How to Define Your Own Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts

Hands on keyboard

Getty Images/Blend Images - JGI/Jamie Grill 

If you're a Gmail user, you probably find yourself repeating the same tasks over and over. Built right into your Gmail account, however, is a feature many users don't know is there: keyboard shortcuts. You can accomplish many tasks with just the push of a key, and the list of them is very long. 

Despite how comprehensive that list is, you still might want to do a few things your own way, as quickly as possible. Again, Gmail comes to the rescue: You can create your own keyboard shortcuts for the way ​you work.

Define Your Own Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts

First, make sure keyboard shortcuts are enabled:

  1. Click the gear icon in the upper right of your screen.
  2. Click Settings.
  3. Scroll down to Keyboard shortcuts and select Keyboard shortcuts on.
  4. Save your changes.

Now you're ready to tell Gmail what to do when you hit certain keys:

  1. Enter Settings.
  2. Go to the Labs category.
  3. If you don't see Custom keyboard shortcuts in the list of labs, search for the phrase in the search box and click on the result.
  4. Select Enable under Custom keyboard shortcuts.
  5. Click Save changes.
  6. Follow the Settings link again.
  7. This time, go to the Keyboard shortcuts section.
  8. Edit all desired keyboard shortcuts.
  9. Click Save changes.

Using Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts

Simply go to your Inbox, click the shortcut key for whatever you want to do, and enjoy the convenience and time savings you'll rack up once you become familiar with the shortcuts you've created.