How to Use Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts

Learning the Gmail keyboard shortcuts will make your daily computing and emailing tasks easier and quicker. Throughout this article, you will learn what the most common shortcuts are and how to use them.

Keyboard Shortcuts for Gmail

Ever feel like you waste so much time performing email tasks, for example, scrolling through messages and manually formatting emails?

Learning Gmail keyboard shortcuts can save you hours when working, managing emails, or simply organising your mailbox.

What is a keyboard shortcut?

A keyboard shortcut is an action of pressing a single or short sequence of keys to quickly perform a task.

So, when you’re working and need to format an email or navigate through hundreds of messages, Gmail shortcuts come to the rescue!

💡 Note: When using shortcuts on a PC you need to use Ctrl instead of the command key on Mac.

How to Use Gmail Shortcuts

Before you use keyboard shortcuts for Gmail, you need to know how to enable them and how to use them.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to remember shortcuts straight away. If you get stuck, you can Shift + ? when you’re in your Gmail account (learn more about how to use multiple Gmail accounts). This will show you a full list of shortcuts you can use.

How to Turn on Keyboard Shortcuts

Here’s how to turn on Gmail desktop shortcuts:

  1. Go to Gmail on your computer.
  2. Click Settings, then See all settings.
  3. Locate the keyboard shortcuts section.
  4. Turn the shortcuts on.
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save Changes.

How to Turn on Custom Keyboard Shortcuts

  1. Go to Gmail on your computer.
  2. Click Settings, then See all settings.
  3. Click Advanced.
  4. Enable the custom keyboard shortcuts here.
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save Changes.

How to Edit Keyboard Shortcuts

You can change the keys used for a shortcut by editing them.

  1. Go to Gmail on your computer.
  2. Click Settings, then See all settings.
  3. Click Keyboard shortcuts.
  4. Type your desired key next to an action to create a new one.
  5. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save Changes.

💡 Note: You can only use one key for one action.

How to Use a Shortcut

To perform a shortcut action, all you need to do is follow the sequence of keys used. For example, Ctrl followed by another key. Or just a single key.

You can use keyboard shortcuts on mobile if you attach an external keyboard to your device, you cannot use your device keyboard.

Currently, the Gmail mobile app doesn’t support the use of shortcuts.

Most Useful Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts

Now you know how to use Gmail keyboard shortcuts, here are some of the best, and most useful Gmail desktop shortcuts.

1. Navigating

The following are a few shortcuts that assist with navigating through your Gmail account.

Shortcut Action
/Using this key will send you straight into the Gmail search bar.
g + kBy pressing these two keys you will locate your Task list.
kThis will jump you to the newest message in your inbox.
g + tThese two keys will take you to your Sent messages folder.
g + dThis will open your Drafts folder.
g + sYour Starred conversations will appear on screen.
Shift + ?A list of shortcuts will appear.

2. Working With Emails

These shortcuts help with moving and marking your emails.

Shortcut Action
eBy pressing this key all emails selected will be sent to your Archived folder.
#By pressing this key all selected emails will be sent to your Trash folder.
* + aThis handy shortcut will select all your conversations on screen.
= or +Mark as important by pressing either of these keys once you have selected a message or multiple messages.
fThis key will forward your selected email. A pop-up will show. Insert the recipient's address here and press Shift + enter to send.
!The exclamation mark will mark all selected emails as spam. They will appear in the Spam folder and future messages may be marked automatically.
mThis key will mute the conversation you have selected. You will still receive the emails, however, without notifications.

3. Composing / Formatting

The following Gmail keyboard shortcuts will help when composing or formatting an email.

Shortcut Action
cThis key will bring up the compose box ready for you to begin typing your email.
Ctrl + iThis will turn the highlighted text into italics.
Ctrl + bThe highlighted text will turn into bold letters using this shortcut.
Ctrl + uYou can underline your text using this shortcut.
Ctrl + kThis will show the edit link widget. Here you can insert a link to the text.
Ctrl + Shift + cUse this shortcut to add CC recipients to the email.
Ctrl + Shift + bThis will add BCC recipients to the message.
Ctrl + Shift+ +Increase the size of your text by pressing these keys once you have highlighted the text you want to enlarge.
Ctrl + Shift + -This will decrease the size of the highlighted text.
Ctrl + zTo undo your most recent action, press these keys.
Ctrl + yIf you have undone too much, press these keys to redo!

Manage Emails With Clean Email!

Clean Email cannot help with creating Gmail keyboard shortcuts. However, it can assist you with having a clean and organised inbox!

Clean up your inbox with Clean EmailClean up your inbox with Clean Email

The benefits of creating an organised and streamlined inbox are:

Some of the app’s features you will find helpful are:

Auto Clean

The Auto Clean feature allows you to create automated rules to perform manual tasks for you. Meaning you can save time and create an organised inbox even whilst you’re asleep!

Auto Clean is a tool for creating automated rulesAuto Clean is a tool for creating automated rules

You can set rules to move emails to certain folders. When acting on a message you will be prompted to create a rule.

Delete emails in Clean EmailDelete emails in Clean Email

You can always change or remove Auto Clean rules by using the view in the left sidebar.

Auto Clean feature in Clean EmailAuto Clean feature in Clean Email

Smart Views

Smart Views bundle your emails into clever groups to make locating similar messages super easy.

Smart Views feature in Clean EmailSmart Views feature in Clean Email

All you need to do is choose a Smart View from the left sidebar. For example, you can view all Social media related emails, all Finance messages, and more.


With Unsubscriber, you can view all your subscriptions in one place, and choose what to do with them. You can unsubscribe with just one click of a button to all mailing lists you no longer want to receive.

Unsubscribe from emails with Clean EmailUnsubscribe from emails with Clean Email

Or, if you’d rather, you can choose to Read Later. This automatically sends all selected messages and newsletters to a separate folder.

More useful articles to expand your Gmail knowledge are:

Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts - FAQs

What are the Gmail shortcuts?

Gmail shortcut is an action of pressing a single or short sequence of keys to quickly perform a task in your Google mailbox.

How do I get Gmail shortcut?

You need to turn them on:
1. Open your mail on PC and click Settings, then See all settings.
2. Locate the Keyboard shortcuts section and turn them on.
3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save Changes.

How do I navigate Gmail with the keyboard?

Once you have learned some useful keyboard shortcuts shown in this article, you can quickly navigate your way through Gmail.

How do I find Gmail shortcuts?

First, enable the Gmail keyboard shortcuts within the Settings. To find the shortcuts, press Shift + ? in your Google mail account.

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