How to Delete Emails With a Keyboard Shortcut in Gmail

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Abraham Williams / Flickr / Creative Commons

You can delete single emails, as well as multiple selected emails, in Gmail with a quick keyboard shortcut.

Open the email you want to delete (or select the emails you want to delete by checking the boxes next to each) and enter the hashtag (#) by pressing the Shift+3 key combination.

This action deletes the email or selected emails in one quick stroke.

However, this shortcut only works if keyboard shortcuts are on in Gmail's settings.

How to Turn on Keyboard Shortcuts in Gmail

If the Shift+3 shortcut doesn't delete emails for you, you likely have keyboard shortcuts turned off—they are turned off by default.

 Activate Gmail keyboard shortcuts with these steps:

  1. In the upper right of the Gmail window, click the Settings button (it appears as a gear icon).
  2. Select Settings from the menu.
  3. On the Settings page, scroll down to the Keyboard shortcuts section. Click the radio button next to Keyboard shortcuts on.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Save Changes button.

Now the Shift+keyboard shortcut will be active for deleting emails.

More Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts

With keyboard shortcuts enabled in Gmail, you have access to even more shortcut options. There are several, so explore which keyboard shortcuts are useful for yourself.