How to Use Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts

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Gmail keyboard shortcuts let you handle mail noticeably faster; find them all here sorted by usage.

Do You Love Saving Time in Gmail?

Whoopee! A millisecond saved!

Multiply that millisecond by, say, 73,000 Gmail actions a year and the seconds add up — to a little more than a minute, that's true. Fortunately, it's possibly more than a millisecond you save by using the keyboard instead of the mouse to navigate and command Gmail.

Either way, Gmail keyboard shortcuts are a joy to use.

Use Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts

To operate Gmail from the keyboard,

and use the following shortcuts. Typically, you only have to press the stated key (no Ctrl, Alt or Command key required).

In the Message List

  • Enter or o: Open the currently focused (as indicated by the black arrow) conversation
  • x: Check or uncheck a conversation
  • j: Go down to the previous conversation
  • k: Go up to the next conversation
  • h: Get a preview of the currently focused conversation (with Message Sneak Peek enabled)
  • u: Refresh the mailbox or label (checking for new messages)
  • s: Mark the currently focused conversation with a star
  • * (Shift-8) followed by
    • a: Check all visible conversations in the current view
    • n: Uncheck all visible conversations
    • r: Check read, visible conversations
    • u: Check unread, visible conversations
    • s: Check starred visible conversations
    • t: Check visible conversations not starred

    With Messages Checked in a Mailbox or Label

    • y: Archive the conversation (if in the Inbox) or remove the current label (if in a label's view)
    • e: Archive the conversation (no matter the view)
    • # (Shift-3): Delete the conversation
    • ! (Shift-1): Mark the conversation as spam
    • + (Shift-=, but = alone works as well): Mark the conversation as important
    • -: Mark the conversation as not important
    • l: Open the Labels menu to add or remove labels
    • v: Open the Move to menu, adding a label and archiving the conversation
    • Shift-U: Mark the conversation unread
    • Shift-I: Mark the conversation read
    • Shift-T: Create a new task linked to the conversation (with Tasks enabled)
    • m: Mute the conversation
      • Future messages in the same thread will go to the All Mail archive straight away bypassing your Gmail Inbox unless your email address is in the To: or Cc: line.

    While Viewing a Conversation

    • y: Archive the conversation (if in the Inbox) or remove the current label (if in a label's view)
    • e: Archive the conversation (no matter the view)
    • # (Shift-3): Delete the conversation
    • r: Reply to the sender only
      • Shift-R: Start your reply in a new browser window
    • a: Reply to the sender and all recipients beside yourself
      • Shift-A: Start your reply to all in a new browser window
    • f: Forward the conversation
      • Shift-F: Start your forward in a new browser window
    • ! (Shift-1): Mark the conversation as spam
    • + (Shift-=; or just =): Mark the conversation as important
    • -: Mark the conversation as not important
    • s: Mark the conversation with a star
    • l: Open the Labels menu to add or remove labels
    • v: Open the Move to menu, adding a label and archiving the conversation
    • u: Return to the message list
    • x: Return to the message list checking or unchecking the current conversation
    • Shift-U: Mark the conversation unread and return to the message list
    • [: Archive the conversation (remove the label Inbox) and open the (chronologically) previous conversation from the message list immediately
    • ]: Archive the conversation and open the next conversation from the message list
    • {: Remove the current label (including Inbox) and open the previous conversation from the message list
    • }: Remove the current label (including Inbox) and open the next conversation from the message list
    • Shift-T: Create a new task linked to the conversation (with Tasks enabled)
    • m: Mute the conversation
    • Shift-N: Update the conversation (when Gmail indicates a new email has arrived that belongs to the current thread)
    • n: Move the cursor to the next message in the currently open conversation
      • Open a message by pressing Enter after targeting it with the black arrow cursor.
      • In a thread encompassing many messages, move the cursor just above the last message whose tab shows the sender, then press Enter to show all message tabs for navigation.

    While Composing any Message

    • Ctrl-Enter (Windows, Linux) or Command-Enter (Mac): Send
    • Esc: Save the message as a draft and close the composition window
    • Ctrl-Shift-C (Windows, Linux) or Command-Shift-C (Mac): Go to the Cc field
    • Ctrl-Shift-B (Windows, Linux) or Command-Shift-B (Mac): Open to the Bcc field
    • Ctrl-Shift-F (Windows, Linux) or Command-Shift-F (Mac): Switch to the From: field for selection

    While composing a rich-text message:

