How to Go to the Next or Previous Message Quickly in Gmail

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You will not see this button in Gmail, and you do not need it to go to the next or previous message. StockUnlimited

Using clever keyboard shortcuts, you can open the next and previous emails quickly in Gmail.

One Email After the Other

If you read your emails in Gmail, do you read one message, and then the next, and then the next again?

Because this is almost a tautology and so natural, Gmail makes going from one message to the next particularly easy. Sure, you can use the ‹ Newer and Older › links found on the navigation bars when you open a message in Gmail.

But you can even more elegantly and efficiently employ the keyboard.

Go to the Next or Previous Message Quickly in Gmail

To jump to the next or previous message quickly in Gmail:

  • Make sure Gmail keyboard shortcuts are enabled.
  • Press j to go to the next (older) message while viewing an email.
    • You can also click the Older button (>) in the toolbar.
  • Press k to go to the previous (newer) email with a message open.
    • You can also click the Newer button (<) in the toolbar.

If you press k while reading the newest message (or j while reading the oldest message), Gmail will take you back to the view from which you started.

Scroll the Message List Cursor in Gmail

The same keyboard shortcuts also work for the email selection cursor in any message list in Gmail:

  • Press j to move the cursor down to the next (older) message in the list.
    • if you are at the bottom of the list or the current page, pressing j will not advance the cursor any further; you have to go to the next page using the Older button.
  • Press k to move the cursor up to the previous (newer) email in the list.
    • If you are at the top of the message list or the current page, pressing k will not move the cursor any further; you can go to any previous page using the Newer button.

Go to the Next or Previous Message Quickly in Gmail Basic's Simple HTML

To open the next or previous email in the list in Gmail Basic (simple HTML):

  • To open the next (older) email:
    • Follow the Older › link.
  • To open the previous (more recent) email:
    • Follow the ‹ Newer link.

Go to the Next or Previous Message Quickly in Gmail mobile

To navigate between emails easily in Gmail mobile (in the Android and iOS apps as well as Gmail in a mobile browser):

  • Open an email or conversation.
  • To go to the next (older) message or conversation:
    • Swipe left over the email.
  • To go to the previous (newer) email or thread:
    • Swipe right over the message you are viewing.

(Updated August 2016, tested with Gmail and Gmail Basic HTML in a desktop browser as well as Gmail mobile in iOS Safari and the Gmail iOS app)

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