The 34 Best Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts to Boost your Email Productivity in 2023

The 34 Best Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts to Boost your Email Productivity in 2023

- Published: - 19 minutes read

Want to 10x your email productivity? In this quick guide, we’ll help you master the Gmail keyboard shortcuts. So that you can achieve more. In less time.

Email is a powerful tool to share ideas, generate revenues, and communicate with your friends and colleagues. But there’s a downside. Managing your emails takes A LOT of time. On average, employees spend 28% of their work time on email, according to research.

The good news is that, thanks to the Gmail keyboard shortcuts, you can easily improve your email productivity. If each shortcut you learn saves you 2 or 3 seconds per action, you’ll end up finishing your work day 10 to 15 minutes earlier than usual. And you’ll have no problem keeping your inbox clean and well-organized.

The bad news is that there are A LOT of Gmail shortcuts out there. And not all of them are useful. So in this quick guide, we’ll start by showing you how to turn on the shortcuts in Gmail. And then we’ll go over the 30+ Gmail keyboard shortcuts that are actually worth memorizing.

What are keyboard shortcuts in Gmail?

Let’s start with the basics. A keyboard shortcut is a key – or a combination of keys – that you can use to perform a specific action without using your mouse.

Keyboard shortcuts are a great way to improve your productivity. Whether you’re working on a PC or a Mac.

You can for example select all the text on a page with your mouse. But it’s much quicker to press Ctrl+A (Windows) or +A (Mac).

Similarly, you can right-click on a highlighted word to copy it. But using a keyboard shortcut such as Ctrl + C (Windows) or + C (Mac) will save you a lot of time.

As one of the most popular email service providers (ESPs) in the world, Gmail comes with a wide range of built-in shortcuts.

The Gmail keyboard shortcuts are specifically designed to help you manage your inbox more efficiently. So make sure to give them a try :)

How to turn on Gmail keyboard shortcuts

Before we can show you our favorite combinations, you’ll need to turn on the keyboard shortcuts in Gmail. Here’s how to do it ⤵️

Step 1: Sign in to your Gmail account.

Step 2: Open the Gmail settings.

Gmail menu

Step 3: Click on “See all Settings”.

See all settings

Step 4: Scroll down until you reach the “Keyboard shortcuts” section. And select “Keyboard shortcuts on”.

Turn on keyboard shortcuts in Gmail

Step 5: At the bottom of the page, click on “Save Changes”.

Activate Gmail shortcuts

Now that the keyboard shortcuts are enabled on your Gmail account, you’re one step closer to improving your email productivity.

But there are dozens of Gmail keyboard shortcuts. And learning all of them might take a while. So let’s focus on the most useful ones.

Best Gmail keyboard shortcuts

Want to know which shortcuts you should learn first? In this section, we’ve compiled the 30+ best Gmail keyboard shortcuts.

1. Compose

Keyboard shortcut: C

To create a new email, most people click on the “Compose” button. But you can achieve the same result twice as fast by pressing C. This shortcut is a must-know. It will help you speed up your daily email routine tremendously.

2. Send email

Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl + Enter (Windows) or + Enter (Mac)

You finished writing your email? Add your recipient’s email address in the “To” field and press Ctrl + Enter on Windows or + Enter on Mac to send your email. And if you accidentally send your message? Check out Gmail shortcut #15 :)

3. Reply

Keyboard shortcut: R

Want to reply to an email you received earlier? Use this handy Gmail keyboard shortcut to write back to the sender of the original message.

4. Reply all

Keyboard shortcut: Shift + R

Open a message and press Shift + R to start a response email. Gmail will automatically add everyone who received the original email in the “To” field.

5. Forward email

Keyboard shortcut: F

Want to forward an email in Gmail? This shortcut opens the email forwarding screen. You can then add your recipient’s email address. And press send to forward your message.

Forward keyboard shortcut in Gmail

6. Archive emails

Keyboard shortcut: E

Want to clean up your inbox? Press E to archive all the emails you’ve selected. These emails will no longer appear in your inbox. But Gmail didn’t delete them. You can still find archived messages in the “All Mail” folder.

7. Delete emails

Keyboard shortcut: #

This Gmail keyboard shortcut will help you get rid of unwanted messages. Select the emails you want to delete from your Gmail account. And hit #. Those emails will be removed from your inbox. You can find them in the Trash folder for up to 30 days.

8. Select conversation

Keyboard shortcut: X

Use this shortcut to select a conversation in Gmail. You can then archive, delete or open the email you’ve selected using some of the keyboard shortcuts listed in this article.

9. Mute conversation

Keyboard shortcut: M

When you use this shortcut, Gmail mutes the email thread you’ve selected. Any emails added to a conversation after you’ve muted it will be archived. The emails can still be found in your “All mails” folder. But you won’t get notified when you receive a new message.

