Top 10 Gmail Shortcuts to Boost Productivity


Gmail is one of the most-used email platforms available today. It brings with it plenty of shortcuts and features to make managing, creating, and receiving emails easier than ever before. Whether you stick with the standard shortcuts or create your own, there’s a lot that you can use to improve your productivity. 

First, don’t forget to enable keyboard shortcuts. You can do that by going to the Settings in your inbox, and in the General section, you’ll see two radio buttons with two options:

  1. Keyboard shortcuts off
  2. Keyboard shortcuts on

Make sure the second one is selected, then you can use all the shortcuts that you want.

Now, let’s take a look at the top 10 shortcuts that all Gmail users should know. 

1. Select all conversations

Google has a few easy ways to help you select all the conversations within your inbox or another section of your Gmail. The keyboard shortcut is probably among the easiest. Just press:

“Shift + 8 + A”

This will select all the messages on the page. If you want to select the entire inbox, you’ll click the prompt at the top that says “Select all (number) emails in inbox.”

2. Archive messages

This feature isn’t always used, but those savvy Gmail users understand its value. Messages that aren’t important enough to leave in the inbox are still accessible, just archived for safe keeping, and they can be recalled at any moment. To do this with the keyboard, just select the messages you want to archive and hit the “E” key. Then, they’ll all be filed away. 

3. Compose

Pressing the “C” key will make the new message window pop up so that you can compose a new email. You don’t even have to use a “Ctrl” here—just press “C” when you’re in the Gmail window and you’ll see a blank email pop-up that’s ready for you to fill out and send. 

4. Reply all 

Pressing the letter “A” will give you the power to reply all when you’re responding to an email conversation. This shortcut can also be done in a new window by adding the shift key (“Shift + A”). Just be sure that you mean to reply all here, because you don’t want to be sending a private message to everyone. 

5. Send

If you’re ready to send off the email, rather than clicking the “Send” button, you could just hit “Ctrl + Enter”, and it will be sent off into the digital space and onward to the recipient. It’s quick and easy, but again, make sure that you’re ready to send or you might have to follow up with a secondary message if you sent it too soon. 

6. Insert links 

Links are sent in emails all the time. Of course, you could copy and paste the link into the email the old-fashioned way, but that takes time and effort. Google makes it easy with shortcuts—press “Ctrl + K” and you’ll be prompted to type in the link that you want to share so that it can populate in the email message. 

7. Previous message

To get to the previous message within a conversation that you have open, simply press “P” and you will return to the prior message in that exact feed. This can be helpful if you’re trying to find a specific conversation in the feed or if you just want to browse through without using the mouse. 

8. Next message

This is another navigational shortcut that’s handy. Pressing the “N” key will get you to the next message in a conversation thread, helping you keep track of things. You could click the arrows that drop down the conversation or call up the next message, but with keyboard shortcuts, you can give the mouse a rest. 

9. Delete

If you want to delete a message, simply make sure that you have the message selected or that you’re in the open thread. Then, press the “#” key and watch the message disappear, right into your trash can for further recycling at a later date. 

10. Forward

You’ve got two options for forwarding messages. A standard forward in the same window only requires pressing “F.” If, however, you want to forward a message and open a new window to do so, press “Shift + F” and you’ll get the pop-out message you desire. 

Bonus: Customize your own keyboard shortcuts 

Gmail also makes it easy for users to customize their own shortcuts. Just go to your settings and click on “Advanced.” There, you’ll see a toggle for “custom keyboard shortcuts” that you will want to enable. Then, click the save changes button at the bottom and you’ll be able to start creating your own shortcuts. 

To change the shortcuts, just go to your settings > keyboard shortcuts and then find the action that you want, type the key that you want to use as the shortcut, and click the save option again. There are hundreds of possible shortcuts and combinations to choose from when you use Gmail. Most of the Gmail shortcuts can also be used by Mac owners by replacing “Ctrl” with the “Cmd” key. 

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Elizabeth Lockwood is the content marketing associate at She focuses specifically on writing and editing engaging articles, blog posts, and other forms of publication.

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