    • Ctrl-B (Windows, Linux) or Command-B (Mac): Make text bold
    • Ctrl-I (Windows, Linux) or Command-I (Mac): Italicize text
    • Ctrl-U (Windows, Linux) or Command-U (Mac): Underline text
    • Ctrl-] (Windows, Linux) or Command-] (Mac): Indent text (more)
    • Ctrl-[ (Windows, Linux) or Command-[ (Mac): Remove or lessend text indentation
    • Ctrl-Shift-L (Windows, Linux) or Command-Shift-L (Mac): Left-align text
    • Ctrl-Shift-E (Windows, Linux) or Command-Shift-C (Mac): Center text horizontally
    • Ctrl-Shift-R (Windows, Linux) or Command-Shift-R (Mac): Right-align text
    • Ctrl-Shift-5 (Windows, Linux) or Command-Shift-5 (Mac): Switch to previous font
    • Ctrl-Shift-6 (Windows, Linux) or Command-Shift-6 (Mac): Switch to next font
    • Ctrl-Shift-9 (Windows, Linux) or Command-Shift-9 (Mac): Quote text (Use the Remove Formatting toolbar item to remove quotation formatting.)
    • Ctrl-Shift-7 (Windows, Linux) or Command-Shift-7 (Mac): Insert a numbered list (or remove an existing one) (This shortcut may not work in Safari.)
    • Ctrl-Shift-8 (Windows, Linux) or Command-Shift-8 (Mac): Insert a list (or remove an existing one)
    • Ctrl-K (Windows, Linux) or Command-K (Mac): Insert a link
      • With text selected in advance, these shortcuts apply the formatting or link to the highlighted text.
    • Ctrl-Shift-2 (Windows, Linux) or Command-Shift-2 (Mac): Open the emoticon and emoji menu

    In Gmail Tasks

    • Enter: Create a new task above (cursor at the beginning of the current task) or below the current one
    • Tab: Indent the task, making it a sub-task
    • Shift-Tab: Move the task to the left, promoting it up the task ladder (from sub-task to top level task, for example)
    • Ctrl-Up (Windows, Linux) or Command-Up: Move the current task (and its sub-tasks) up
    • Ctrl-Down (Windows, Linux) or Command-Down: Move the current task (and its sub-tasks) down
    • Shift-Enter: Open the current task's details
    • Backspace (in an empty task title; delete the title first): Delete the current task
    • Esc: Close Gmail Tasks
    • Shift-Esc: Switch the input focus to the main Gmail window

    Anywhere in Gmail

    • c: Start composing a new message
      • Shift-C: Start a new message in a new browser window
    • d: Start composing a new message in its own browser tab or window
    • With "old compose" enabled:
      • d: Start composing a new message with the Cc: field added
      • b: Start composing a new message with the Cc: and Bcc: fields added
    • , (comma): Move keyboard focus to the toolbar (highlighting the first item in it)
    • . (dot): Open the More Actions menu
    • g followed by
      • i: Open the standard inbox (Priority Inbox or Inbox)
      • c: Open Contacts
      • d: Open Drafts
      • s: Open Starred
      • t: Open Sent Mail
      • a: Open your All Mail archive
      • k: Open Tasks (with Tasks enabled)
      • l: Open any label (except in Google Buzz)
      • p: Open the phone dial
      • w: Create a new Google Docs document (with Create a Document enabled)
    • / (forward slash): Move input focus to the search box
    • q: Go to the chat box's Search people... field
    • ?: Show a keyboard shortcut reference sheet

    In Gmail Contacts

    In the Contacts List

    • Enter or o: Open the currently focused (as indicated by the black arrow) contact
    • x: Check or uncheck the currently focused contact
    • j: Focus the next contact below
    • k: Focus the previous contact above
    • * (Shift-8) followed by
      • a: Check all visible contacts in the current view
      • n: Uncheck all visible contacs

    With Contacts Checked

    • e: Remove the contact from the current group
    • l: Open the Groups menu to add or remove the checked contacts from groups

    With a Contact Open

    • u: Return to the contacts list
    • l: Open the Groups menu to add or remove the checked contacts from groups

    Anywhere in Gmail Contacts

    • c: Start composing a new message
    • . (dot): Open the More Actions menu
    • g followed by
      • l: Open any contacts group
      • i: Open the standard Gmail inbox (Priority Inbox or Inbox)
      • d: Open Drafts
      • s: Open Starred
      • t: Open Sent Mail
      • a: Open your All Mail archive
      • k: Open Tasks (with Tasks enabled)
      • p: Open the phone dial
    • / (forward slash): Move input focus to the Search Contacts box
    • q: Go to the chat box's Search field
    • ?: Show a Gmail contacts keyboard shortcut reference sheet

    Roll Your Own Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts

    If the default shortcuts above do not suit your habits or wishes, you can also define your own set of Gmail keyboard commands.

    (Updated April 2013)

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