How can I move a set of messages from a Gmail search result window into the Primary tab? Moving them into another tab is possible via labels, but Priamry or Inbox aren't available labels. Is there another way to do it?

Edit: dragging and dropping them into Inbox doesn't work, it tags them as Inbox, but none of them are categorised as Primary.

2 Answers 2


"Primary" just means it's not in one of the other tabs.

After you've checked the messages you want to move, open the Labels menu. Make sure that the pseudo-labels for the inbox tabs (i.e., "Social", "Promotions", "Updates", "Forums") are not checked and Apply the change. (If some messages are in a label and others aren't there'll be a – in the checkbox. Be sure to clear that.)

If necessary you can use the Move to Inbox button (if available) to make sure the messages are in the Inbox. (You may need to re-select your messages.)

Note that this (probably) won't train Google which messages should be auto-sorted to those tabs. To do that you need to drag-and-drop between the tabs. (A pain in the neck if, like me, you're far from accomplishing "Inbox Zero".)


If you want to train Gmail to send related messages to the primary vs other inbox tabs (e.g. promotions, forums, etc.):

  1. Search for the sender that you want to go to primary tab and make a note of the tab to which the email is being sent and the date of the most recent email sent by the sender
  2. Return to your inbox, select the relevant tab, then scroll down until you locate the relevant date and message
  3. Because you are now in inbox mode (vs search) all tabs should be visible at the top and you can select and manually move the message to the primary tab. A gmail message should pop-up asking if you want all mail from that sender to go to primary and you can select 'yes'

Hope this helps. Not being able to move the messages found via search was making me crazy.

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