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

Read your Gmail messages faster with keyboard shortcuts

Image of hands moving quickly over a keyboard.

Tor Lindqvist / Getty Images.

Gmail supports keyboard shortcuts to help you read and manage your messages fast and efficiently. Learn how to use both the message toolbar and keyboard shortcuts in Gmail to go to the next or previous message.

Instructions in this article apply to the web versions of Gmail and the Gmail mobile app for iOS and Android.

How to Enable Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts

To use Gmail shortcuts, you must first enable them in the Settings menu.

  1. Select the gear in the upper-right corner of Gmail, and then select Settings from the drop-down menu.

    Select the gear in the upper-right corner of Gmail, and then select Settings from the drop-down menu.
  2. Scroll down to the Keyboard shortcuts section and select Keyboard shortcuts on.

    Scroll down to the Keyboard shortcuts section and select Keyboard shortcuts on.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select Save Changes.

    Scroll to the bottom of the page and select Save Changes.

How to Go to the Next or Previous Message in Gmail

To jump to the next or previous message while viewing an email:

  • Press j to go to the next (older) message, or select > beside the gear.
  • Press k to go to the previous (newer) message, or select < beside the gear.
Press j or k to switch between messages, or select > or < beside the gear.

How to 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, then press Enter to open it.
  • Press k to move the cursor up to the previous (newer) message in the list, then press Enter to open it.

If you are at the top or bottom of the list for the current page, pressing j or k will not advance the cursor any further; you must use the toolbar to go to the next or previous page.

How to Go to the Next or Previous Message in Gmail Basic HTML

Keyboard shortcuts do not work in Gmail Basic (simple HTML), so you must use the toolbar to browse your messages. While viewing an email:

  • Select Older in the top-right corner of the message window to go to the next (older) message.
  • Select Newer in the top-right corner of the message window to go to the previous (newer) message.
Select Newer or Older to switch between messages in Gmail Basic.

Go to the Next or Previous Message in Gmail Mobile

To navigate between emails quickly while viewing messages in the Gmail app or a mobile web browser:

  • Swipe left over the email to go to the next (older) message.
  • Swipe right over the email to go to the previous (older) message.