10. Report as spam

Keyboard shortcut: !

Gmail has a powerful built-in spam filter. But every once in a while, a spam email or a phishing attempt manages to find its way to your inbox. In that case, you can use this keyboard shortcut to flag the email as spam.

Report as spam Gmail shortcut

11. Mark as read

Keyboard shortcut: Shift + I

Press Shift + I to mark any unread emails you’ve selected as read. This Gmail keyboard shortcut is a great tool to keep your inbox streamlined and well-organized.

12. Mark as unread

Keyboard shortcut: Shift + U

You can use this keyboard shortcut to mark any read messages you’ve selected as unread. Your unread emails appear in bold in your mailbox. And Gmail displays how many unread messages you currently have on that email account.

13. Snooze

Keyboard shortcut: B

Back in 2018, Gmail added a feature called “Snooze”. This keyboard shortcut allows you to delay the time at which emails appear in your inbox. Which can be very helpful if you want to retake control over a busy inbox.

14. Undo last action

Keyboard shortcut: Z

Made a mistake? No need to worry. You can press Z to unsend, undelete or unarchive a message. This Gmail shortcut cancels your last action.

15. Add Cc recipients

Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl + Shift + C (Windows) or + Shift + C (Mac)

When you use this shortcut, Gmail adds a Carbon Copy field to your email. The CC field is meant for the secondary recipient(s) of your email. You want to keep these people in the loop. But you don’t expect them to take action or to reply.

Add CC recipient Gmail keyboard shortcut

16. Add Bcc recipients

Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl + Shift + B (Windows) or + Shift + B (Mac)

Similarly, you can press Ctrl + Shift + B (Windows) or + Shift + B (Mac) to add a Blind Carbon Copy field to your email. This feature works the same as the CC field. Except that your recipients won’t be able to see the name nor the email address of the other BCC recipients.

Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl + K (Windows) or + K (Mac)

Want to insert a hyperlink in your email? Select your anchor text and press Ctrl + K (Windows) or + K (Mac) to bring up the “Edit Link” widget.

18. Add bold

Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl + B (Windows) or + B (Mac)

With this Gmail keyboard shortcut you can bold any section of text you’ve selected in the body of your email. Use this formatting technique to grab the attention of your recipients.

19. Italicize

Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl + I (Windows) or + I (Mac)

Want to quickly format your personal and your business emails? Press Ctrl + I (Windows) or + I (Mac) to italicize any text you’ve highlighted.

20. Underline text

Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl + U (Windows) or + U (Mac)

You can use this shortcut to underline a section of text you’ve selected. This is a great way to structure your email or to make a word or a sentence stand out.

21. Add a numbered list

Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl + Shift + 7 (Windows) or + Shift + 7 (Mac)

If you use this keyboard shortcut while you’re composing a message, Gmail will automatically create a numbered list.

22. Add a bulleted list

Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl + Shift + 8 (Windows) or + Shift + 8 (Mac)

Press Ctrl + Shift + 8 (Windows) or + Shift + 8 (Mac) to add a bulleted list in the body of your email. This is a great way to organize your ideas.

23. Remove formatting

Keyboard shortcut: Ctrl +\ (Windows) or + \ (Mac)

When you use this shortcut, Gmail will remove all formatting from the word, sentence or paragraph you’ve selected.

24. Go to Inbox

Keyboard shortcut: G then I

You can use this combination of keys to navigate your inbox faster. If you clicked on a Gmail folder, pressing g then I will automatically send you back to your inbox.

25. Go to Sent messages

Keyboard shortcut: G then T

Want to view an email you sent earlier? Use this simple keyboard shortcut to navigate to the “Sent messages” folder in Gmail.

26. Go to Drafts

Keyboard shortcut: G then D

On your keyboard, you can press g then D to quickly open the “Drafts” folder in Gmail and take a look at your unfinished emails.

27. Search mail

Keyboard shortcut: /

Want to use the Gmail search bar to locate an old email you received? You can hit the / key and type your query to filter your messages.

28. Open “More actions” menu

Keyboard shortcut: .

Once you’ve opened an email, you can press . to open the “More actions” menu. From there, you can ask Gmail to mark this message as unread or mute it (among other things).

More actions shortcut in Gmail

29. Open “Move to” menu

Keyboard shortcut: V

Want to move a conversation to a specific Gmail folder? Click on that message and press V to open the “Move to” menu. You can then select an existing label or create a new one.

30. Select all conversations

Keyboard shortcut: * then A

Press * then A to select all the conversations on your current screen. This shortcut is very helpful to perform bulk actions. Like deleting multiple emails at once. Or marking all your emails as read in Gmail.

31. Select read conversations

Keyboard shortcut: \* then R

When you use this shortcut, Gmail selects all the conversations marked as read. You can then use another shortcut to archive those messages, move them to a new folder or delete them from your email account.

