If you want to reduce the amount of time you spend on email, learning Gmail keyboard shortcuts is a fantastic investment.

Like most of us, you probably waste minutes each week just navigating your mailbox — whether you’re hunting for old files, formatting emails, or double-checking that you aren’t about to Cc the whole office your weekend plans.

Say goodbye to all that! These Gmail keyboard shortcuts will reduce your daily workload and free you up to complete more productive tasks. We’ll start by explaining how to enable keyboard shortcuts in Gmail, and then cover 48 handy Gmail shortcuts.

Ready? Let’s get started!

Check out our video guide to Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts

What Is a Gmail Shortcut?

Before we dive into our list of time-saving shortcuts, let’s briefly explore the basics of keyboard shortcuts. A keyboard shortcut is a key or a series of keys that complete an action a person performs typically with their mouse.

There are many common shortcuts you’re probably picturing right now, like Ctrl+C (Windows) or ⌘+C (Mac) for copying text. Another standard shortcut is Ctrl+F (Windows) or ⌘+F (Mac) for text search. These are great for productivity, but they aren’t the only keyboard shortcuts.

Gmail has its own set of shortcuts explicitly designed for efficient emailing. There are many advantages to using these shortcuts:

  • Navigate through your Gmail inbox faster.
  • Perform everyday formatting actions without interrupting your flow.
  • Maintain ergonomic movements by removing the need to use your mouse.

So, how do you turn on keyboard shortcuts?

How to Use Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts

You’ll need to turn on Gmail keyboard shortcuts manually before you can use them. Thankfully, it’s a pretty straightforward process. You just need to follow these six steps:

  1. Go to Gmail.
  2. Click the Settings icon.
  3. Click See all settings.
  4. Scroll to the Keyboard shortcuts section.
  5. Turn keyboard shortcuts on by selecting the radio button.
  6. Click Save at the bottom of the page.

The "Settings" section of Gmail with a focus on the "Keyboard shortcuts" options section
Turning on keyboard shortcuts in Gmail.

If you have multiple Gmail accounts, you’ll need to follow these steps for each account.

Once you’ve turned on your Gmail shortcut keys, you’ll need to learn how to use them. Let’s explore that next.

How Do I Find Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts?

Google will show you a complete list of your Gmail keyboard shortcuts through the shortcuts menu. Once shortcuts are enabled, you can bring up the shortcuts menu by holding Shift+? in Gmail.

The Keyboard shortcuts popup allows you to choose whether you want to enable or disable groups of shortcuts, as you can see below:

A list of Gmail's built-in keyboard shortcuts and what they do
Gmail’s keyboard shortcut options

There are two key places you can find more information about shortcuts.

First, you’ll find Gmail’s list of shortcuts on their website. Second, you can use a keyboard shortcut training tool, like Shortcut Foo.

If you want to expand your shortcuts beyond Gmail’s default ones, you can also create custom shortcuts. To do this, you’ll need to turn on custom shortcuts by following these instructions:

  1. Go to Gmail and click Settings.
  2. Click Advanced.
  3. Click Enable next to custom keyboard shortcuts.
  4. Press Save changes.

Why Are My Gmail Shortcuts Still Not Working?

If you’ve followed the steps above, your keyboard shortcuts should be working. However, people occasionally encounter some hiccups along the way.

Here are three common ones and their solutions:

Problem Solution
Your shortcuts didn’t turn on properly. Try turning your keyboard shortcuts off and on again.
Your web browser is out of date. Update your browser, restart your computer and try again.
Your extensions are stopping keyboard shortcuts from working. Disable all of your extensions and test your shortcuts. Then, turn on your extensions one by one to locate the problem extension.

Best Gmail Shortcuts

In this section, we’re going to take you through 48 keyboard shortcuts for Gmail. Let’s jump in.

1. Archive Emails

Keyboard Shortcut: E

This shortcut will take all your selected emails and move them into your archives. When you archive an email or conversation, Gmail won’t delete it. Instead, Gmail removes it from your inbox and places it in your “All Mail” folder.

2. Compose Email

Keyboard Shortcut: C

This nifty shortcut opens a new email on your screen, just like the + Compose button. It’s excellent for speeding up your daily emailing. However, don’t press C again if your email doesn’t load straight away, or you’ll open yet another new email window.

3. Trash Emails

Keyboard Shortcut: #

This Gmail shortcut will take the emails you have currently selected and move them into your trash folder. The trash folder automatically deletes your emails after 30 days. You can also empty the trash folder manually at any time.

4. Select All Conversations

Keyboard Shortcut: *+A

This shortcut will select all the conversations on your current screen. It’s helpful when you need to archive, delete, or star large quantities of emails quickly.

