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Gmail keyboard shortcuts


On our quest to become keyboard warriors stands another mighty giant to conquer, Gmail! I have only recently started using these shortcuts myself but some have become invaluable already.

Keyboard shortcuts help you save time by allowing you to never take your hands off the keyboard to use the mouse. You’ll need a Standard 101/102-Key or Natural PS/2 Keyboard to use the shortcuts. These are from Google’s own help pages once again.

To turn these case-sensitive shortcuts on or off, click the gear icon at the top of any Gmail page and then Mail settings.

Shortcut Definition Action
c Compose Allows you to compose a new message. + c allows you to compose a message in a new window.
/ Search Puts your cursor in the search box.
k Move to newer conversation Opens or moves your cursor to a more recent conversation. You can hit to expand a conversation.
j Move to older conversation Opens or moves your cursor to the next oldest conversation. You can hit to expand a conversation
n Next Message Moves your cursor to the next message. You can hit to expand or collapse a message. (Only applicable in ‘Conversation View.’)
p Previous message Moves your cursor to the previous message. You can hit to expand or collapse a message. (Only applicable in ‘Conversation View.’)
o or Enter Open. Opens your conversation. Also expands or collapses a message if you are in ‘Conversation View.’
u Return to conversation list Refreshes your page and returns you to the inbox, or list of conversations.
e Archive Archive your conversation from any view.
m Mute Archives the conversation, and all future messages skip the Inbox unless sent or cc’d directly to you.
x Select conversation Automatically checks and selects a conversation so that you can archive, apply a label, or choose an action from the drop-down menu to apply to that conversation.
s Star a message or conversation Adds or removes a star to a message or conversation. Stars allow you to give a message or conversation a special status.
+ Mark as important Helps Gmail learn what’s important to you by marking misclassified messages. (Specific to Priority Inbox)
Mark as unimportant Helps Gmail learn what’s not important to you by marking misclassified messages. (Specific to Priority Inbox)
! Report spam Marks a message as spam and removes it from your conversation list.
r Reply Replies to the message sender. Shift + r allows you to reply to a message in a new window. (Only applicable in ‘Conversation View.’)
a Reply all Replies to all message recipients. Shift +a allows you to reply to all message recipients in a new window. (Only applicable in ‘Conversation View.’)
f Forward Forwards a message. Shift + f allows you to forward a message in a new window. (Only applicable in ‘Conversation View.’)
Esc Escape from input field Removes the cursor from your current input field.
Ctrl + s Save draft Saves the current text as a draft when composing a message. Hold the Ctrl key while pressing s and make sure your cursor is in one of the text fields — either the composition pane, or any of the To, CC, BCC, or Subject fields — when using this shortcut.
# Delete Moves the conversation to Trash.
l Label Opens the Labels menu to label a conversation.
v Move to Moves the conversation from the inbox to a different label, Spam or Trash.
Shift + i Mark as read Marks your message as ‘read’ and skip to the next message.
Shift + u Mark as unread Marks your message as ‘unread’ so you can go back to it later.
[ Archive and previous Removes the current view’s label from your conversation and moves to the previous one.
] Archive and next Removes the current view’s label from your conversation and moves to the next one.
z Undo Undoes your previous action, if possible (works for actions with an ‘undo’ link).
Shift + n Update current conversation Updates your current conversation when there are new messages.
q Move cursor to chat search Moves your cursor directly to the chat search box.
y Remove from Current View* Automatically removes the message or conversation from your current view.From ‘Inbox,’ ‘y’ means Archive
From ‘Starred,’ ‘y’ means Unstar
From ‘Trash,’ ‘y’ means Move to inbox
From any label, ‘y’ means Remove the label

* ‘y’ has no effect if you’re in ‘Spam,’ ‘Sent,’ or ‘All Mail.’

. Show more actions Displays the ‘More Actions’ drop-down menu.
Ctrl + Down arrow Opens options in Chat Ctrl + Down arrow moves from edit field in your chat window to select the ‘Video and more’ menu.Next, press Tab to select the emoticon menu. Press to open the selected menu
? Show keyboard shortcuts help Displays the keyboard shortcuts help menu within any page you’re on. (Note: Typing ? will display the help menu even if you don’t have keyboard shortcuts enabled)
k Move up a contact Moves your cursor up in your contact list
j Move down a contact Moves your cursor down in your contact list
o or Enter Open Opens the contact with the cursor next to it.
j Move down a contact Moves your cursor down in your contact list
u Return to contact list view Refreshes your page and returns you to the contact list.
e Remove from Current Group Removes selected contacts from the group currently being displayed.
x Select contact Checks and selects a contact so that you can change group membership or choose an action from the drop-down menu to apply to the contact.
Esc Escape from input field Removes the cursor from the current input
e Remove from Current Group Removes selected contacts from the group currently being displayed.
# Delete Deletes a contact permanently
l Group membership Opens the groups button to group contacts
z Undo Reverses your previous action, if possible (works for actions with an ‘undo’ link)
. Show more actions Opens the “More actions” drop-down menu.
l Group membership Opens the groups button to group contacts

Combo keys

Shortcut Definition Action
Tab then Enter Send message After composing your message, use this combination to send it automatically. (Supported in Internet Explorer and Firefox, on Windows.)
y then o Archive and next Archives your conversation and moves to the next one.
g then a Go to ‘All Mail’ Takes you to ‘All Mail,’ the storage site for all mail you’ve ever sent or received (and have not deleted).
g then s Go to ‘Starred’ Takes you to all conversations you have starred.
g then c Go to ‘Contacts’ Takes you to your Contacts list.
g then c Go to ‘Contacts’ Takes you to your Contacts list.
g then d Go to ‘Drafts’ Takes you to all drafts you have saved.
g then d Go to ‘Drafts’ Takes you to all drafts you have saved.
g then l Go to ‘Label’ Takes you to the search box with the “label:” operator filled in for you.
g then i Go to ‘Inbox’ Returns you to the inbox.
g then t Go to ‘Sent Mail’ Takes you to all mail you’ve sent.
* then a Select all Selects all mail.
* then n Select none Deselects all mail.
* then r Select read Selects all mail you’ve read.
* then u Select unread Selects all unread mail.
* then s Select starred Selects all starred mail.
* then t Select unstarred Selects all unstarred mail.

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