Cheat Sheet: How To Get The Most Out Of Gmail Without Ever Using A Mouse

There’s a lot you can do in Gmail with a few simple key strokes. You’ll need a Standard 101/102-Key or Natural PS/2 Keyboard to use the  short codes.

You’ll also need to enable the short codes on your computer, which you can do here.

Here’s everything, below. 

Shortcut Key DefinitionAction c Compose Allows you to compose a new message. <Shift> + 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 <Enter> to expand a conversation.  j Move to older conversation Opens or moves your cursor to the next oldest conversation. You can hit <Enter> to expand a conversation. n Next message Moves your cursor to the next message. You can hit <Enter> to expand or collapse a message. (Only applicable in ‘Conversation View.’) p Previous message Moves your cursor to the previous message. You can hit <Enter> 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. Learn more. 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 draftSaves 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.

#

DeleteMoves the conversation to Trash.

l

LabelOpens the Labels menu to label a conversation.

v

Move toMoves 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 <Enter> 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) kMove up a contact

Moves your cursor up in your contact list

jMove down a contact

Moves your cursor down in your contact list

o or <Enter>Open

Opens the contact with the cursor next to it.

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

#

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.

Combo-keys – Use the following combinations of keys to navigate through Gmail.

Shortcut KeyDefinitionAction<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 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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