5. Reply All

Keyboard Shortcut: A

When you use this shortcut while viewing an email, it’ll start a response email that replies to everyone who received the original email (not just the sender). This shortcut doesn’t include people who are Cc’d or Bcc’d in the email.

6. Reply

Keyboard Shortcut: R

In a similar vein to the previous shortcut, this one opens a response email. However, it will only directly reply to the person who sent you the original message (not other Cc’d or Bcc’d recipients).

7. Reply in a New Window

Keyboard Shortcut: Shift+A

This combo is the third “Reply” shortcut. This keyboard shortcut will open a response email in a separate tab, making it perfect for drafting longer messages.

A sample email with the subject "Front garden" and text showing different formatting effects like bold, italics, etc.
An example of different text formats in Gmail.

8. Make Text Italicized

Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+I (Windows) or ⌘+I (Mac)

This shortcut takes any text that you’ve highlighted and italicizes it like this. This shortcut is great for formatting your emails quickly.

9. Make Text Bold

Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+B (Windows) or ⌘+B (Mac)

This shortcut takes any text that you’ve highlighted and makes it bold like this. Using bold text in your emails is a great way to grab the reader’s attention so that this shortcut can help you quickly draft more engaging emails.

10. Underline Text

Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+U (Windows) or ⌘+U (Mac)

This Gmail shortcut will underline any text you highlight like this.

It can be helpful to underline text in an email if you want to draw the reader’s eye to a specifying part of a sentence, like “I don’t want carnations in the garden.”

As people scan emails, formatting your email will make your point clear.

11. Strikethrough Text

Keyboard Shortcut: Alt+Shift+5 (Windows) or ⌘+Shift+X (Mac)

This shortcut will strikethrough any text you’ve selected, like this example.

12. Open Google Tasks

Keyboard Shortcut: G+K

This shortcut will open the “My Tasks” tab from Google Tasks on the left-hand side of your screen. You can add new to-do tasks from this tab, tick off tasks, or edit your current tasks.

13. Add Conversations to Google Tasks

Keyboard Shortcut: Shift+T

This keyboard shortcut will add the conversation you are viewing as a new task in Google Tasks. The shortcut only works when you’ve clicked on an email.

It is handy when making a note of something to come back to later — like a request to send a document to a coworker. When you add a conversation to Google Tasks, it looks like this:

A screenshot showing the "My Tasks" bar of Google Tasks on the right-hand side
An example of adding an email to Google Tasks in Gmail.

14. Send Email

Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+Enter (Windows) or ⌘+Enter (Mac)

When you use this shortcut, it’ll automatically send the email or reply you’re currently working on. If you accidentally use this shortcut, you can hit the “Undo” button within a few seconds to stop the email from sending (provided you’ve enabled “Undo Send” in your settings).

15. Insert a Link

Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+K (Windows) or ⌘+K (Mac)

This shortcut will bring up the “Edit Link” widget. From this widget, you can type text to display and insert a URL from a web or email address. You can see the widget below:

The "Edit Link" option showing fields for "Text to display" and "Web address"
An example of editing a link in Gmail.

16. Add Cc Recipients to Your Email

Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+C (Windows) or ⌘+Shift+C (Mac)

This shortcut will add the “Cc” bar into the email you’re currently working on. From here, you can type people’s addresses to add them as Cc’s. This shortcut only works when you have an email open.

17. Add Bcc Recipients to Your Email

Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+B (Windows) or ⌘+Shift+B (Mac)

This Gmail shortcut adds the “Bcc” bar into the email you’re currently writing. You can add Bcc’s by typing their addresses. Again, this shortcut only works when you are drafting an email.

18. Add Numbered List

Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+7 (Windows) or ⌘+Shift+7 (Mac)

This shortcut will add a numbered list to any vertical lines of text that you’ve selected. It looks like this:

  1. Some Text
  2. More Text
  3. Even More Text

19. Add a Bulleted List

Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+8 (Windows) or ⌘+Shift+8 (Mac)

Like the “Add a Numbered List” shortcut, this one adds a bulleted list to selected text. It looks like this:

  • Some Text
  • More Text
  • Even More Text

20. Increase Text Size

Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+Shift++ (Windows) or ⌘+Shift++ (Mac)

This shortcut will increase the size of any text that you’ve highlighted (where possible). Gmail has four basic text sizes: small, normal, large, and huge. This command won’t work if you’ve already set your font size to “Huge.”

21. Decrease Text Size

Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+- (Windows) or ⌘+Shift+- (Mac)

Like the “Increase Text Size” shortcut, this one decreases the size of any text that you’ve highlighted. Again, this will only work if there’s a text size smaller than your current size.

22. Undo

Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+Z (Windows) or ⌘+Z (Mac)

“Undo” is always a useful shortcut to have at your disposal. It undoes the last action you took (where possible). For example, if you accidentally moved an email to the trash, this shortcut will restore it to your Gmail inbox.

