How to Enable the Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts

Fingertips on keyboard

Turn on keyboard shortcuts for Gmail and Inbox by Gmail to operate email faster.

What If You Press and They Do Not Act?

You have heard and seen people marvel at the time saved by operating Gmail using the keyboard instead of pointing and clicking? You have decided to try yourself, learnt by heart the list of intuitive shortcuts, and now that you press them feverishly—nothing happens?

Chances are, it is not your keyboard that is broken.

Possibly, Gmail keyboard shortcuts are turned off for your account. Fortunately, turning them on is easy.

Enable the Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts

To turn on Gmail's keyboard shortcuts in your account:

  1. Click the Settings gear icon () near your Gmail's top right corner.
  2. Select Settings from the menu that appears
  3. Go to the General tab.
  4. Make sure Keyboard shortcuts on is selected under Keyboard shortcuts:.
  5. Click Save Changes (if you did make any).

If keyboard shortcuts still seem not to work, try clicking somewhere in Gmail to make sure it has the input focus.

Enable Keyboard Shortcuts in Inbox by Gmail

To make sure you can use keyboard shortcuts in Inbox by Gmail:

  1. Make sure the left navigation bar is visible in Inbox by Gmail.
    • ​Click the Main menu hamburger button in Inbox by Gmail if it is not.
  2. Click Settings at the left navigation bar's bottom.
  3. Open the Other section.
  4. Make sure Keyboard shortcuts is enabled.
  1. Click DONE.

Inbox by Gmail uses many of the same keyboard shortcuts as Gmail.

(Updated May 2016, tested with Gmail and Inbox by Gmail in a desktop browser)

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