How to Add an "Archive" Keyboard Shortcut to Mac OS X Mail

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Most people delete more email than they archive, and these deletions are easily effected through the use of the delete key. Archiving email in Mac OS X Mail requires the mouse, by default. However, if you prefer to move mail with a handy keyboard shortcut, you can add one to OS X Mail for the Archive button and move mail to your archiving folder almost as fast and naturally as you move it to the trash.

Add an "Archive" Keyboard Shortcut to Mac OS X Mail

To set up a keyboard shortcut for moving mail to the "Archive" in Mac OS X Mail:

  • Select Apple | System Preferences… from the menu.
  • Open the Keyboard category under Hardware.
  • Go to the Keyboard Shortcuts tab.
  • Select the Application Shortcuts category.
  • Click +.
  • Select Mail under Application:.
  • Type "Archive" (not including the quotation marks) under Menu Title:.
  • Click in the Keyboard Shortcut: field.
  • Press the key combination you'd like to use for archiving.
    • You can use Command-Control-A, Command-Shift-O, Command-Down Arrow, Command-Option-M or Command-Control-S, for example.
  • Click Add.
  • Close the Keyboard preferences.


If one of your folders is called "Archive" and you have made it a favorite, the keyboard shortcut will apply to this folder instead. It should still work, provided you use the "Archive" folder for archiving.