23. Redo

Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+Y (Windows) or ⌘+Y (Mac)

“Redo” is the opposite of “Undo.” When you use this shortcut, it redoes the last action you took (where possible).

24. Add Quote

Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+9 (Windows) or ⌘+Shift+9 (Mac)

This Gmail shortcut will take any text that you’ve highlighted and turn it into a quote. Gmail formats quote text slightly differently from regular text, so your quote text will stand out. It looks like this in an email:

An example email showing the indented and bordered quote formatting on text saying
An example of quote text formatting in Gmail.

25. Open Spelling Suggestions

Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+M (Windows) or ⌘+M (Mac)

When you use this shortcut while writing an email, Gmail will list spelling corrections for your text.

26. Remove Formatting

Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+\ (Windows) or ⌘+\ (Mac)

This shortcut will remove all formatting from the text you’ve highlighted, leaving just the plain text behind. For example, “web developer” would become “web developer.”

27. Reduce Text Indentation

Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+[ (Windows) or ⌘+[ (Mac)

This shortcut decreases the indentation of your text, moving it to the left across the screen (where possible).

28. Increase Text Indentation

Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+] (Windows) or ⌘+] (Mac)

In a similar vein to the previous shortcut, this one increases the indentation of your text. When you increase text indentation, your text moves right across the screen. This shortcut is useful when you need to indent critical parts of your email quickly.

29. Align Text to the Center of the Screen

Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+E (Windows) or ⌘+Shift+E (Mac)

This Gmail shortcut will change the alignment of any highlighted text to the center of the screen, moving the highlighted chunk into the middle from the default left alignment.

30. Align Text to the Right of the Screen

Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+R (Windows) or ⌘+Shift+R (Mac)

This shortcut will also change the alignment of any highlighted text, but it’ll change it to the right. Using this will align all highlighted text to the right.

31. Align Text to the Left of the Screen

Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+l (Windows) or ⌘+Shift+l (Mac)

This shortcut changes the alignment of any highlighted text back to the left-hand side of the screen. As this is the default alignment, this shortcut only works on text aligned to the center or right-hand side of the screen.

32. Mark Email as Important

Keyboard Shortcut: + or =

This shortcut will mark all selected emails as Important. When you use it, Gmail will display a notification that says, “Conversation marked as important.”

Gmail marks "Important" emails in your inbox with a tiny yellow icon.
Gmail marks “Important” emails in your inbox with a tiny yellow icon.

33. Mark Email as Unimportant

Keyboard Shortcut: -

Gmail will remove the “Important” label from an email you marked as important when using this shortcut. You must select an email first for this shortcut to work.

34. Mark as Read

Keyboard Shortcut: Shift+I

When you use this shortcut, it’ll mark any selected email(s) as read. Using this shortcut will remove the highlighting Gmail places on unread emails. Of course, this shortcut only works on unread emails.

35. Mark as Unread

Keyboard Shortcut: Shift+U

When you use this shortcut, it’ll mark any read emails you’ve selected as unread. This shortcut will highlight the email in your mailbox, regardless of whether you have previously opened it.

36. Expand Conversations

Keyboard Shortcut: ;

This shortcut expands emails with multiple responses. When you use it, it’ll open all previous email replies vertically, from least recent to most recent. It only works when you’re viewing an open email.

37. Collapse Conversations

Keyboard Shortcut: :

In a similar vein, this Gmail shortcut collapses emails after you’ve expanded them. Gmail will show the most recent response in an email on your screen when you use this shortcut. You can still view older email responses by clicking their preview or using ;.

38. Forward Email

Keyboard Shortcut: F

This shortcut opens the email forwarding screen in your current window. You simply need to type in your recipient’s address and type Shift+Enter to forward the email.

39. Forward Email In A New Window

Keyboard Shortcut: Shift+F

This shortcut opens the option to forward an email in a new window. Using this shortcut is particularly useful if you prefer to read all of your emails in one go before responding.

40. Report Email as Spam

Keyboard Shortcut: !

This shortcut will report the email(s) you’ve selected as spam. Gmail automatically sends any email reported as spam to the spam folder.

Gmail also automatically flags emails with large amounts of attachments and keywords like “free” and “spam.” If your recipients are frequently missing your emails, they might be going to spam.

An arrow pointing to the "Spam" folder near the top of Gmail
Going to the “Spam” folder in Gmail.

41. Open “Sent Messages” Folder

Keyboard Shortcut: G+T

This navigation shortcut is excellent for moving around your mailbox quickly. When you use it, it’ll take you straight to your “Sent Messages” folder. This folder includes every email you’ve replied to, forwarded, or sent.

42. Open “Drafts” Folder

Keyboard Shortcut: G+D

Like the “Open Sent Messages Folder” shortcut, this Gmail shortcut takes you to your “Drafts” folder. Gmail automatically stores all emails that you’ve started but haven’t yet sent in your “Drafts” folder.

