Apple Mail: Keyboard shortcut to move to folder?

Is there a keyboard shortcut to move a message to a folder in Apple Mail? This makes Outlook very usable. Would be great if AM had the same.

Natively, you can add a folder to the favorites bar and move by pressing ⌘ ⌃ 1 - 9 (according to the position of your favorite folder on such bar).

If you want to take it further (such as using more than the available numbered slots on Mail favorites), then you will have to look into something like Keyboard Maestro conflict palettes (as @MacSparky suggested in a recent webinar). If you want to go this way, then this can help you implement it.


You can do this if you use the Favorites Bar. Add the folder in question to the Favorites Bar, then count from left to right to determine its position. Let’s say it’s the third folder from the left in your Favorites Bar. When you select a message and hit Control-Command-3, Mail will move that message to that folder.

I’ve been doing this for so long I had forgotten how it worked. I’m usually moving messages to the second folder in my Favorites Bar with Control-Command-2, but I had to check the Keyboard Preferences and Keyboard Maestro to see if I had created any special shortcuts to make it happen like it does. I hadn’t. It’s just based on the position of the folder in the Favorites Bar.

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I dont know if MsgFiler still works, but I think it was really useful for that same purpose.

Also, I believe this to be a glaring omission on Apple’s part.

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I spent some time looking into Alfred Workflows and created this one. Hope someone else can benefit or improve on it!


Moves currently selected message in to a folder selected via Alfred interface.


With a selected message in Mail:

  1. Press ⌃M (default shortcut) or invoke Alfred and type sort
  2. Type the name of the folder (or part of it) until you see the desired folder selected
  3. Hit return/enter

How does it work

  1. Uses AppleScript to enumerate folder names for the selected account and feed a Script Filter on the Alfred Workflow;
  2. Selecting the desired folder will feed the next action with the name of such folder;
  3. A seccond AppleScript will use the name of the folder to select the corresponding “Move to…” item in menubar.

I’ve had the same question as I consider moving across to Mail.

I’ve been using Fastmail (via browser) and the ‘move to folder’ keyboard shortcuts are excellent.

I’ve been trying to replicate in Mail but doesn’t seem to exist.

What did you end up doing @Mantooth?

Stuck with Outlook for work purposes.