Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren

Tip: Change swipe behavior in El Capitan Mail (partially)

Note: This story has not been updated for several years.

Mail takes a page from its iOS counterpart in OS X El Capitan by adding swipe gestures using the trackpad. You can swipe left on a Mail message to trash it, or right to mark it as read. Some folks might find that handy, especially if they’ve built up muscle memory using Mail on iOS.

If you’re an archiver rather than a trasher, Mail’s got you covered. Open up Mail > Preferences > Viewing and change the Swipe Left behavior to Archive instead of Trash.

Swipe Left

Sadly, however, for those of us who prefer using the Swipe Right behavior for flagging rather than marking read status–which is possible in iOS–there is not equivalent preference option in El Capitan’s Mail, which means we’ll still be using keyboard shortcuts or menu bar icons like animals.

[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Mastodon at or reach him by email at His latest novel, the supernatural detective story All Souls Lost, is now available for pre-order.]

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