Gmail is arguably the most widely-used email service on the web and one of the best. It’s free, offers more email storage than most of us will ever use in our lifetime, and its spam filter can’t be beat. In fact, no other email service has managed to be as packed with features as Gmail — and many Gmail users have only scratched the surface.

As it turns out, the geniuses over at Google have loaded Gmail with a ton of handy keyboard shortcuts. If you’re looking to seriously step up your Gmail game, these keyboard shortcuts should have you navigating your inbox and sending emails like you’re some kind of email ninja. And if you’re on a laptop with a troublesome trackpad, these shortcuts may be a perfect solution.

Check out this Gmail shortcuts infographic that’s been making the rounds on the Internet lately. It breaks down all of the Gmail’s keyboard shortcuts in one helpful guide. You’ll save a ton of time and boost your inbox productivity.


How to Enable Keyboard Shortcuts in Gmail

First, you need to adjust the settings in your Gmail account. These keyboard shortcuts aren’t  enabled by default and you’ll realize why in just  moment. They’re pretty simple, so if you aren’t aware that they’re turned on, it could be pretty easy to get yourself into some email trouble.

When you’re read to enable shortcuts, click on the Settings menu, which can be accessed by clicking on the little sprocket icon in the top, right-hand corner.

It looks like this:  Gmail Settings Graphic

In the Settings menu, you’ll see Keyboard Shortcuts. Click on the option to enable them, and you’re ready to start emailing like a wizard.

We’ve broken all the best keyboard shortcuts down into two separate categories: navigation and composition. The first batch of keyboard shortcuts will help you get around your inbox, while the second group will make it easier to write your actual emails.

A photo of the Google search engine home page in the Chrome web browser.

Boost your email productivity by learning Gmail keyboard shortcuts.

Inbox Navigation Shortcuts

Cursor Up – K

Cursor Down – J

Expand Email – Enter

Check (Select) Email – X

Star Email – S

Mark Email as Important – +

Mark Email as Unimportant – —

Delete Conversation – Shift + 3

Go to Inbox – G, then I

Go to All Mail (the Archive) – G, then A

Go to Drafts – G, then D

Go to Sent Mail – G, then T

Go to Contacts – G, then C

View Starred Mail Only – G, then S


Message Composition Shortcuts

Compose Message – C*

Reply – R*

Reply All – A*

Forward Message – F*

Open Labels – L

Archive Conversation – E or Y

*Shortcuts with an asterisk next to them can be used in combination with the “Shift” key to perform these functions in a new window. This will open a pop-up window with your message in it.

Use Gmail Shortcuts to Boost Your Productivity

And there you have it! Some of the best keyboard shortcuts for one of the best email applications on the Internet.

Grab the full infographic right here.

And tell us — what kind of shortcuts do you use to make your life on the Internet easier and more efficient? We want to know!


See Also

Use Gmail or YouTube? Google Might Use Your Picture or Private Info to Sell Ads
The 9 Bad Email Habits That Expose You to Scams and Identity Theft
Google Wages War on Gmail Spam Hackers

About The Author

Sean Boulger is a freelance writer and storytelling enthusiast living in LA. He loves television, pop culture, minimalism, and two cats.

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One Response

  1. jacquline jackson

    well got bad memory so i would have to print this out and it will take longer i guess for awhile to remember them without taking time to look them up. on fb there was a pic with the shortcuts and i put it on my desktop but darn i lost


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