A Quick Guide on Using Gmail Shortcuts

Did you know Gmail has a ton of shortcuts you can use that can significantly speed up your workflow?

Note: If these don't work you'll need to enable shortcuts first , check the end of this cheatsheet.

shift + / This opens the keyboard shortcuts menu where you can see all the shortcuts. It makes the ? key, which can help you remember. esc to close that menu

Since you know how to reference them now, here's a quick summary of the good ones to try and remember.


k or j Newer/older email 

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n Next message in the thread

p Previous message in thread

o or Enter Opens an email from the thread

arrow keys Navigate through inbox list of emails

Jumping To Mailboxes

/ Focus the search bar

g then i Go to Inbox

g then a Go to All mail

g then s Go to Starred conversations

Inbox Management

shift + u Mark unread

shift + i Mark read

e Archive mail

# Delete mail

Once you get the hang of using these shortcuts on a daily basis, you can save a lot of time. These are only the few that I use often, but there are a ton more that you can learn and memorize too. You can even add custom shortcuts if you find that something is missing!

How I Use These Shortcuts

I like to batch the time I spend on email which means I only have to end up going through emails twice a day at most, and when I do I can go through it in bulk.

  • I'll start from the bottom with the oldest email.
  • I can scroll up/down with arrow keys
  • If the message warrants a response r to reply or a to reply all. -Then tab to focus the 'send' button and Enter to send it off.  No mouse needed.
  • To get to the next email I'll hit k and repeat the process until - I'm done.
  • I'll do g then i to get back to my inbox view and double-check that I covered everyone.
  • Then repeat the next day

If you are composing a lot of emails there are tons of shortcuts for that too. But I find it easier to use a mouse to hop around the actual text since I'm guaranteed to make a typo are change verbiage.

To Enable Keyboard Shortcuts

Can't get these to work? You might need to enable shortcuts first.

  • Go to Settings.
  • Scroll down to the "Keyboard shortcuts" section.
  • Select Keyboard shortcuts on.
  • At the bottom of the page, click Save Changes.

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Hey, I'm Nick Dill.

I help people become better software developers with daily tips, tricks, and advice.