43. View Starred Conversation List

Keyboard Shortcut: G+S

This shortcut removes all unstarred conversations from your screen temporarily. It will work in your “Sent” folder and your inbox. If you want to undo this action, simply press “Undo” or Ctrl+Z/⌘+Z.

44. Mute Conversation

Keyboard Shortcut: M

This shortcut is handy for anyone who receives constant updates on an email chain. Gmail will mute the email you’ve selected when using this shortcut, meaning you’ll still receive updates and responses to the email, but you won’t receive notifications.

45. Search Mailbox

Keyboard Shortcut: /

This shortcut opens up the search bar at the top of your mailbox. To use it, simply type a keyword like “Tom” and press enter to view all emails with the keyword “Tom.” If you want to search for something particular, try using these Google search operators.

An arrow and highlight box pointing out the search bar at the top of Gmail
The search bar in Gmail.

46. Change Font to Next Font

Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+5 (Windows) or ⌘+Shift+5 (Mac)

This shortcut changes the style of any highlighted font to the next font in Gmail’s list. Gmail includes eleven default fonts, but you can add custom fonts if you choose.

47. Change Font to the Previous Font

Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+6 (Windows) or ⌘+Shift+6 (Mac)

This Gmail shortcut changes the style of any highlighted font to the previous font in Gmail’s list.

48. View Your Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard Shortcut: Shift+? (Windows) or ⌘+? (Mac)

This shortcut brings up Gmail’s keyboard shortcuts menu.

Gmail Shortcuts Cheat Sheet

Here’s a quick reference list of all the Gmail keyboard shortcuts we’ve covered in this article.

Gmail Keyboard Shortcut Windows Mac
Archive emails E E
Compose email C C
Trash emails # #
Select all conversations *+A *+A
Reply all A A
Reply R R
Reply in a new window Shift+A Shift+A
Make text italicized Ctrl+I ⌘+I
Make text bold Ctrl+B ⌘+B
Underline text Ctrl+U ⌘+U
Strikethrough text Alt + Shift+5 ⌘+Shift+X
Open Google Tasks G + K G + K
Add conversations to Google Tasks Shift+T Shift+T
Send email Ctrl+Enter ⌘+Enter
Insert a link Ctrl+K ⌘+K
Add Cc recipients to the email Ctrl+Shift+C ⌘+Shift+C
Add Bcc recipients to the email Ctrl+Shift+B ⌘+Shift+B
Add bulleted list Ctrl+Shift+7 ⌘+Shift+7
Add numbered list Ctrl+Shift+8 ⌘+Shift+7
Increase text size Ctrl+Shift++ ⌘+Shift++
Decrease text size Ctrl+Shift+- ⌘+Shift+-
Undo Ctrl+Z ⌘+Z
Redo Ctrl+Y ⌘+Y
Add quote Ctrl+Shift+9 ⌘+Shift+9
Open spelling suggestions Ctrl+M ⌘+M
Remove formatting Ctrl+ ⌘+
Reduce text indentation Ctrl+[ ⌘+[
Increase text indentation Ctrl+] ⌘+]
Align text to the center of the screen Ctrl+Shift+E ⌘+Shift+E
Align text to the right of the screen Ctrl+Shift+R ⌘+Shift+R
Align text to the left of the screen Ctrl+Shift+l ⌘+Shift+l
Mark email as important = or + = or +
Mark email as unimportant
Mark email as read Shift+I Shift+I
Mark email as unread Shift+U Shift+U
Expand conversation ; ;
Collapse conversation : :
Forward email f f
Forward email in a new window Shift+F Shift+F
Report email as spam ! !
Open the “Sent Messages” folder G+T G+T
Open the “Drafts” folder G+D G+D
View starred conversations only G+S G+S
Mute conversation M M
Search mailbox / /
Change font to next font Ctrl+Shift+5 ⌘+Shift+5
Change font to the previous font Ctrl+Shift+6 ⌘+Shift+6
View your Gmail keyboard shortcuts Shift+? ⌘+?


It can take a bit of time to learn all of the best Gmail keyboard shortcuts. Once you’ve used each shortcut a few times, you’ll be able to navigate through your mailbox quickly and efficiently, increasing your productivity and reducing the time spent in your inbox.

While we’ve included the 48 best Gmail keyboard shortcuts, some of these will be more useful to you than others. It will likely take you some time to find your go-to shortcuts, but the effort is worth it for the productivity boost.

What’s your favorite Gmail keyboard shortcut? Share it with us in the comments!

Matteo Duò Kinsta

Head of Content at Kinsta and Content Marketing Consultant for WordPress plugin developers. Connect with Matteo on Twitter.