Keyboard Shortcuts for Gmail – Jenny’s Weekly Tip #23

Hand On KeyboardIf like me you live in Gmail, then knowing a few useful shortcuts will make a big difference to your working day. Therefore, this blogpost is aimed at making your Gmail experience that little bit better with some handy keyboard shortcuts. Although you may already know some of these shortcuts, there is no harm in providing a gentle reminder of some of the neat things you can do in Gmail.

To remove the clicking of the mouse and get the best out of Gmail with your keyboard, check out some of the best Gmail shortcuts below.

Before you can use most of the Keyboard shortcuts in Gmail, you will need to enable keyboard shortcuts in your Gmail settings. However, there are some shortcuts that you can use without having to enable this feature.

Keyboard Shortcuts automatically enabled

Shortcut key


Ctrl + Enter  or Mac: + Enter

Allows you to send a message.

Ctrl + Shift + b or Mac: + Shift + b

This allows you to add/change a bb recipient.

Ctrl + Shift + c or Mac: + Shift + c

This allows you to add/change  a cc recipient.

How to enable other keyboard shortcuts for gmail

1. Click the Gear icon in your inbox and select Settings.

2. Navigate to Keyboard Shortcuts and select ‘Keyboard shortcuts on’

3. Click Save Changes at the bottom of the page.


Once enabled, the following shortcuts work both on a Mac and PC keyboard.

Manually enabled Keyboard Shortcuts

Shortcut Key



Compose a new message.

Shift + c

Compose new message in new window.


Compose in a new tab.


Move your cursor to the newer conversation and hit Enter to expand or collapse the message.


Moves your cursor to the older messages. You can hit enter to expand or collapse the message.

O or Enter

Opens/expands/collapses a message in conversation view.


Archive your conversation.


Add or remove a star to your message.


Select a message to mark it as important.

Select a message to unmark it as important.


Marks a message as spam and removes it from the conversation.


Reply to a message.


Replay to all message recipients.


Allows you to forward a message.

* then r

Allows you to select all mail you have read.

* then a

Allows you to select all mail.

* then n

Allows you to deselect all mail.

g then t

This takes you to your sent mail.

g then a

This takes you to your ‘All Mail’.

g then c

This takes you to your contact.

Gmail Custom Keyboard Shortcut Lab

The cool thing is if you are not happy with the shortcuts above, then you can create your own thanks to Gmail’s Keyboard Shortcut customisation Lab. (Bear in mind, this is a Lab feature and, like all labs features, may disappear in time).

If you no longer wish to use the custom keyboard shortcuts, you can disable them by clicking the Restore Defaults link at the bottom of the Keyboard Shortcuts pane. You can also disable the Custom keyboard shortcuts lab from the Labs page.

Sometimes, taking shortcuts do save you time (even if only a little).

Come back next week for a juicy tip on Cirrus Insights.

By Jenny Bamber
31 January 2014
Jenny's Weekly TipsThe Good Systems Blog

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