32. Select unread conversations

Keyboard shortcut: * then U

Want to select all your unread emails in Gmail? Press \* then U. You can combine this keyboard shortcut with “Mark as read” shortcut (Shift + I) to keep your inbox clutter-free.

33. Open conversation

Keyboard shortcut: O

Use this nifty keyboard shortcut to open a conversation you’ve selected. Gmail will then show you the emails in that conversation and mark them as “read”.

34. Go back to threadlist

Keyboard shortcut: U

You know this “Back” button that you can use to go back to the threadlist once you’ve finished reading an email? This shortcut does the exact same thing. But faster.

Go back to threadlist Gmail shortcut

How to customize your keyboard shortcuts in Gmail

Want more control over your Gmail keyboard shortcuts? Google gives you the possibility to change an existing shortcut.

Here’s how to do it ⤵️

Step 1: Open Gmail.

Step 2: Go to Settings. And click on “See all Settings”.

Gmail settings

Step 3: Head over to the “Advanced” tab.

Advanced tab in Gmail

Step 4: Next to “Custom keyboard shortcuts”, click on “Enable”.

Enable custom keyboard shortcuts in Gmail

Step 5: Next click on “Save changes”.

Save changes in Gmail

Step 6: Go back to the Gmail settings. You’ll see that there’s now a new tab called “Keyboard shortcuts”. Click on it.

Customize Gmail keyboard shortcuts

Step 7: From there, you can input your desired shortcut next to each action. Once you’re done, click on “Save Changes”.

Edit the Gmail keyboard shortcuts and save your changes

And voila. This is how you can customize your keyboard shortcuts in Gmail. Just keep in mind that you can’t bind the same key(s) to multiple actions.

Made a mistake? No need to worry. You can reverse the changes you’ve just made by clicking on “Restore Defaults”.

Reset Gmail keyboard shortcuts

How to find all the Gmail keyboard shortcuts

To view all the Gmail keyboard shortcuts, you’ll need… Yup, you guessed it! Yet another shortcut.

Try pressing Shift + ? once you’ve turned on the keyboard shortcuts in Gmail. A new window should appear.

Here’s what it looks like ⤵️

Gmail keyboard shortcuts help

From there, you can see all the Gmail keyboard shortcuts. You can also enable or disable specific groups of shortcuts.

Gmail shortcuts cheat sheet

Alright, time to wrap it all up. We’ve prepared a cheat sheet to help you remember the most useful Gmail shortcuts.

Gmail Shortcuts Cheat Sheet

And if you’re looking for the full list, you can find it here ⤵️

Gmail Keyboard Shortcut On Windows On Mac
Select conversation x x
Remove label y y
Archive e e
Report as spam ! !
Delete # #
Reply r r
Reply all Shift + r Shift + r
Forward f f
Undo last action z z
Mark as read Shift + i Shift + i
Mark as unread Shift + u Shift + u
Mark as important + +
Mark as not important - -
Expand entire conversation ; ;
Collapse entire conversation : :
Snooze b b
Send Ctrl + Enter + Enter
Add Cc recipients Ctrl + Shift + c + Shift + c
Add Bcc recipients Ctrl + Shift + b + Shift + b
Discard draft Ctrl + Shift + d + Shift + d
Insert a link Ctrl + k + k
Decrease text size Ctrl + Shift + - + Shift + -
Increase text size Ctrl + Shift + + + Shift + +
Bold Ctrl + b + b
Italics Ctrl + i + i
Underline Ctrl + u + u
Numbered list Ctrl + Shift + 7 + Shift + 7
Bulleted list Ctrl + Shift + 8 + Shift + 8
Align left Ctrl + Shift + l + Shift + l
Align center Ctrl + Shift + e + Shift + e
Align right Ctrl + Shift + r + Shift + r
Remove formatting Ctrl + \ + \
Go to Inbox g + i g + i
Go to Sent messages g + t g + t
Go to Drafts g + d g + d
Search mail / /
Open Gmail keyboard shortcut help ? ?
Compose c c
Open “more actions” menu . .
Open “move to” menu v v
Open “label as” menu l l
Select all conversations * + a * + a
Deselect all conversations * + n * + n
Select read conversations * + r * + r
Select unread conversations * + u * + u
Open conversation o o
Back to threadlist u u
Newer conversation k k
Older conversation j j

Use these Gmail keyboard shortcuts to achieve more. In less time. And watch your email productivity explode.

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Happy sending :)

This guide was written by Paul Anthonioz, content editor at Mailmeteor. Mailmeteor is a simple & privacy-focused emailing software. Trusted by millions of users worldwide, it is often considered as the best tool to send newsletters with Gmail. Give us a try and let us know what you think!

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