Email like a boss with Gmail keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are a little-known but extremely useful feature of Gmail that will help you tame your email workflow. Master the shortcuts for your most common actions and get started on your quest for inbox zero.

Full list of Gmail keyboard shortcuts

Activating shortcuts

Some of the most useful shortcuts are turned off by default and need to be activated.

  1. Click the gear in the top right and select Settings.
  2. Find the "Keyboard shortcuts" section and select Keyboard shortcuts on.
  3. Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.

Shortcut highlights

Shortcut Key Definition Action
c Compose Allows you to compose a new message. Shift + c allows you to compose a message in a new window.
d Compose in a new tab Opens a compose window in a new tab.
/ Search Puts your cursor in the search box.
k Move to newer conversation Opens or moves your cursor to a more recent conversation. You can hitEnter to expand a conversation.
j Move to older conversation Opens or moves your cursor to the next oldest conversation. You can hitEnter to expand a conversation.
n Newer message In 'Conversation view', moves your cursor to the newer message. You can hit Enter to expand or collapse a message.
p Previous message In 'Conversation view', moves your cursor to the older message. You can hitEnter to expand or collapse a message.
` Go to next inbox section If you use an inbox style with tabs or sections, you can quickly navigate to the next section.
~ Go to previous inbox section If you use an inbox style with tabs or sections, you can quickly navigate to the previous section.
o or Enter Open Opens your conversation. Also expands or collapses a message if you are in 'Conversation View.'
u Return to conversation list Refreshes your page and returns you to the inbox, or list of conversations.
e Archive Archive your conversation from any view.
m Mute Archives the conversation, and all future messages skip the Inbox unless sent or cc'd directly to you. Learn more.
x Select conversation Automatically checks and selects a conversation so that you can archive, apply a label, or choose an action from the drop-down menu to apply to that conversation.
s Star a message or conversation Adds or removes a star to a message or conversation. Stars allow you to give a message or conversation a special status.
+ Mark as important Helps Gmail learn what's important to you by marking misclassified messages. (Specific to Priority Inbox)
- Mark as unimportant Helps Gmail learn what's not important to you by marking misclassified messages. (Specific to Priority Inbox)
! Report spam Marks a message as spam and removes it from your conversation list.
r Reply Replies to the message sender. Shift + r allows you to reply to a message in a new window. (Only applicable in 'Conversation View.')
a Reply all Replies to all message recipients. Shift + a allows you to reply to all message recipients in a new window. (Only applicable in 'Conversation View.')
f Forward Forwards a message. Shift + f allows you to forward a message in a new window. (Only applicable in 'Conversation View.')
Esc Escape from input field Removes the cursor from your current input field.
Ctrl + s
Mac: + s
Save draft Saves the current text as a draft when composing a message. Hold the Ctrl/⌘ key while pressing s and make sure your cursor is in one of the text fields -- either the composition pane, or any of the To, CC, BCC, or Subject fields -- when using this shortcut.
# Delete Moves the conversation to Trash.
l Label Opens the Labels menu to label a conversation.
v Move to Moves the conversation from the inbox to a different label, Spam or Trash.
Shift + i Mark as read Marks your message as 'read' and skip to a newer message.
Shift + u Mark as unread Marks your message as 'unread' so you can go back to it later.
[ Removes from current view and previous Removes the current view's label from your conversation and moves to the older one.
] Removes from current view and next Removes the current view's label from your conversation and moves to the newer one.
{ Archive and previous Archives the current conversation and moves to the older one.
} Archive and next Archives the current conversation and moves to the next one.
Shift + n Update current conversation Updates your current conversation when there are new messages.
q Move cursor to chat search Moves your cursor directly to the chat search box.
z Undo Reverses your previous action, if possible (works for actions with an 'undo' link)

 


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