.
    – abc123
    Commented Jan 11, 2013 at 14:49

I find that clicking on the folder you just moved messages to in Mail will then remove them from the Inbox. Its weird, its as if the re-downloading of the message in the folder you moved them to, kicks off the actual move in Gmail.

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