The Complete Apple Mail Keyboard Shortcut List

How to use the quickest way to access many of Mail's features

The Ultimate Guide to Keyboard Shortcuts
The Ultimate Guide to Keyboard Shortcuts
Introduction

Apple Mail is likely one of the apps you spend a lot of time using. While Mail is easy to use with most commands available from the menus, there are times when you can increase your productivity by using keyboard shortcuts to speed things up a bit.

These keyboard shortcuts apply to Mail version 14, which ships with macOS Big Sur (11) and earlier versions of the application through Mail version 8, which is included with OS X Yosemite (10.10). Most of these shortcuts work in earlier versions of Mail.

keyboard and iMac mouse

StockSnap / Pixabay

Apple Mail Keyboard Shortcuts Organized by Menu Item

You may want to print this keyboard shortcut list to use as a cheat sheet until the most common shortcuts become second nature. You need to familiarize yourself with the modifier keys and their symbols used in the shortcuts. They are:

  • ⌘ is the Command key.
  • ⌥ represents the Option key (also called Alt).
  • ⌃ is the Control key.
  • ⇧ symbol is the Shift key,
  • ⌫ is the Delete key
  • ⎋ is the Escape key.
  • fn represents the Function key.

Mail Menu

Use Mail menu shortcuts to open Mail preferences, hide Mail and others, quit Mail, and quit Mail while keeping current windows.

Keys Description
⌘ , Open Mail preferences
⌘ H Hide Mail
⌥ ⌘ H Hide others
⌘ Q Quit Mail
⌥ ⌘ Q Quit Mail and keep current windows

File Menu

File menu shortcuts bring up a new message or viewer window, open a selected message, close a window or all Mail windows, save as, and print.

Keys Description
⌘ N New message
⌥ ⌘ N New Viewer window
⌘ O Open selected message
⌘ W Close window
⌥ ⌘ W Close all Mail windows
⇧ ⌘ S Save As… (saves currently selected message)
⌘ P Print

Edit Menu

Edit menu shortcuts include actions to undo and redo, select all, delete a selected message, paste as a quotation and add a link. Shortcuts are also available for finding next and previous, starting dictation, and other editing actions.

Keys Description
⌘ U Undo
⇧ ⌘ U Redo
⌫ ⌘ Delete selected message
⌘ A Select all
⌥ ⎋ Complete (current word being typed)
⇧ ⌘ V Paste as quotation
⌥ ⇧ ⌘ V Paste and match style
⌥⌘ I Append selected message
⌘ K Add link
⌥ ⌘ F Mailbox search
⌘ F Find
⌘ G Find next
⇧ ⌘ G Find previous
⌘ E Use selection for find
⌘ J Jump to selection
⌘ : Show spelling and grammar
⌘ ; Check document now
fn fn Start dictation
⌃ ⌘ Space Special characters

View Menu

View menu shortcuts include jumping to the Bcc and Reply-to address fields, viewing all headers and raw source, hiding the mailbox list and favorites bar, showing deleted messages, and entering full screen.

Keys Description
⌥ ⌘ B Bcc address field
⌥ ⌘ R Reply–to address field
⇧ ⌘ H All headers
⌥ ⌘ U Raw source
⇧ ⌘ M Hide mailbox list
⌘ L Show deleted messages
⌥ ⇧ ⌘ H Hide favorites bar
⌃ ⌘ F Enter full screen

Mailbox Menu

Mailbox menu shortcuts include getting all new mail, erasing deleted items for all accounts, and erasing junk mail. Use shortcuts to jump to the inbox, VIPs, drafts, sent, or flagged mail. Shortcuts can also move mail to the inbox, VIPs, drafts, sent, or flagged mailboxes.

Keys Description
⇧ ⌘ N Get all new mail
⇧ ⌘ ⌫ Erase deleted items in all accounts
⌥ ⌘ J Erase Junk Mail
⌘ 1 Go to inbox
⌘ 2 Go to VIPs
⌘ 3 Go to drafts
⌘ 4 Go to sent
⌘ 5 Go to flagged
⌃ 1 Move to inbox
⌃ 2 Move to VIPs
⌃ 3 Move to drafts
⌃ 4 Move to sent
⌃ 5 Move to flagged

Message Menu

Use Message menu shortcuts to reply, reply all, forward or redirect mail. Shortcuts include marking as read, unread, archive, or junk mail and applying rules or sending an email again.

Keys Description
⇧ ⌘ D Send again
⌘ R Reply
⇧ ⌘ R Reply all
⇧ ⌘ F Forward
⇧ ⌘ E Redirect
⇧ ⌘ U Mark as unread
⇧ ⌘ U Mark as junk mail
⇧ ⌘ L Flag as read
⌃ ⌘ A Archive
⌥ ⌘ L Apply rules

Format Menu

Format menu shortcuts include options to apply bold, italic, and underline, show fonts or colors, make type bigger or smaller, change the alignment, increase and decrease quote levels, and convert to rich text.

Keys Description
⌘ T Show fonts
⇧ ⌘ C Show colors
⌘ B Style bold
⌘ I Style italic
⌘ U Style underline
⌘ + Bigger
⌘ - Smaller
⌥ ⌘ C Copy style
⌥ ⌘ V Paste style
⌘ { Align left
⌘ | Align center
⌘ } Align right
⌘ ] Increase indentation
⌘ [ Decrease indentation
⌘ ' Quote level increase
⌥ ⌘ ' Quote level decrease
⇧ ⌘ T Make rich text

Window Menu

Use Window menu shortcuts to minimize a window, bring up the message viewer, or view activity.

Keys Description
⌘ M Minimize
⌘ O Message viewer
⌥ ⌘ O Activity

Create Custom Keyboard Shortcuts

Even though the list of shortcuts in Mail is extensive, not every menu item in Mail has a keyboard shortcut assigned to it. Moving your cursor to find frequently used menu items can be irksome, especially when you're doing it all day, every day. Instead of using the mouse for these tasks, add custom keyboard shortcuts for any menu item on your Mac.

To create a custom keyboard shortcut for Mail:

  1. Go to System Preferences by selecting it from the Apple menu or clicking its icon on the Dock.

    Apple menu with System Preferences highlighted
  2. Select Keyboard.

    Mac System Preferences with Keyboard highlighted
  3. Choose the Shortcuts tab.

    Mac Keyboard preferences with Shortcuts tab highlighted
  4. Select App Shortcuts in the left panel and select the Add button.

    App Shortcuts selected in Mac Keyboard preferences
  5. Select Mail in the drop-down menu next to Application.

    Mail selected in Application drop-down menu
  6. In the Menu Title field, type the menu command for which you are creating a shortcut, exactly as it happens in the app, including the > character.

    Menu Title field of App Shortcuts pane
  7. In the Keyboard Shortcut field, press the key combination you want to use as your shortcut and select Add. The combination must not be in use elsewhere.

    Keyboard Shortcut field in Mac Keyboard preferences
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